Investigating the instructional strategies in reading comprehension lessons in a public secondary school in Pemba

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelina Walli


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


In Tanzania, apart from being a medium of instruction in post primary education, English is taught as a compulsory subject both in primary and secondary schools. Research shows that the teaching of English in Tanzania has a lot of challenges. It is common that the school leavers (in public schools) have low English language proficiency lacking effective language skills. This study investigated how the instructional strategies used by teacher(s) of English in teaching reading comprehension develop learners’ comprehension skills reading in a public secondary school in Pemba. The qualitative case study employed study design to investigate the phenomenon in its natural setting. The study was sampled the form two class in one of the public secondary schools in Pemba. Data collected through classroom observations, semi structured interview, documents analyses and focus group discussions. Data analysis involved five stages: transcribing collating, organizing and coding, categorizing, interpretation and discussion. Findings reveal that the teacher used a variety of instructional strategies mostly teacher centered however, to some extent learner involvement was employed. The study further reports that the teacher in his efforts to successfully teach RC, he consequently dominated many parts of the lessons with less students' active participation. During the T/L process learners were taught RC to develop RC skills however, they faced various challenges; poor participation, language of instruction and poor confidence were amongst them. Both the teacher and students employed different measures to overcome some of the challenges: negotiated learning was one of those measures. Finally, the study recommends that teachers should undergo continuous in-door PDs to improve their practices; teacher educators need to revise the pedagogical content knowledge of the language courses and the policy makers to put in place criteria of English language teachers who are better equipped to assist the students not compound the student’s problems. The study further recommends on researching for the similar topic with a number of teachers with different experience, qualification and levels of teaching.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library