Research Article

Developing summary writing skills through translanguaging

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 41, issue 2, 2021 , pages: 196–206
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2021.1948223
Author(s): Vukile D Mgijima, South Africa, Leketi Makalela, South Africa

Abstract

Translanguaging, an umbrella term used to refer to pedagogical approaches that engage the learners’ home languages as a resource, is praised for positive outcomes when its techniques are employed in teaching and learning in multilingual settings. This article examines the effects of translanguaging on learners’ ability to reorganise texts after reading texts in isiXhosa as the learners’ home language, and English as their first additional language. The study adopted a Solomon four-group quasi-experimental design in which there were four groups of participants, viz. two experimental groups and two control groups. Four Grade 4 rural schools comprising 215 learners aged between 9 and 12 years participated in the study. The results showed a positive correlation between the translanguaging techniques employed and learner performance in the ability to write summaries. However, learner performance improved less in English than it did in the home language. The study demonstrates that substantial gains can be obtained in reading development in elementary grades when translanguaging techniques are exploited. It, therefore, attempts to provide alternative means to address concerns about substandard reading abilities of African learners at elementary grades in South Africa.

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