Use of English As Medium of Instruction in Zimbabwean Primary Schools
Challenges, Attitudes and Perceptions
The study noted the language experiences of teachers and learners in the teaching- learning situations in the Zimbabwean junior primary schools.
This was based on the 1987 Education Act amended 1996 that English is the medium of instruction from grade four upwards.
The idea was to understand the problems English as the medium of instruction has presented to both teachers and learners.
The study found out that teachers and learners have used the language that worked in their circumstances disregarding what the language policy said; hence the policy had not directed teaching and learning.
The study observed that the use of English, ‘a one size fits all’ approach has not benefited the learners who are the direct beneficiaries of any language used in the classrooms.
The study recommends that there is need to revisit educational policies especially on language in order to address the discord between home language and the language of education.
There is need to strengthen supervisory capacities of schools inspectors so that implementation of policies is taken seriously.
It should be noted that any language policy should have its roots in the people so that it services them effectively.
Tafara Joyline Mufanechiya (nee Mushambi) holds a Master of Education in Curriculum Studies and is currently a Curriculum Theory lecturer in the Teacher Development Department at Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
She is also a holder of a B.A General Degree and Graduate Certificate in Education both from the University of Zimbabwe.