Bilingual teachers and young children co-constructing affect and play in translanguaging read-alouds

Faythe Beauchemin, Kongji Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Affect is central to the process of teaching and learning. The recent affective turn in literacy education has further underscored its critical potential as an act of resistance against dehumanizing forces that impact students’ schooling and life experiences (Dutro, 2019; Leander and Ehret, 2019). This article, taking up the notion of affect as relational and performed forces that emerge from the in-betweenness among people, objects and material and discursive contexts, examines how two US Latinx teachers and their young bilingual students co-constructed affect and play in translanguaging read-alouds with a bilingual text that centered their culturally rooted ways of knowing and being. Design/methodology/approach: Drawing on data from a larger practitioner research study that aimed at developing teacher candidates’ culturally and linguistically sustaining literacy instruction, the authors took a discourse analytic approach to examine how the two teachers created curricular opportunities for affect and play in designing the translanguaging read-alouds and how bilingual children and their teachers playfully engaged with the bilingual text during the read-alouds. Findings: The analysis indicated that the teachers’ intentional selection of the Spanish–English bilingual picturebook Niño Wrestles the World created opportunities for the children to leverage their full linguistic repertoire and funds of knowledge to engage with the text. During the read-alouds, the children and the teachers co-constructed affect and playfulness through embodied performance and translanguaging. Originality/value: This study contributes to the research and practice of literacy instruction of bilingual children by illustrating how affect figures into the process of literacy instruction and how translanguaging read-alouds can afford bilingual children opportunities to playfully engage with the text that centers their cultural epistemologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-207
Number of pages17
JournalEnglish Teaching
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 8 2023


  • Affect
  • Bilingual children
  • Embodied performance
  • Playful literacy
  • Translanguaging read-alouds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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