This chapter contributes to ongoing explorations of translanguaging in everyday contexts and acknowledges the origins of the concept in multilingual educational contexts and notes how researchers have also applied the concept to multilingual interactions in research teams. The authors of this chapter broaden the consideration of everyday translanguaging further to explore the fieldwork practices of a team of Global Mental Health (GMH) researchers collaborating with applied linguists in Uganda. This case study was part of a larger, AHRC- funded research study, operating across academic disciplines, professions and countries. In the case study drawn upon here, researchers and practitioners, who could access a range of linguistic resources themselves, conducted fieldwork in the city of Lira, Uganda.
In discussing what is called here, following the work of Canagarajah (2013), the everyday “translingual practice” observed within the team engaging in fieldwork, the authors focus what might have shaped translingual practice. This focus is informed by ecological theory and it enables the authors to consider possible contextual, personal, disciplinary, methodological, and other influences on researchers’ and research participants’ translingual practices. The argument developed in the chapter is supported by data captured during the fieldwork blogs kept by the researchers. The chapter concludes with two key areas for continued discussion, namely: i) translanguaging can make a significant contribution to the conceptualisation of research and practice in a range of disciplines and professions, beyond the educational origins of the concept; and ii) that in order to understand, as well as document, translanguaging, researchers may draw on additional theoretical traditions, such as ecological theory, which will support a contextually-informed analysis of the shaping influences on translanguaging.
Ecological theory; everyday translingual practice; global mental health; interdisciplinary research and practice; applied linguistics