Kiswahili versus English as medium of instruction in Tanzania secondary schools

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University of Dar es Salaam
The debate concerning the adoption of Kiswahili as MOI in secondary schools raised various arguments for and against its adoption. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to find out why English is used as MOI and not Kiswahili in Tanzania secondary schools. The study investigated factors that caused the use of English as MOI and not Kiswahili in Secondary schools. Specific Objectives which guided the study included: An analysis of the factors that have made English to remain as a MOI at secondary schools; an investigation of fundamental qualities that would promote a language to be an effective MOI; the characteristics which enable Kiswahili language to become an effective MOI at all education levels and assessing the extent of code switching between Kiswahili and English during teaching. The study was conducted in Dare es salaam, Dodoma and Shinyanga regions and involved 239 participants. The study was based on the criterion group research design and both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were employed during data collection. Data collection was undertaken through interviews, non-participatory observations and questionnaires. Data were both qualitative and quantitative in nature Findings revealed that respondents are in a dilemma on MOI in secondary schools. It was revealed that English as MOI affects teaching-learning processes and students' performance in examinations. It was found that teachers and students do not master MOI. Passiveness of the public on the use of Kiswahili as MOI, students' learning of English at later stage and lack of teaching and learning materials in Kiswahili discouraged the use of Kiswahili as MOI. Furthermore, code switching (English to Kiswahili) was found to enable students to understand the lesson. These led the researcher to recommend Kiswahili to be used as MOI in secondary schools and English to be taught as a subject because Kiswahili is mastered by the majority and English will enable students to communicate with others globally. In this regard, recommendations for immediate action and further studies were put forward for better MOI in secondary schools. Educating people on the importance of Kiswahili and availability of experts in both Kiswahili and content areas were among recommendations put forward for immediate action. Recommendations for further study included revisiting of the language policy, investigation of code switching in all subjects and application of Ashworth model country wide.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF LB1631.T34N9)
English language, Study and teaching, Secondary school, Tanzania
Nzingula, M. R. (2005) Kiswahili versus English as medium of instruction in Tanzania secondary schools. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.