From translanguaging to transknowledging: Exploring new epistemological and linguistic approaches in higher education research

Jane Andrews, Richard Fay, Zhuo Min Huang, Ross G. White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we contribute to ongoing discussions surrounding decolonising research and teaching in higher education by considering the place of language and linguistic diversity within this decolonising turn. The question we explore is how academic researchers and lecturers can recognise and respect that a move to decolonise will involve engaging with epistemologies expressed in different languages and expressed from diverse worldviews. We take inspiration from the work of linguistic citizenship researchers who make explicit the links between knowledge systems, languages, and issues of equality/inequality. In linguistic citizenship research connections are made between the everyday practice of translanguaging, moving between different linguistic repertoires by multilingual speakers, and transknowledging or the fluid movement between differing systems of knowing. To explore the potential of using the concepts of translanguaging and transknowledging as tools in the task of decolonising higher education research and practice, we discuss in depth, two published research studies for critical reflection.

This chapter builds on thinking initially developed in the Researching Multilingually projects
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
EditorsJeroen Huisman, Malcolm Tight
Place of PublicationLeeds
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)9781837975204, 9781837975228
ISBN (Print)9781837975211
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2023

Publication series

NameTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISSN (Electronic)2056-3752


  • translanguaging
  • transknowledging
  • higher education research and practice
  • decolonising education
  • linguistic citizenship
  • language and power


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  • BAAL Conference 2011

    Richard Fay (Participant)

    1 Sept 20113 Sept 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

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