Original Research

Advancing text prediction skills through translanguaging

Vukile D. Mgijima
Reading & Writing | Vol 12, No 1 | a284 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v12i1.284 | © 2021 Vukile D. Mgijima | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2020 | Published: 23 June 2021

About the author(s)

Vukile D. Mgijima, Department of Communication, Management Sciences and Law, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


Background: Making predictions on how events might unfold when reading a text improves comprehension. Research on reading and making predictions tends to focus predominantly on the effects of making predictions as a reading strategy in monolingual contexts. So far, there is a paucity of research on the effects of reading development strategies in which learners are encouraged to read a text and express their predictions on how the events might unfold in the text in a different language from the one the text is written in.

Objectives: This study investigated the possible effects of translanguaging techniques on the readers’ ability to make plausible predictions of events when reading texts.

Method: The study adopted a Solomon Four quasi-experimental design in which a total of 215 Grade 4 bilingual isiXhosa and English learners from different primary schools participated.

Results: The findings demonstrated that translanguaging techniques, in which a tapestry of the learners’ linguistic repertoire is used simultaneously in one reading lesson, have a positive impact on the learners’ ability to make plausible predictions on how the events might unfold when reading texts. The findings also indicated that accurate text prediction is determined by a number of factors, which include the reader’s familiarity with the content, the context of the reading text and the vocabulary used therein.

Conclusion: For text prediction as a reading development strategy to be successful, the text and the reader’s knowledge of the word, the world and the language ought to match. Otherwise, text prediction may be hampered due to lack of the reader’s relevant background and linguistic knowledge.

Contribution: This article fills out the research gap that has been caused by limited research on the effects of translanguaging on the text prediction abilities of multilingual learners. It contributes significantly to the body of research by providing some of the strategies that multilingual learners can utilise to enhance their reading comprehension.


text prediction; translanguaging; reading comprehension; Solomon Four; multilingualism


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