Radio used to teach English in Tanzania
- Published on 27 August 2012
The British Council has unveiled the second phase of a radio programme that seeks to assist English teachers in rural Tanzania who have limited access to training resources.
The programme which provides advice and training on teaching English at a basic level, is targeted at teachers of English with low level qualifications and a fairly limited knowledge of the language.
'Teaching English 2 ' which will be aired by the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) radio, hopes to improve the English languages abilities of teachers and students in the East African nation, where Swahili is the predominant language.
The free-to-air programme is based on a soap opera, Olba Air, which follows the lives of the staff and passengers of a budget airline in the city of Freeport. Worldwide, the soap opera "Obla Air" has been broadcasted in over 40 countries reaching 25 million listeners. It has also been produced in 12 different bilingual versions.
"It is a series of twelve 15-minute radio programmes aimed at English teachers with only limited training and a basic knowledge of the language," British Council English Learning Training Consultant Katherine Wilson told 'Tanzania Daily News'.
The first phase of the programme was launched in 2010 by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation and the British Council.
"Like the first phase, the second is designed to give assistance and guidance to English teachers, particularly those in more rural areas who have limited access to training resources," said Wilson.
During the first phase of the initiative, the ministry organised workshops for schools and teaching centre principals and distributed copies of the radio programme on CDs.
The Teaching English programmes have been recorded in many countries and are currently broadcasted in 14 other sub-Saharan African nations. In Sudan, the Learn English Radio programme was launched at the end of 2010 while in Sierra Leone, the British Council eraly this year partnered with the Standard Chartered Bank to roll out the programme.
Non-English speaking African countries have found themselves under pressure to equip their populations with English speaking skills, in the wake of rapid globalisation.