The teaching and learning of English in Tanzania Primary schools

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University of Dar es Salaam
This dissertation is an evaluative study about how well English is taught and learnt in primary schools of Mainland Tanzania. It examines a number of key factors such as pupils’ attitudes towards the English language, their motivation and opportunities to learn it, teachers’ competence in the subject, the appropriateness and effectiveness of teaching methods and classroom techniques, and the quality of teaching materials. The research was of four weeks duration, conducted in two primary schools (one urban, the other rural) of Mwanza Region. It was expected that the urban category would have more opportunities to learn and would therefore show better achievements in the English language. It was further expected that pupils in both types of school would generally show a low motivation to learn English due partly to the national language policy with its emphasis on the extensive use and exaltation of Kiswahili, and partly due to the assumption that they wouldn’t have much need of it after school, except for those who would go to secondary school. The findings of the study indicate that most pupils have a positive attitude towards English and are highly motivated to learn it. They however demonstrate a very low achievement in the English language due to very poor teaching to which they are subjected a factor which puts both types of school on same level of ability and competence in the language. Based on these findings, a recommendation is made that teacher quality should be improved through in service courses (for the serving teachers) and through an improved teacher training programme. Also there is an urgent need to combat teacher apathy by improving their working conditions and showing appreciation of teachers who work hard instead of treating them uniformly with the “bad lot” who don’t perform their work diligently or who do not do any work at all. A revision of the English course books is also recommended. The dissertation is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 sets the problem of the study in a historical context for a closer examination of socio-economic factors as dictated by our colonial heritage factors whose effects continue to be felt and to affect English learning to date. It also discusses pedagogical issues such as different methods of language teaching. Chapter 2 describes the methods that were used to carry out the investigation and how data were collected. Chapter 3 gives the findings of the investigation, analyses them and discusses them briefly. Chapter 4 interprets these findings and further discusses some of their implications. Chapter 5 is a general conclusion of the study, giving some recommendations and suggestions for further investigation.
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English language, Study and teaching (Primary), Tanzania, Swahili pupils
Katigula, B.A (1976) The teaching and learning of English in Tanzania Primary schools, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )