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December 05, 2013

Education | ELT People | Tanzania

Teaching English abroad is about educating the people who really need it

Victoria Harris has taught English as a foreign language for almost 13 years and has set up a school in Tanzania for disadvantaged children.

Victoria Harris has travelled the world teaching English as a foreign language. Now her quest to make a difference through education has led her to start her own school in Tanzania.

My heart has always been in Africa. I taught in Hong Kong for three years, but although I loved the city, it was very materialistic – all about money and shopping centres. I just wanted to do something completely different so decided to become a volunteer. My parents had both been English teachers in Kenya and we lived in Africa for a couple of years when we were kids. I had always wanted to go back, so I found a small non-profit organisation called the MondoChallenge Foundation which sends volunteers to various countries. The original plan was to return to Kenya but they needed people more in Tanzania and they set me up with a placement there.

Improvisation is key to an ESL (English as a second language) teacher's survival. I came to Tanzania for three months, living with an African family and teaching at a primary school with 120 kids in the class. There was no electricity and no running water. At the time, I had six years teaching experience so I was ok. But I think if I had done it earlier in my career it would have been a struggle. You have to improvise. You have these huge blackboards, but the chalk is such bad quality that it just disintegrates. You would be writing something on the board and it just dissolves into powder. It's therefore important to find ways to get the kids involved. If you've got 120 children in the class with some sitting right at the back who can't even see the board, a lot of it is just about getting them to take part. So, I used songs and games where they had to come up and write something on the board.

Read the full article from The Guardian.

Photograph: EllyHarris Learning Centre

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August 08, 2013

Tanzania | Crime

Zanzibar: Acid thrown on two British women volunteer teachers

teach-English-in-Tanzania.jpgCNN reports on two British women who were the victims of an acid attack in Tanzania. The two were teaching English on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar through i-to-i Travel.

Two British women were injured in an acid attack carried out by two men on a motorcycle on the east African island of Zanzibar, local police said Thursday.

The women, who were attacked in Stone Town, the island's historic center, had been working as volunteer teachers on the island, travel firm i-to-i Travel said. Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular with tourists.

The attack occurred Wednesday night as the women were walking unaccompanied along a street, said police commander Muccadam Khamis. The attackers, who did not take anything from their victims, left the scene on the motorbike, he said. The women were taken to a local medical center for first aid treatment, he added.

British consular officials then helped them reach the city of Dar es Salaam, on the Tanzanian mainland, where they received hospital treatment, he said. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are concerned to hear of an attack on two British nationals in Zanzibar on 7 August. We are providing consular assistance and are in contact with the Tanzanian authorities."

The women, who were in the final week of their trip when they were attacked, have now been discharged from the hospital in Dar es Salaam, i-to-i Travel said in a statement.

Read the full story from CNN.

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May 15, 2013


ELT news from Tanzania

Teaching-English-in-Tanzania"A couple of recent related stories about plans to improve English teaching in Tanazania.

Plans Afoot to Boost English Teaching
The Tanzanian and British governments are embarking on an ambitious project of English Language improvement to help address education quality in primary and secondary schools. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the British Council, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have pledged to develop the project.

Read the full story from

British Council Launches English Teaching Course
The British Council in collaboration with the Tanazanian Institute of Education will launch a programme to support teachers in learning English language teaching methodology. The programme would involve 34 government Teacher Teaching Colleges (TTCs) to improve English language teaching in Tanzanian schools. Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the British Council former Country Director, Ms Sally Robinson, said education should be given top priority.

Read the full story from

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About Tanzania

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to ELT News in the Tanzania category. They are listed from newest to oldes.

South Africa is the previous category.

Many more can be found by looking through the archives.

Recent Headlines


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Helene J Uchida
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Useful Links


  • ALTEThe Association of Language Testers in Europe
  • British CouncilInformation, resources, and links to other sites
  • Cambridge English Language AssessmentInformation on examination and qualifications for teachers and students
  • IALICInternational Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • IALLTInternational Association for Language Learning Technology
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