Translanguaging as an ESL Learning strategy: A case study in Kuwait

Rahima Sayed Sulaiman Akbar, Hanan Ali Taqi


In the domain of teaching bilingual students, the issue of using the first language in a second-language based class has been widely controversial. While some studies have questioned the method of moving between the two languages—Translanguaging, others found it highly beneficial. Here we aimed to investigate the effect of Translanguaging on the learner’s performance and language learning. 34 consenting female students of English participated in oral and written exercises pre-and-post the use of Translanguaging. A short questionnaire was answered afterwards to elicit the participants’ perception on the use of Translanguaging as part of their classwork. Even though students did not believe that their ability to alternate between the two languages has placed them in a significantly enhanced comfort zone,  their higher grades post-Translanguaging indicate Translanguaging enhanced their understanding and enabled them to achieve higher levels of knowledge processing. Nevertheless, the participants’ language was not significantly affected by the process. Overall, we can conclude that Translanguaging in a bilingual classroom is effective in fully understanding the topic and the information provided, yet it does not help improve language proficiency.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Rahima Sayed Sulaiman Akbar, Hanan Ali Taqi

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

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