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The medium of instruction in Tanzania: reflections on language, education and society

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The use of English as a medium in post-primary education in Tanzania raises issues of language education policy, of relations between English, education and science and of access to opportunities and economic dependency. It also underlies questions of power relations and of resource distribution. It is argued here that language education policy decisions are socio-economic, since they entail a reversal of power relations and may lead to certain groups in the community, whose language is not selected, finding themselves at the fringes of the socio-economic and political spectrum. Language policy is about choice, speaking rights, representation, since language is inseparable from politics and development. Education becomes a prerequisite for socioeconomic development in post-colonial Africa.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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