Pyrex Journal of Educational Research and Reviews(PJERR)

September 2016 Vol. 2(5), pp. 48-54

ISSN: 2985- 8879

Copyright © 2016 Pyrex Journals

Full Length Research Paper

The Intensity of Language of Instruction Problem in Tanzanian Universities: Is it a Numeracy and Literacy Background Case?

Issaya Lupogo

Department of Education Foundations and Teaching Management - Mzumbe University, Tanzania.

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 20th August, 2016


This paper presents the seriousness of the problem of English as Language of Instruction (LoI) in Tanzanian university students and instructors. This problem hinders strongly the learning and teaching process. The paper derives the causes of the problem and suggesting a way forward. This is mainly a literature and observational experience based study, which partly involves an interview. What justifies the seriousness of the problem includes; inability of both students and instructors to make consistent discussions in English (use of code-switching) which is accompanied by grammatical errors and mistakes. Language errors are also realised in students’ dissertations and other academic writings. It has been found that poor literacy and numeracy background are among the strongest causes of that problem in the sense that English is not effectively and totally exposed to children in their early education stages since many pupils use Kiswahili as LoI in many public primary and pre-primary schools. Other causes of the English language problem are: linguistic environment is highly covered by Kiswahili as it caters almost all people’ language needs, incompetent English teachers and lacking a culture of using English. The proposed way forward includes: officialising English to be used as LoI from pre-primary and primary schools in both public and private schools, intensifying English teaching and learning in secondary schools, and building a culture of using English. Finally, the government is advised to take measures to handle this educational challenge because the LoI is the heart of knowledge sharing, therefore, if the LoI is not clear to students and instructors, knowledge cannot be shared.

Keywords: Langauge of Instruction (LoI), Numeracy and Literacy, Post-primary Education.

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