• The Tanzanian student's struggle with the English language: acquisition of English as a second language, with specific focus on the education system in Tanzania

      Lattin, Mary (2018-12)
      The way medium of instruction is set up in Tanzania’s public school system is unique. In primary school, students are taught in Swahili, the national language, but upon their transition to secondary school, they are taught solely in English. This transition occurs at a time where students have not even gained full mastery in Swahili yet which causes there to be a lack of transferable linguistic skills from first to second language acquisition. There is an emphasis placed on English in education in Tanzania because it is viewed as the language of success. Policy makers in Tanzania do not realize that educational success and attractiveness for future careers are two different things and should be treated as such. The current system in Tanzania is producing students that are not succeeding in their academic subjects as well as not becoming proficient in the English language; it is setting up their students for failure. The language problem is only exacerbated by a lack of funding for schools and unqualified teachers. In order for Tanzania to truly produce successful students, a serious change needs to be made to their system regarding language in their schools. The best option would be a true bilingual education program where an equal emphasis would be placed on English and Swahili.