Beyond Bilingualism: A Linguistically Expansive Orientation to Two-Way Immersion

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This article explores the possibilities of a linguistically expansive orientation to two-way immersion (TWI), a bilingual model that has traditionally adopted a “double monolingual” approach to bilingual learning/ers. To illustrate an expansive perspective, we present two case studies undertaken at the same bilingual school that explored strategies for fostering more flexible understandings of students’ linguistic repertoires. Findings from case study one reveal that student identities are more dynamic and contextually-oriented than typically understood within TWI, while also demonstrating that student sense-making can reflect the program’s narrow lens on bilingualism. Findings from case study two illustrate how, when teachers engage students in multilingual writing, meaningful contexts are created for encountering diversity and for expanding and evolving their linguistic repertoires. We argue that a linguistically expansive orientation invites teachers to move beyond language separation in TWI and, in doing so, make space for and affirm students’ dynamic languaging and dynamically lingual identities.

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Journal of Language, Identity and Education