Volume 10, Number 4

Literacy Practices among Tertiary Students in the Western Cape, South Africa


Magdaline Mbong Mai, Cultural Studies and Applied Linguistics (LANCSAL), University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Language and critically thinking play a major role in academic performance. In multilingual contexts, multiple factors account for the way Second Language (L2) learners make sense of the academic texts they read. The students’ multilingual and multicultural diversity impacts on their interpretation of academic texts. This article is derived from a work with mixed method but focuses on qualitative design. This article qualitatively analyses how L2 students read and interpret academic texts in South African Universities. Members of a study group were interviewed both as a group and individually. In the end, students’ study practices towards academic literacy reveals translanguaging as one strategy of interpreting academic. One argument is that most African Universities have English as a medium of instructions whereas the students are often from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity tends to influence the way students read and interpret academic texts.


Reading, university, academic texts, academic literacy, translanguaging.