Translanguaging and the Arts: A Creative Conversation

A creative arts lab was hosted by the TLANG team to explore communication and multilingualism in city contexts. Working with TLANG data, academics and creative practitioners explored different representations or audio and video transcripts through dance and song.

Around 2:30 minutes this video mentions a project capturing sounds of Birmingham Market – resonance! “We wanted to do more with the sound of the market – the rhythm of that sound. Those shout outs are always rhythmic and musical.”


Last week I attended a talk at the University of Leeds by Louise Atkinson on her exhibition there.

Louise talked about the development of the projects including the role of dialogue in each work. As a socially engaged practitioner, the dialogue with communities in development of the work is fundamental. The workshops/session Louise ran informed the work through dialogue about cultural heritage, about place and site and about language. Louise also discussed translanguaging:

“Translanguaging is the process whereby multilingual speakers use their languages as an integrated communication system. Translanguaging is an extension of the concept of languaging, the discursive practices of language speakers, but with the additional feature of using multiple languages, often simultaneously.”


Socratic Questioning, Christine A Padesky

Socratic questioning is akin to critical thinking and reflective inquiry. It’s a framing of (self) directed questions.


Typical ‘good’ Socratic questions may include:

  • Have you ever been in similar circumstances before?
  • What did you do?
  • How did that turn out?
  • What do you know now that you didn’t know then?
  • What would you advise a friend who told you something similar


“Among therapists, there is a vast difference between one who thinks cognitive therapy involves changing distorted thinking and a therapist who thinks cognitive therapy is a process of teaching clients to evaluate their thoughts, behaviors, moods, life circumstances, and physiological reactions to make choices that are adaptive.” (p.4)


“When using Socratic questioning to guide discovery, our final goal is to help the client use the information we’ve uncovered to reevaluate a previous conclusion or to construct a new idea. Although this goal is implicit in the discovery process, many therapists, including myself, ask dozens of good questions in a session without ever helping the client put the answers together in some meaningful way.” (p.5)


Listening for anomalies: “Listen for idiosyncratic words and emotional reactions.Listen to your clients’ metaphors and recreate in your own mind their images. Listen for a word that seems oddly placed in a sentence.” (p.6)

Feedback: “In the portions of the session where you are using Socratic questioning, there should be a summary every few minutes.” (p.6)


Vicki and I discussed the upcoming show Echoes of a Market at Parley yesterday and my part will be responding to the collected sound archive through the coffee doodle drawings series. I’m thinking I would like to montage these together into a short, silent film which will then be included in the group show with the audio works audible alongside.