Translanguaging during collaborative learning: A ‘transcollab’ model of teaching

Vimbai Mbirimi-Hungwe*, Rose Marie McCabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Collaborative learning has been used strategically to support pedagogical practices in higher education. On the other hand, translanguaging has been mainly used as a pedagogical practice to teach English as an additional language as well as in content subjects at university. The use of translanguaging has been predominantly used to leverage students’ understanding of academic concepts. This article aims to show that translanguaging can be used during collaborative learning to assist students to comprehend academic texts. Using a group of first-year medical students, the study used the collaborative learning strategy as well as translanguaging to enhance students’ understanding of medical reading material. In three groups of six, students explained concepts to each other that they had read from the texts to enhance each other’s understanding of the material. Results show that through collaborative learning, translanguaging can be incorporated to enhance multilingual students’ understanding of concepts. We argue that translanguaging can be used in collaborative learning activities to enhance deeper understanding of the material. We, therefore, introduce the ‘transcollab’ model of teaching. Finally, we urge all members of the faculty to adopt the ‘transcollab’ model of teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-259
Number of pages16
JournalSouthern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


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