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International Multilingual Research Journal


This study explores language policies in “almost-bilingual” classrooms, in which most but not all students share a home language. Teachers who are bilingual face a dilemma in these settings. Should they draw on shared linguistic expertise to benefit the majority while excluding a few, or should they forego significant benefits for most in the interest of equity? This qualitative study examines the classroom language policies and practices of one English-as-a second-language (ESL) teacher at a majority-Latino high school. Drawing on field notes, interviews, and systematic teacher reflection, the authors identify a collection of multilingual practices across ESL and sheltered content courses: translated texts, “translanguaging from the students up,” and concurrent translation. They discuss the benefits and drawbacks of these policies for Spanish speakers and “singletons”—students with no same-language peers—to offer pedagogical and policy insights for meeting the diverse and sometimes-conflicting needs of students in multilingual classrooms.


Almost-bilingual, classroom language policy, translanguaging


This is an original manuscript / preprint of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Multilingual Research Journal on January 12, 2019, available online:

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