The use of participatory methods in teaching english language in large heterogeneous classes: the Case of Tanzanian Secondary Schools

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam,
Findings from many studies have indicated that the standard of teaching-learning of English in Tanzanian schools and colleges has deteriorated greatly in recent years. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has been emphasising the use of participatory teaching methods in order to alleviate the problem. The general objective of the study was to investigate the use of participatory methods in teaching English language in large heterogeneous classes in Tanzanian secondary schools. The study focused on the extent to which teachers of English language use participatory teaching methods in large heterogeneous classes, both teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards participatory methods, if class size affects the teaching of English language and the problems teachers and students encounter when teaching- learning in such classes. Six secondary schools were investigated, namely Morogoro, Forest Hill, Kigurunyembe, Mtwango, Njombe and Genesis. Ten English language teachers and 170 students were involved. Questionnaires, interviews and observation were the methods used in collecting data for this study. The findings revealed that to a large extent, teachers still use non participatory methods characterised by lecturing, and question and answer techniques. In addition, teachers’ and students’ attitudes were found to be positive, in the use of learner centred methods. However, the findings revealed that participatory methods cannot work in large heterogeneous classes if teachers are not well trained to handle such classes. Large class size, inadequate teaching and learning resources, lack of motivation among students and inadequate training on how to handle large heterogeneous classes were among the problems reported by both teachers and students. The study recommends urgent adoption of strategies aimed at improving the teaching-learning of English in secondary schools specifically focusing on the handling of large classes. Further studies should be conducted to find out the extent to which large heterogeneous classes pose problems to teachers and students
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF PE1128.A2T34M72)
English language, Study and teaching (Secondary), Secondary schools, Tanzania
Msambwa, E (2012) The use of participatory methods in teaching english language in large heterogeneous classes: the Case of Tanzanian Secondary Schools, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam