Linguist landscape of public health institution in Tanzania The case of Muhimbili National Hospital

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University of Dar es salaam
This is sociolinguistic study pursued to investigate the Linguistic landscap (LL) of a public health institution in Tanzania. Specifically, the study aimed to accomplish three sociolinguistic concerns--the nature of linguistic landscape of Muhimbili National Hospital MNH) the influence of linguistic landscape on access to information at MH and the coping strategies that are used by hospital clients to access information in the LL at MNH when they fail to understand is written on signboards. Data for this work which included photographs and interview narrative s from LL actors came primarily from MNH in Dar es salaam, Tanzania A total of 225 public signs from various areas of activity at MNH were purposively sampled through observation method and 20 respondents were purposively and conveniently sampled through interview during the field survey. The current study adopted sociolinguistic framework by Backhaus (2005) and spolsky (2009) which substantiates the explorative analysis of public signs by focusing on theoretical constructs like: LL actors, language choice and preference, motive for language function in the LL and the way these constructs influence access to information on the part of the reader(s) in the public space. The study employed a case study design to examine the nature of LL at MNH as a particular case and its influence on access to information. Results show that MHN,s linguistic landscape is predominantly controlled by top-down actors than bottom -up actors in which 96% of public signs analysed were top-down items. In terms of language choice and preference three languages were more visible in the linguistic public space of the hospital -- English, Kiswahili, and Chinese, but English was more visible in both monolingual and bilingual signs showed that most of sign were mainly disseminating information related to health promotion. Administration regulation and responsibilities. Furthermore two coping strategies used by hospital clients when they failed to understand what was written on signboards were identified -- there are asking other fellows at the hospital and using personal experience on the area and its compounds. Results concluded that the LL of the hospital does not guarantee access to information to the majority of hospital clients due to the language patens used on public signs. In order to improve access to information in the LL of the hospital and address linguistic needs of hospital clients, the study recommended adaptation of Kiswahili –English language pattern or bilingual policy in which two languages are used for public signage.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF 1775.8T34C32)
Sociolingustics, Public health, Muhimbili National Hospital, Public hospital, Tanzania
Mdukula, P. C. (2018) Linguist landscape of public health institution in Tanzania The case of Muhimbili National Hospital,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.