Translanguaging and Multilingual Picturebooks: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Friends from the Other Side / Amigos Del Otro Lado

Saskia Kersten, Christian Ludwig

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nglish language teaching (ELT) is overcoming its monolingual character with students increasingly bringing additional languages to the classroom. Closely related to this, there is a growing awareness of the fact that students’ experiences with multilingualism are a valuable resource which should also be harnessed in language classrooms. Even if English is the language of instruction, the learners’ home languages, other languages and language varieties spoken in the school and personal environments, all influence their learning process and the formation of cultural identities. This paper looks critically at the traditional concept of the monolingual language classroom and explores the potential of multilingual literature which supports the learners’ second language development while, at the same time, raising their awareness of multilingualism and developing their plurilingual literacies. The English-Spanish children’s book Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del Otro Lado (1995) by American writer and Chicana cultural theorist Gloria Anzaldúa serves as an example of how working with multilingual literature can enrich the English learning experience of children from different age groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages20
JournalChildren’s Literature in English Language Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • translanguaging
  • multilingualism
  • multilingual literature
  • chicano
  • English as a Foreign Language


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