Secondary School Graduates’ Personal Experiences in the Context of English-only Language of Instruction Within and Outside the School Setting in Tanzania
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DISSERTATION ABSTRACT Marko J. Mwipopo Doctor of Philosophy Department of Education Studies June 2016 Title: Secondary School Graduates’ Personal Experiences in the Context of English-only Language of Instruction Within and Outside the School Setting in Tanzania This dissertation documents the experiences of secondary school graduates in Tanzania who were instructed primarily through the English language. The study specifically examines the extent to which the English language facilitated or impeded the participants’ learning. This issue is important because Tanzania’s main educational goal at the secondary level is to build an egalitarian nation under the Education for Self Reliance (ESR) philosophy, advocated by J. K. Nyerere in 1967. The study employs symbolic interactionism as its primary method and utilizes frameworks and ideas from such fields as indigenous education and bilingual education. Works of scholars such as Frantz Fanon guided my work. The main focus of the study was to determine how Tanzanians see the language of instruction policy as relating to opportunity among students in secondary schools, i.e., whether Tanzanians frame the Swahili language as a problem, a resource, a right, or some other way, and how these language issues influence the cultural, economic, and political life of Tanzanians. Do Tanzanians see the Swahili language as a source of unity or divisiveness, as a means to some particular goals, or as a cause that needs to be fought for? This dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter I includes a brief description of the historical background of Tanzania and emphasizes ESR, the principle and core philosophy guiding Tanzanian education after independence. Chapter II is a literature review and an examination of the design of contemporary Tanzanian education and the problems and challenges faced by that system. Chapter III covers research methods used in my research, including an explanation of setting and context, analysis, and interpretation. Chapter IV presents findings of the study, including thematically grouped quotes and my interpretation of the quotes, grouped according to the three main views on Swahili and English languages. Chapter V bridges the research questions to the findings and reflects on the implications of the study and related literature for educational practice and policy in Tanzania.
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