Translanguaging for epistemic access to Computer Science concepts: A call for change

  • Vimbai Mbirimi-Hungwe
  • Taurai Hungwe
Keywords: Translanguaging, multilingualism, pedagogical purposes, collaboration


Multilingual education has seemingly been relegated to English and academic literacy lecturers in South African universities. This paper reports on the use of translanguaging in a multilingual second-year computer science class. Using descriptive statistical analysis as well as qualitative analysis, results showed that students perceived translanguaging to be a helpful pedagogical strategy that could be used to assist them to gain deeper meaning and understanding of difficult concepts in their field of study. The research also showed and proved that, for translanguaging to become relevantly useful to the students, all members of the faculty should be involved in using this pedagogical strategy in the classroom. Therefore, we argue that, through collaborative efforts by using translanguaging among lecturers from different faculties, students will be able to acquire deeper meaning and understanding of subject material, especially in content-based courses or modules.

Author Biographies

Vimbai Mbirimi-Hungwe
Vimbai Mbirimi-Hungwe is a lecturer in the Department of Language Proficiency at the Sefako Makgatho University of Health Sciences. Her research focus is on the use of translanguaging pedagogy to multilingual students.  Her research focus has extended to introducing translanguaging pedagogy to lecturers in the Science faculty. 
Taurai Hungwe
Taurai Hungwe  is a Computer Science (CS) Lecturer at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. He is interested in using a translanguaging pedagogy in Computer Science.