English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.2
English Australia Journal Volume 27 No 2 76 mixed-language classes’ and ‘TILT for teachers who do not speak their students’ language(s)’ were just the thing if I were going to do a little action research in my particular multilingual teaching context. But, alas, the activities did not break a whole lot of new ground for me. For example, one of the four suggestions for translation in mixed-language classes was to encourage learners to make use of bilingual resources such as bilingual dictionaries. For me, and I imagine many teachers working in multilingual classroom contexts, this is already a fait accompli. What I found perhaps more interesting than the activities, were two reflections on my own teaching practice. Firstly, I am indeed using some translation-based approaches with what I do in my classes. And secondly – as Cook suggests, and as my learners’ behavior has been (or should have been) telling me – learners have never stopped using it. Cook’s conclusion maintains moderation, calling for practice that represents more a ‘symbiosis in which students can benefit from varying and complementary strategies’ (p. 156) rather than the extreme adoption or dogmatism of any one approach. Translation in Language Teaching may indeed be the valuable kickstart to the research process behind this practice. Kristin A. Walters is a teacher trainer at the Australian TESOL Training Centre, Navitas English, Brisbane.
English Australia Journal 28.1
English Australia Journal 27.1