Intervening Strategies to Cope with the Challenges of the Medium of Instruction

Eustard Rutalemwa Tibategeza


English is a medium of instruction in higher learning institutions in Tanzania. Some institutions put in place some strategies to help students improve their English. This paper is a result of the study conducted at Archbishop Mihayo University College of Tabora. The objectives of the study were to assess the impact of the Basic English course on the students’ English, to scrutinise the course contents and to analyse the teaching methods and techniques to see if they help students to outshine in the English language. The study employed questionnaire, interview, focus group discussions and documentary review as instruments of data collection. The findings indicate that Basic English course has not helped students to improve their English for academic and professional communication and the course content is beyond what ought to be included in a basic course. It was further established that due to large classes, Basic English course is taught through lecture method, which does not give the students an opportunity to interact. The paper recommends that a serious review for Basic English course be done and be taught by qualified staff with appropriate teaching and learning materials in manageable groups to allow meaningful interaction and language usage.

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