Original Research

Using a translanguaging approach in teaching paraphrasing to enhance reading comprehension in first-year students

Vimbai Hungwe
Reading & Writing | Vol 10, No 1 | a216 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v10i1.216 | © 2019 Vimbai Hungwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 September 2018 | Published: 27 June 2019

About the author(s)

Vimbai Hungwe, Department of Language Proficiency, Sefako Magatho University, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: The teaching of reading strategies that enhance comprehension is a priority for many practising lecturers involved in academic literacy programmes. However, due to the unprepared nature of a large section of students entering the Higher Education system, a number of students have been found to lack basic literacy skills such as reading for comprehension. A plethora of studies has been conducted locally and internationally with the aim of finding solutions to help students who struggle with text comprehension, especially at university level.

Objectives: The purpose of this research is to show how paraphrasing as a strategy can be combined with a translingual approach to instruct students explicitly on how to read and comprehend texts

Method: Using a group of first-year multilingual medical students, this research included translanguaging as an additional component to the use of paraphrasing as a reading comprehension strategy.

Results: The paper provides insight into how translanguaging can be used to assist multilingual students to understand texts through paraphrasing. Drawing empirical data from classroom activities, this paper shows how lecturers can help students to use translanguaging and paraphrasing as metacognitive strategies to help improve their comprehension of texts.

Conclusion: Finally, the importance of allowing students to utilise their multilingual repertoires is emphasised and reiterated, through translanguaging, in order to enhance learning.


Paraphrasing; translanguaging; reading comprehension; multilingualism; multilingual education.


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Crossref Citations

1. From the teachers’ perspectives: resources used in teaching reading comprehension to English First Additional Language (EFAL) learners in the FET phase
Kufakunesu Zano
International Journal of Inclusive Education  vol: 27  issue: 3  first page: 376  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1080/13603116.2020.1858979