Translanguaging as Transnational Spaces: Chinese Visiting Scholars ‘ Language Practices on Wechat

Author: Yanmei Han (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)
Speaker: Yanmei Han
Topic: Language in real and virtual spaces
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


This study examines the language practices on Wechat of Chinese visiting scholars to the United States and the interactional practices on social media. By utilizing a multimodal semiotic analysis, it explores the assorted linguistic and semiotic resources these scholars manipulate to intertextualize the local voice, act as the ethnic messengers and sojourners, and construct themselves as language learners and global citizens. The results indicate that with the many translanguaging practices, Chinese visiting scholars, their friends, colleagues and family back in China, the invisible superintendent from Chinese government and voices of the host country interact and are intermingled together, which has resulted in transnational spaces. It is argued that online translanguaging (multilingual) practices should not be perceived merely as global discourse, which runs the risk emphasizing too much of the similarity, while ignoring the difference, but should be conceptualized as transnational spaces, which recognize the fair existence of different parties along with their similarities and differences.

Keywords: translanguaging, language practices, Chinese visiting scholars, transnational spaces, semiotic resources, Wechat