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French Language teaching revolutionized in Tanzania

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Elimu (Education Forum)' started by BabuK, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

    Mar 18, 2012
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    As French Republic supplies computers and TV sets to schools
    A section of French language laboratory with modern computers supplied to Usagara Secondary School in Tanga Region by the government of France.

    The government of France has taken a step further in an effort to improve the teaching and learning of French Language in the country by introducing a new system whereby teachers and students will now use Information Technology ( IT) system and audio visual material in teaching and learning the international language.
    The new method of teaching and learning the language has been made possible in Tanzania schools and colleges after the French Republic through its embassy in Dar es Salaam began supplying TV sets, computers and printers to each school and college teaching French Language.
    To make learning French modern, fun and lively, students will now be subjected to audiovisual aids such as teaching modules, video clips, French songs, French films, TV reports and performances.
    All this is done as part of the French re-invigoration project conceived in 2008. Its implementation is done by the Tanzania government in collaboration with the Government of the French Republic. Mohamed Abdi is the Project Manager appointed by the French government to oversee the implementation of the project.
    Experts in language teaching and learning believe that incorporating information and communication technologies into language teaching materials puts all the advantages of multimedia into upgrading teaching methods and giving the language a more modern image.
    A French Language Curriculum Specialist from the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) Kizito Lawa has told The Guardian on Sunday that the French Republic has already supplied the material to Milambo, Usagara and Korogwe Secondary Schools and Korogwe Teachers College.
    According to Lawa, each school and college has been supplied with a 54-inch TV set, five desktop computers fully paid for two years with DSTV subscription until January 2014, and a printer.
    Other institutions lined up for the materials are Kigoma, Malangali, Zanaki, Aruha Secondary Schools and Tabora Teachers College. The curriculum specialist also told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that the lined up institutions will receive the materials by next month.
    In January this year the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the Prime Minister’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) and the Embassy of France, under the coordination of the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) held a five–day special seminar at Usagara Secondary School in Tanga region for French Language teachers on how best to employ the equipment in language teaching and learning.
    The specific objectives of the training were to enable teachers acquire knowledge on how to use TV 5 Monde -a French TV channel from which French programmes that could be used in language teaching and learning are derived.
    They would also learn to find materials using the new technology of IT especially TV 5 Monde and to identify different topics and sub topics from TV 5 Monde in connection with the syllabus (French syllabus) used in Tanzania.
    Other specific objectives of the training were to orient teachers on how to use video in teaching French at different levels of language teaching e.g. Form I, II, III and IV classes and use the materials offered in their schools in teaching and learning the French language.
    Frederique Gella, an expert in French language teaching from CAVILUM, the Centre d’Approaches Vivantes de Langue et Medias (Center of Modern Approaches for Languages and the Media in Vichy, France presided over the training. All expenses for her were paid by the French government.
    She told teachers that the use of IT and audio visual material proved to be the best method of language teaching and learning as it subjected language learners into active and live environment of language use.
    Kizito Lawa who doubles as French Language training coordinator urged teachers to judiciously exploit the training opportunity offered to them as their schools were set to be among institutions with the required technology in teaching and learning languages.
    However, such efforts by France to improve the teaching and learning of the language through IT and other audio visual material may be thwarted, considering the fact that some secondary schools such as Malangali (a school established on April 16 back in 1928) don’t have reliable power.
    Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar on behalf of TIE Director General Dr Paul Mushi, the TIE Director of Educational Material Design and Development Dr Leonard Akwilapo told The Guardian on Sunday that efforts must be made to ensure that solar power was installed in schools that lack reliable power supplied from the national grid.
    “For the school to be able to use such equipment the respective school’s French language laboratory must have reliable power. Where power is not available a special arrangement can be made so that such language laboratory can be supplied with power from a solar source,” Dr Akwilapo affirmed.
    As the French government in collaboration with the Tanzania government try to bolster the teaching of the international language in the country, some District Education Directors ( DEOs) have been noticed to be a stumbling block to the efforts as they have been reluctant to facilitate teachers to attend training in earmarked stations as directed by the central government.
    Lawa also told The Guardian on Sunday this week that the tripartite will organise another special seminar to be held at Usagara Secondary School in Tanga from March 26 to 30 in which 20 French Language teachers (National Trainers of Trainers- National TOTs) will be involved.
    The National TOTs will then be responsible for the training of their colleagues during the seminar to be held from April 19 to 20.
    Initiative to improve the teaching and learning of the French Language
    French language teaching began soon after the country’s independence in 1961 but in recent years the teaching of the language was beset by several hindrances, including shortage of teachers and teaching and learning materials, as well as absence of a common text book.
    The state of affairs prompted President Jakaya Kikwete to seek assistance from the French government to help revamp the teaching and learning of the language when he visited France in 2006 for the first time as Head of State.
    As the government was pondering the way forward, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the governments of France and Tanzania was signed in 2008, setting in motion a plan to re-invigorate the teaching and learning of the language qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
    After that agreement hundreds of French Language teachers have undergone on job training under the sponsorship of the two governments. Some teachers have undergone training in France and some in the country. The French government went further by supplying text and other reference books to secondary and primary schools teaching the French Language subject.
    Last year French Language teachers underwent special training on how to teach using a newly distributed text book called ‘On Y Va’ (Let’s go). Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) curriculum developers in support of the French embassy have all along beeng playing a major role in reinvigorating the teaching and learning of the language.
    French Subject Panel sits at TIE
    Selected French Language inspectors, teachers, tutors and an official from the National Examinational Council of Tanzania (NECTA) under the Chairmanship of University of Dar es Salaam French language lecturer Valentine Karugaba held a two- day panel meeting at TIE head office in which among other things panelists passed through the 2005 French Syllabuses for Primary, Secondary and Teacher education some of which have were revised in 2010. However, the panel was not happy with the examining standards set by NECTA in the Form Four French Subject National Examination that students did last year.
    According to the panel, some questions were difficult to be answered by Form Four Students. They said some questions in the examination paper did not take into consideration the level of language competence of the respective students.
    Due to such shortfalls, the panel proposed a special seminar for a section of French language teachers and some NECTA officials on how best to set questions, as far as the French Subject is concerned.