Language supportive teaching and textbooks in Tanzania: baseline study report

Author(s): Rubagumya, Casmir; Osaki, Kalafunja; Barrett, Angeline M.; Mtana, Noah

Date: 2014

Pages: 61 p. + 13 p.


The baseline research in this report was conducted as part of a research project directed at strengthening innovation and practice in the education of Form 1 students in Tanzania, who are making the transition from Kiswahili-medium primary education to English-medium secondary education. The baseline study was designed to generate recommendations for the design of a Biology, an English and a Mathematics textbook for Form 1. It involved data collection in 21 schools across Dodoma, Morogoro and Lindi regions and had three main parts: (i) a survey of 420 Form 1 students to assess their reading ability; (ii) a survey of the availability of textbooks in schools and teachers’ and students’ use of textbooks; and (iii) a review of Biology, English and Mathematics textbooks used in Form 1 classrooms.
The study found that the majority of Form 1 students are not ready to use English for academic purposes. Most schools do not have class sets of textbooks. The problem was most acute in Lindi, where across three subjects and seven schools, the authors found only one class set of a textbook.

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