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The relevance of language activism: Taking stock of use of Kiswahili and local languages in education in Tanzania

Mwajuma Vuzo


This paper highlights the relevance of language activism for advancing multilingualism and linguistic diversity in Tanzania. The paper accentuates the current use of local languages (LLs) and Kiswahili in education in Tanzania. The Education and Training Policy of 2014 allows both English and Kiswahili to be used at all levels of education as subjects and as languages of instruction. Despite this policy, Kiswahili is still taught as a subject but not used as the language of instruction at post-primary levels of education. On the other hand, local languages are spoken as either the first or second languages by the majority of the population but are neither taught in school curriculum nor mentioned in the Education and Training Policy 2014. The theories guiding this paper are critical theory that gives a critical perspective on the use of languages; and additional language learning that emphasises expanding ones linguistic repertoire through learning more languages by adopting the ecology of language perspective. This paper emphasises the need to promote language diversity through furthering the use of Kiswahili as a language of instruction at postprimary levels and by local languages featuring in the education domain to ensure the transfer of the languages to subsequent generations. The current focus has been on learning Kiswahili, English and other foreign languages. Generally, the paper emphasises the need to ensure that multilingualism is

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eISSN: 0023-1886