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

Vimbai Hungwe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera216
JournalReading and Writing (South Africa)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Multilingual education
  • Multilingualism
  • Paraphrasing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Translanguaging


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