Using a translanguaging framework to examine language production in a trilingual person with aphasia

Goral, M., Antolovic, K., Hejazi, Z., & Schulz, F. M. (2024). Using a translanguaging framework to examine language production in a trilingual person with aphasia. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/02699206.2024.2328240.
When language abilities in aphasia are assessed in clinical and research settings, the standard practice is to examine each language of a multilingual person separately. But many multilingual individuals, with and without aphasia, mix their languages regularly when they communicate with other speakers who share their languages. We applied a novel approach to scoring language production of a multilingual person with aphasia. Our aim was to discover whether the assessment outcome would differ meaningfully when we count accurate responses in only the target language of the assessment session versus when we apply a translanguaging framework, that is, count all accurate responses, regardless of the language in which they were produced. The participant is a Farsi-German-English speaking woman with chronic moderate aphasia. We examined the participant’s performance on two picture-naming tasks, an answering wh-question task, and an elicited narrative task. The results demonstrated that scores in English, the participant’s third-learned and least-impaired language did not differ between the two scoring methods. Performance in German, the participant’s moderately impaired second language benefited from translanguaging-based scoring across the board. In Farsi, her weakest language post-CVA, the participant’s scores were higher under the translanguaging-based scoring approach in some but not all of the tasks. Our findings suggest that whether a translanguaging-based scoring makes a difference in the results obtained depends on relative language abilities and on pragmatic constraints, with additional influence of the linguistic distances between the languages in question.
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