Balancing Bilingualism: English Language policy in Tanzania and Sweden

The school grounds of Kigrunyembe Demonstration School, Morogoro Tanzania. Photo by Kate O Donnell.Education policy has long been regarded as one of the most important parts of a country’s long-term economic and social development – and Tanzania is no exception. In Tanzania today there is a bilingual educational structure in which Swahili is the language of instruction in primary schools and English is the language of instruction in secondary schools. The national website of Tanzania highlights this policy as ‘the main feature of Tanzania’s education system’ and is regarded by officials as a cornerstone to the country’s progress. Although there are sharp differences between Tanzania and a Western European country such as Sweden, it is intriguing to note that similarities exist between the two countries in relation to the role and influence of a national language on both economics and culture.

By Kate O Donnell