Implementation of a Multilingual Booklet to Accommodate First-Year Students with Academic Work




booklet, first-year, language, multilingualism, translation, students, university


Academic writing is a major challenge within Higher Education. Poor writing skills and low academic literacy increase the chances of dropout among students from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. A multilingual booklet was developed as a tool for improvement among first-year students. The multilingual booklet aims to allow students to engage their study material in their mother tongue. As an academic literacy lecturer, the researcher will be sharing what has inspired her to suggest such a project. This paper follows an educational approach through personal reflections. Availing and promoting multilingual reading material to students may reduce failure rates. Students may be equipped to understand their academic work when it is presented in their home language. Another advantage of the translated open resource material is that multilingual education provides monolingual students with the opportunity to learn a second language and become bilingual. The booklet can be accessed by other institutions as they are loaded on the university website. The booklet aims to contribute towards the decolonization of tertiary curricula– a notion to which first-generation students have no reference. The booklet is in line with the vision of enabling a smart university, rooted in the spirit of Ubuntu. Recommendation: South African universities should adopt multilingual tools in their curricula to accommodate the students who are not English, or first language speakers to do better in their academic work