The Language Supportive Teaching and Textbooks in Tanzania (LSTT) project is a collaboration between the University of Bristol (UK) University of Dodoma (Tanzania) Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, East Africa (Tanzania), and the Tanzanian Institute of Education. The project has also worked alongside associate partners: Jordan University College, Morogoro (Tanzania) and St. John’s University of Tanzania. It is funded through the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) for the period 2013-2015.
The project aims to address the needs of needs of students in Form I of secondary school who are making the transition from Kiswahili-medium primary schools to English-medium secondary schools. The majority of Form 1 students, in their first year of secondary education, are not ready to use English for academic purposes. Textbooks do nothing to help. Form I textbooks that claim to be designed for the Tanzanian syllabus are unreadable by most Form I students. They take no account of the well-known fact that the majority of lower secondary students in Tanzania, who had their primary education through the medium of Kiswahili, are not proficient in English. The textbooks use difficult language, long sentences and have whole pages of dense text. Fluent English speakers at the same stage in their education would struggle to read many Tanzanian textbooks.
The overarching goal of LSTT is to make textbooks and teaching accessible to students, through piloting language supportive innovations in disadvantaged rural schools. The project is developing a Language Supportive Pedagogy that works for teachers and students in low resourced bilingual classrooms in Tanzania. Classroom teaching is supported through the development of Textbooks for Form I Maths, Biology and English. Please browse this website, and take a look at the sample materials that the project is producing.