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Language of Instruction and its Impact on Quality of Education in Secondary Schools: Experiences from Morogoro Region, Tanzania

The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)
Publication Date
  • Design
  • Education


The purpose of this study is to assess teacher, student and parent opinions on the impact of language of instruction on students’ understanding during instruction. Also it sought to know whether they preferred a different language to be used as a medium of instruction in Tanzania secondary schools. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. This study used questionnaire, observation and one to one interview. The questionnaire was administered to teachers and students while face to face interview was conducted to parents. This study involved 408 respondents. It was found that 69.5% of students could not understand when taught in English language through classes. Also 78.9% of teachers said that English language was a setback to a student academic achievement. Surprisingly, 64.5% of teachers, 53% of parents and 78.1% of student respondents preferred teachers to use English as a language of teaching and evaluation. In the mean time, 71.4% of students felt that it was better for teachers to use both Swahili and English during classes. This study recommends the use of both, English and Swahili in teaching and evaluation, that is, students should write their exams in either of the languages. The study concludes that using English language as a medium of instruction contributes to poor academic performance among students, thus resulting in poor quality education. Key words: Language of instruction, English, Swahili

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