Research Project: Strategies in English Language Teaching in Ethiopia and Wider Africa

Project leader
Irene Gilsenan Nordin
Tekeste Negash
Project Members
Project Period
Project Status
This project examines strategies in English language teaching in Africa with special focus on the link between English as a language of instruction and the production of knowledge in schools. The chapter addresses language policy in a number of African countries, with special reference to Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, exploring such topics as the effects of language policies since independence, the criteria by which decisions regarding the medium of instruction are made, and the implications of the actual language policies in the different countries. In many African societies, growing enrolment and diminishing investment in education appear to have led, on the one hand, to a decline in the use of English and, on the other hand, to the growth of local languages, such as Tswana, Amharic and Swahili. This project reviews current trends on the status of English and attempts to highlight emerging strategies (intended, as well unintended) that challenge its continued use. Also explored is the effect of exclusion of indigenous languages, which is the result of language policies in most African countries (Bamgbose: 2000). In this respect the recognition of an official language has important implications for all citizens, since this language is used for all official transactions and as a teaching medium at most levels of education. The result of exclusion by language is the emergence of two classes of citizens, one advantaged class, who are included in the elite group and have access to the best education, where English language teachers are well-qualified and the language is consequently well-taught, and a disadvantaged class, who are excluded because they do not have access to good English language teaching.
English language teaching strategies; Africa, English language teaching strategies; Africa
Research Profile
Language, Learning and Culture
Högskolan Dalarna