The paper focuses on translanguaging practices of highly skilled refugees in a transition program in Dutch higher education. The pathways for refugees to enter higher education are full of obstacles. Acquiring the new language at a university level is one of the biggest challenges. Many institutions offer ‘transition programs’ to prepare refugees for their studies. These are mostly focused on acquiring language skills and general basic skills in subjects such as Mathematics and Cultural Diversity. The Dutch transition program described in this paper was specifically developed to make use of students’ multilingual repertoires. The resource-oriented pedagogy of translanguaging is used to give space to all languages, leverage students’ resources and contribute to their academic and language development. In this research, data from one year of the Dutch transition program was collected to study a) how teachers engage in official translanguaging practices during instruction and b) to what extent teachers develop other practices to engage with their students’ multilingual repertoires. Results from interaction analysis show that the teachers, although mainly using the language of instruction (Dutch), did use a variety of translanguaging practices, and created other ways to encourage students’ multilingualism, such as engaging in language comparisons and raising language awareness.

DOI: 10.1515/multi-2021-0127
ISSN: 0167-8507