Original Research

Reading competency of first-year undergraduate students at University of Botswana: A case study

Beauty B. Ntereke, Boitumelo T. Ramoroka
Reading & Writing | Vol 8, No 1 | a123 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v8i1.123 | © 2017 Beauty B. Ntereke, Boitumelo T. Ramoroka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2015 | Published: 26 January 2017

About the author(s)

Beauty B. Ntereke, Communication and Academic Literacy, University of Botswana, Botswana
Boitumelo T. Ramoroka, Department of Communication and Study Skills, University of Botswana, Botswana


The ability to read and interpret textbooks and other assigned material is a critical component of success at university level. Therefore, the aims of this study are twofold: to evaluate the reading levels of first-year students when they first enter the university to determine how adequately prepared they are for university reading. It is also to find out if there will be any significant improvement after going through the academic literacy course offered to first-year students. The participants were 51 first-year undergraduate humanities students enrolled in the Communication and Academic Literacy course at the University of Botswana. The data were collected through a reading test adopted from Zulu which was administered at the beginning of the first semester. The same test was administered at the end of the semester after the students had gone through the academic literacy course to see if there was any difference in performance. The findings of this study indicate that there is a mixed and wide variation of students reading competency levels when students first enter the university and that a significant number of first-year entrants are inadequately prepared for university reading.


L2 reading proficiency L2 proficient readers; language Knowledge and processing ability; cognitive ability; metacognitive competence


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