Escríbalo en tu own words, güey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, I offer an analysis of language learning during a collaborative translation task, with a focus on how opportunities for playfulness and creative subversion of the norms of academic language use may contribute to deeper insights for learners about language structure, language meaning, and the relationships between different languages. I leverage Bakhtinian notions of heteroglossia and carnival to analyze three connected episodes in which students blur the lines between task-oriented and "off-task" behavior as they work together to translate a haiku from English into Spanish. During these episodes, the students explore multiple dimensions of the word güey, a sometimes-pejorative term in Mexican slang derived from the word for ox that has evolved into a common marker of adolescent discourse, akin to the word dude. Through analysis of this exemplary case, I suggest for teachers a set of task features that may facilitate students' playful engagement in metalinguistic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHeteroglossia and Language Play in Multilingual Speech
Subtitle of host publicationPedagogical and Theoretical Implications
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783110787696
ISBN (Print)9783110787566
StatePublished - Jan 29 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved.


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