Coping with English as Language of Instruction in Higher Education in Rwanda

Kagwesage Anne Marie


The present study examines strategies that multilingual university students in Rwanda use in order to successfully deal with complex academic material offered through the medium of English, a foreign language. The reported strategies emerged from group work discussions and interviews with students in the faculty of Economics and Management at a University in Rwanda. The data were analyzed thematically. Findings reveal that students have multiple coping strategies that enable them to complete academic tasks given through the medium of English. One of the prominent strategies and practices is the successful use of other languages at their disposal to mediate cognitively demanding academic tasks. Although other spoken languages are not officially recognised as media of instruction in higher education, they play a mediating role in content learning through responsible code switching and translanguaging.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online)

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