Communication for Specific Purposes as translingual


Communication for Specific Purposes
Translingual Practices
Specialized Communicative Activities
International STEM Scholars

How to Cite

Canagarajah, S. (2024). Communication for Specific Purposes as translingual. Ibérica, (47), 15–42.


Recent theoretical developments suggest that meaning making involves the relationality of human and nonhuman agents and diverse semiotic resources working together. “Translingual” is an inclusive term to refer to how different languages and modalities work together in communication. I draw from enregisterment perspectives in linguistic anthropology to demonstrate how a corpus of semiotic features becomes sedimented to identify specialized communicative activities. I illustrate from the Research Group Meeting of international STEM scholars in a midwestern American university. Despite their variable grammatical proficiency in English, the international scholars communicate effectively because they draw from a translingual assemblage that is diversified, and collaborate for joint outcomes adopting reciprocal communicative strategies. Outcomes are not defined by the grammatical mastery of individual speakers, but how participants collaborate through embodied translingual semiotic resources in their setting and community, facilitated by suitable ethical dispositions. The pedagogical alternative proposed will focus on cultivating the dispositions to negotiate translingual repertoires, material ecologies, and social networks for more inclusive outcomes in communication for specific purposes.

Copyright (c) 2024 Suresh Canagarajah

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Download data is not yet available.