Why English language is still an underperforming subject in Tanzanian Secondary Schools?

Why English language is still an underperforming subject in Tanzanian Secondary Schools?

What is actually missing in order to improve the performance?


MOTION: We have a lot of best English Grammar books and we extensively use them in teaching English. But why English language is still an underperforming subject? What is actually missing in order to improve the performance?

The following are the aspects which make English Language Subject underperforms:
[1] Teaching English language in isolation.
[2] Lack of enough exercises in the language  teaching (both oral and written exercises).
[3] Inadequate teaching skills.
[4] Poor learning environment in most public schools.
[5] Most English Language Teachers usually act as translators, not as teachers or tutors. 
[6] Most English Language Teachers fail to express what they teach into simple English language (Simplicity)!
[7] Most of English language leaners lack the foundation. Their foundation is poor. 
[8] Big classes. Teachers teach beyond their capabilities due to overloaded classes, hence difficult to make a follow-up of english speaking.
[9] Low motivation to the teachers.
[10] Teachers are not the role models in using English language.
[11] Lack of sufficient books including dictionaries. There should be the ratio of 1 book per student.
[12] Lack of English Language Learning facilities like Language Lab etc.
[13] The education system.
[14]  Shortage of teachers.

[1] English Language should be taught stage by stage.
[2] When taught, English Language should not be isolated. It should be incorporated into other learning areas. 
[3] Language is best learnt through imitation.
[4] Teachers themselves must love speaking english during teaching!
[5] English Learners should be able to coceptualize what is spoken by the teacher.
[6] Self motivation(intrinsic) for the teachers.
[7] Swahili speaking should be left to Swahili teachers only!
[8] Teachers should love English language and students will be influenced.
[9] The students should be prepared to exercise by themselves.
[10] Teaching from simple to complex.
[11] Motivating learners to learn.
[12] To solve learner's individual learning difficulties.
[13] Teaching through Problem solving method.
[14] Using entertaining teaching techniques like role-playing, simulations, songs, visuals, etc.
[15] To teach through Story telling method.
[16] To encourage Discussion methods to enable students interact freely.
[17] Encouraging Field trips for students.
[18] To teach through Project methods to encourage students' curiosity.
[19] Teaching through Demonstration method.
[20] Good class control and management.
[21] Portrayal and Cultivation of Good characters to both teachers and students.
[22] Keeping the diary. Both teachers and students have to keep the diaries.
[23] Teachers should be true Masters of the subjects they teach.
[24] Effective communication.
[25] Initiation and maintenance of contact with parents/Guardians.
[26] Flexibility in teaching and other education matters.
[27] Teachers should be the Resources providers.
[28] Teachers are Mentors.
[29] Creativity is the key.
[30] Dedication is a drive for the success.
[31] Teachers to upgrade themselves by reading and improving the skills they don't have.
[32] English teachers should be happy to use english at school.
[33] English teachers to stop uttering discouraging words.
[34] Teachers are the ones who are supposed to influence english speaking at our school surroundings!
[35] We must encourage students to speak, speak, and speak.
[36] To start practising English at primary level.
[37] English language teachers should be the examples.
[38] English Language Teachers should be the ones who speak English always to all students and to some teachers.
[39] Kiswahili teachers should also play their role by speaking Kiswahili to their students to to some teachers as well.
[40] English and Kiswahili Speaking Competitions. English teachers and other subjects teachers should compete with Kiswahili teachers in speaking.

I can personally wrap up this motion by tabling the following questions for all of us: 
(1) Why shouldn't we advise the government to conduct interviews for the English teachers before they are employed on permanent basis?
(2) Why is it difficult to change? Is it because we are assured of the permanent employment?
(3) Why do private schools make English language compulsory in their schools and we can't afford this in government schools?
(4) Why have we left the tuition centres to teach people spoken English after we have failed to make them speak in our public schools?

Frankly speaking, Aspects which contribute to underperforming of English Subject in Tanzania should be solved by the government, teachers, parents as well as the students. 

The government and other educational stakeholders should establish better English Language Learning facilities and make sure that the materials like books and computers are distributed equally and adequately. 

English Language Teachers should at least follow the requirements which should be maintained in order to make the English Language Subject performs well. 

Parents and guardians have to be advised on the importance of buying books for their own children. 

Students should be taught stage by stage and from simple to complex. 

Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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