Do Tanzanian Secondary School Teachers of English Use the Communicative Approach as Required? Lessons from Kilimanjaro Region

Doris H. Lyimo, Gastor Mapunda


English language teachers in Tanzania have been instructed to use the Communicative Language Teaching approach at the secondary level of education. The recommendation follows failures observed with structural approaches whose main claim is the teaching and learning of grammatical structures of English. The structural approaches used in Tanzania included situational language teaching and audiolingualism. Using classroom observation, semi-structured interview, and review of the teaching materials, the researchers show that the communicative approach is minimally practised in the classrooms, but is adequately included in the students’ textbooks used in shools. Teachers rarely use teaching materials, including textbooks. Additionally, formative examinations are not designed according to the requirements of the approach. As such, what was expected of the approach is, in the end, not achieved. It is therefore suggested that teacher training institutions and school inspectorate should help trainee and in-service teachers acquire the requisite skills and aptitude. Likewise, teacher guide books need to be availed to teachers for guidance.


Keywords: English language teaching, Tanzania, communicative language teaching, structural language teaching, Kilimanjaro Region

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 [ISSN 0856-9965 (Print)]