Universities and enhancement of english as a second language in Tanzanian secondary schools

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



It has become apparent that students arrive at the university with insufficient English language proficiency; this is despite that English is the medium of instruction at secondary schools and universities in Tanzania. Thus, considerable amount of time is wasted by students grappling with the language of instruction instead of learning their other subjects. Poor abilities in English as a Second Language (ESL) undermine university efforts of producing competitive graduates in the regional job market. If this trend continues, Tanzania’s goal of training requisite manpower for sustainable use ofScience, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in development will be difficult. There is little evidence that universities concrete measures to address students' ESL problems in secondary schools, which are the catchment areas. The study explored ways in which universities in Tanzania could intervene in strengthening students’ ESL in secondary schools. The study followed a qualitative research design to collect data using Key informants’ interviews from teachers and lecturers; Focus group 16 discussions with teachers, and Open-ended questionnaires to university students, and classroom observation in both secondary schools and universities. The findings show thatuniversities connect with secondary schools only during field practical training (FPT) of university student teachers. The study recommends that universities could intervene by providing in-service training opportunities to secondary teachers on new ideas on classroom ESL pedagogies; collaboration in research and practice (developing T/L materials), having common forums in addressing ELT in Tanzania with the aim of inputting what is happening in secondary schools into university practice and vice versa.


Journal article


ESL, Collaboration, Strengthening, Intervention, Research