Teaching Problems

15782 Words May 18th, 2011 64 Pages
PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND THE PROBLEMS FACED WITH TEACHING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE An analysis of the obstacles in the way of effective pupil-centred teaching and learning of the English language in Tanzanian government primary school with recommendations

Katy Allen MBE Director, Village Education Project Kilimanjaro

Presented at The Forum on Community of Practice of Learner Centred Learning in Tanzania held at the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference Centre, Kurasini 18th – 19th August 2008

PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND THE PROBLEMS FACED WITH TEACHING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. An analysis of the obstacles in the way of effective pupil-centred teaching and learning of the English language in Tanzanian government primary schools with
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The textbooks need to set out many more classroom activities and exercises. The greatest need is for the teachers’ books to be in Swahili. This would be in-line with most other countries where the teachers’ materials are in the native language, or L1. For instance, in England teachers who teach French have all their teachers’ materials in English. This is essential if they are to understand the instructions and explanations. It is pretentious and suicidal in Tanzania to continue to give the teachers’ materials in English when Swahili is the commonly understood language. –2–

Another problem is the lack of differentiation between the pupils and the allocation of teachers. There is urgent need to differentiate between the younger pupils and the older pupils; partly because of the pupils’ developmental stages but also because of the allocation of teachers. Thus pre-primary, Standard I and Standard II pupils have teachers who are with them all day long and the teachers allocated to those pupils tend to have lesser subject skills than those teachers allocated to older pupils. The older pupils are taught English by teachers who have some subject knowledge, but who only teach for time-tabled 40 minute periods. These two categories deserve urgent, separate attention. Pre-primary, Standard I and Standard II pupils are only just beginning to gain literacy and numeracy skills in
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