Date of Award

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rachel Bloom-Pojar

Committee Members

Patricia Mayes, David P. Clark, John Jordan


This dissertation study investigates the translanguaging interactions among teachers and students who share a common non-English language and what these exchanges might entail. It finds that multilinguals often hesitate to bring out their non-English languages in academic settings as they fear it (translanguging) may result in othering them in academic spaces since it is predominantly monolingual. Despite these challenges, multilinguals interact with their instructors through rhetorical translanguaging (Bloom-Pojar) often in peripheral spaces like the instructors’ offices. The study illustrates multilinguals rhetorically translanguage through the primary step of relationship building that reveals their complicated language ideologies. It also shows through cultivating translations spaces, they often leverage their non-English languages for content learning especially in the fields of STEM. Highlighting the challenges multilinguals report in the study, it calls writing teachers to create linguistically safe and just spaces in higher education that is conducive to culturally sustaining climate in academic settings.