Developing Secondary School Learners’ Competencies in Speaking and Writing in English: A Study of Teachers’ Strategies in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Edda L. Msimbe

St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

Prospery M. Mwila *

St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


English language is the current medium of instruction in Tanzanian secondary schools. Tanzanians are often concerned about the fact that the majority of secondary school students lack communicative and linguistic competence and are unable to communicate effectively in English without periodically switching codes to Kiswahili. Teachers’ ignorance of teaching strategies to positively assist students in learning the English language has been largely blamed for students' low English competencies. This study explored the strategies used by teachers to develop learners’ competencies in speaking and writing English in community secondary schools and private secondary schools. Specifically, the study aimed to explore existing teaching and learning strategies for developing student competencies in speaking and writing skills and to investigate teachers’ experience in developing competencies in speaking and writing skills in English language subjects. The study relied on a mixed research approach and a descriptive survey design. A sample size of five heads of English departments, 14 subject teachers and 204 students from selected secondary schools was used. The data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, document reviews, and observation and analysed by descriptive statistics and content/thematic analysis. The findings revealed that teachers of English subjects were not conversant with contemporary strategies of teaching English language. Additionally, the structure of the classroom, the quantity of students, and the lack of teaching and learning resources made even the traditional strategies ineffective. The study concluded that secondary school students in Tanzania are confronted with the twin task of learning the subject matter and the language at the same time that their teachers face the additional challenge of utilising the most effective instructional strategies to support their English language competencies. For students to acquire the competencies needed, English should be well taught using effective strategies and enable students to be equipped with the language skills.

Keywords: Teaching strategies, writing skills, speaking skills, learner competency, English language, secondary schools, Tanzania

How to Cite

Msimbe , E. L., & Mwila, P. M. (2023). Developing Secondary School Learners’ Competencies in Speaking and Writing in English: A Study of Teachers’ Strategies in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 6(3), 170–185. Retrieved from


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