Leopard Jacob Mwalongo


In Tanzania the English medium schools are now mushrooming and many parents send their children at very early age. These schools enroll children of pre-school to school age to learn through English a foreign language regardless of their proficiency in the first language. Therefore the study aims at examining these young learners’ competence as they learn through English as a foreign language in their English medium schools (EMS). Specifically the study intended: to identify reasons for parents sending their children in English medium school at early age; to identify factors influencing pace of learning in English at early childhood; to assess the impact of learning in English at early childhood on the perceived academic competence of the child; and to identify challenges facing parents sending their children to English medium schools. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approach. Random and purposeful sampling were used in getting sample for the study, the sampled size was 155.  Questionnaire for 150 parents/guardians and interview sessions with 5 early child education teachers were used for data collection. Results showed that majority of the parents sent  their children to English Medium schools (EMS) for future mobility of their children(53.0%), competence for higher learning (50.7%), better child care (84.7%),avoid congestion experienced in public schools (86.7%) and for quality education (68.0%).  Early child education teachers reported that parents’ awareness on education matters, cognitive ability of a child, differences in age, Social economic status of parents and child speech development influenced the pace of learning in English at early childhood. Furthermore, the impacts reported by teacher include; differences in performance of children, poor mastering of the subject which resulted to other children being sent to non-English medium schools due to their low proficiency in English and some parents complaints on their children competence. The study recommends For good results in academic competence of a child especially this particular context, parents , parents should also be involved in child learning, and early child education  teacher’s tolerance is much needed in child learning because every child is different from the other. Children should taught by professional and competent teachers who have specialized in early education.


early childhood, language, English medium schools (EMS), English language


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