Learning school subjects in English is a challenge to many Form I students. This is partly because they have been learning such subjects in Kiswahili when they were in primary school. The English textbook is intended to develop their English so that they can easily learn school subjects in the language. The book is easily accessible with activities to help students develop their abilities in reading for understanding, speaking, and writing. The activities also develop the students’ English vocabulary and grammar. Here are some of them:
- Language accessible. This means it is written in a simple way, with pictures and diagrams that allow all students in Form I to read it.
- Language supportive. This means that the activities in the textbook help students to develop their English for learning other subjects.
- Help with vocabulary. Firstly, they provide help with vocabulary. Reading passages about subjects contain many unfamiliar words. Sometimes these are words to do with the subject, such as cell, parasite, and micro-organism. Sometimes they are general academic words that students need to use when they study subjects, such as define, combine, and characteristic. The materials have glossaries which help students to check quickly the meanings of words they may not know. Sometimes there are also pictures and diagrams which help to show students the meanings of words in the text.
- Help with reading, talking and writing. Students also need help with reading about subjects. The texts in these materials have been written so that students can read them. There are often activities which students have to complete before, while or after they read. The activities are to help them understand the text. In addition, students need help with talking and writing about subjects. Very often they cannot talk easily in pairs and groups in English and the materials often give support for pair-work and group-work. Similarly students will find it difficult to write about subjects and there are activities in the materials which support them when they need to write.