DOI: 10.24412/2470-1262-2022-3 -70-77


The extent of student underachievement in sub- Saharan Africa is confirmed by international student assessments such as The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). TIMSS measures trends in mathematics and science achievement at fourth and eighth grades while PIRLS is a comprehensive assessment of fourth grade students’ reading literacy achievement.

TIMSS 2015 data on Grade 8 students shows that in the participating sub-Saharan African countries (Botswana, Ghana, South Africa), between 68% and about 90% of students failed to reach the low benchmark in mathematics and science. PIRLS 2016 data suggests 78% of South African students could not read for comprehension. Among the factors that were identified to explain the poor learning achievement in the region are, poor mastery of the curriculum, rigid teaching practices, lack of textbooks and, most importantly, teaching materials in a language not well understood by the students, as well as low proficiency in the language of instruction (vital for effective learning).

This article explores the pivotal role translanguaging plays in epistemic access, recommending teachers to view students’ linguistic repertoire as a teaching/learning resource and not a hindrance.

Keywords: decolonisation; epistemic access; literacy; monolingualism; multilingualism; translanguaging


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For citation: Erasmos Charamba, (2022).

Discontinuous Ccontinuities: Translanguaging as a Culturally Responsive Multilingual Pedagogy for Epistemic Access.

Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science, Vol. 7, Issue 3 (2022), pp. 70-77 (in USA)

Manuscript received: 18/08/2022

Accepted for publication: 20 /11/2022