This chapter describes an author study that took place in a secondary English Language Arts classroom in New York City. The author study was organized around translingual writers, or those who integrate different language practices in their work, and asked students to read not only for the content of the writing, but for the linguistic and rhetorical choices the authors made. After reading these translingual mentor texts, students were tasked with writing college essays that expressed their new understandings about language. Like their translingual mentors, students were invited to write their essays in ways that integrated their different language practices. Throughout this translingual author study, students brought to their readings their sophisticated understandings of language, resulting in rich conversations, connections, and debates. This chapter draws on excerpts of students’ classroom talk as well as from two students’ college essays and metalinguistic talk about their own writing to illustrate how the use of translingual mentors can bring to the surface the linguistic expertise, creativity and criticality (Li W, J Pragmat 43(5):1222–1235, 2011) that language minoritized students already have, but are often obscured in the English classroom.