BELTA Day '19: Meet the Speakers: Eowyn Crisfield

From target-language only to translanguaging: How did we get here and where are we going?

Eowyn Crisfield

Plenary Session

Room: Aula 3.13

Length: 60-minutes

Conference Strand: Theme Strand


Language teachers have long been trained that best practice for pedagogy is to only use the target language in the classroom. In the last few years, however, there has been a groundswell of interest in translanguaging and a growing concern that students should be able to use their own languages in the classroom, for social, emotional, and academic reasons. In this plenary, we will explore the spectrum of views and research on languages in the classroom, and investigate how they apply to our role as language teachers. We will also explore the intersections of research and teaching, and the drive towards evidence-based teaching, as it applies to our classrooms. Through an understanding of the research base and by becoming researchers in our own classrooms, we will be able to better answer for ourselves - what language should we be using our the classrooms?


Eowyn Crisfield,
The United Kingdom/The Netherlands

Eowyn Crisfield is a Canadian-educated specialist (BA TEFL, MA Applied Linguistics) in languages across the curriculum (LAC), including EAL/ELL, home languages, bilingual and immersion education, super-diverse schools, and translanguaging. Her work includes a research-based professional development programme entitled “Every teacher is a language teacher”, which she has delivered in schools all over the world. She continues to engage in school-based research on topics related to languages in international schools and speaks regularly at international conferences, both research and practice-oriented. Her focus is on equal access to learning and language development for all students, and on appropriate and effective professional development for teachers working with language learners. She maintains a popular blog for parents and teachers ( and writes regularly for other publications. She is co-author of the recent book “Linguistic and Cultural Innovation in Schools: The Languages Challenge” (Palgrave-Macmillan, Nov. 2017, with Jane Spiro, co-author).

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