The LSTT project aims to make textbooks and teaching accessible to second language learners in disadvantaged rural secondary schools in Tanzania. English is the medium of instruction in all Tanzanian secondary schools but the majority of students start secondary with very low levels of English proficiency. The project will support the development of a Biology, Mathematics and English textbook for first year of secondary school. All three textbooks will be written accessibly and suggest classroom learning activities that support language acquisition. In the process, the project aims to raise awareness and establish sustainable in-country expertise on textbook design for second language learners in Africa. How textbooks impact on learning depends on how they are used. The project will also review in-service teacher education programmes to see how language supportive teaching strategies promoted in the textbooks can be integrated into existing programmes.
The project is led by the University of Bristol and is a collaboration with the University of Dodoma, the Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University East Africa Campus and the Tanzania Institute of Education. It is funded through the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE).
Bristol and Tanzanian researchers will work with the government of Tanzania to develop textbooks for first year of secondary school in Tanzania. The books will be designed to match the language abilities of students, most of whom start secondary school with limited knowledge of English. The project will also work with teachers and teacher educators to make sure that the textbooks are used in ways that support students’ language learning.