Strategies for teaching from the front

  • If students have already studied the topic in primary school, they can only express their knowledge in Kiswahili. Therefore, use Kiswahili to ask them questions about their previous learning.
  • Use diagrams and pictures to illustrate concepts. Use the pictures in the book, or draw them on the board.
  • Write key concepts on the board. Repeat them and get students to say them.
  • Translate new concepts into Kiswahili. Draw attention to those words in the text.
  • Refer to the glossary in the book. Encourage students to use the glossaries.
    Use what students know already. Some of this knowledge will be in Kiswahili or a mother tongue. Get students to access their prior learning by asking them to talk in a vernacular language.
  • Check regularly whether students understand. Ask questions to check this. Short answers (e.g. yes/no questions) are easy to answer. If you ask questions that require a longer answer and the learners cannot give it in English, accept their answers in Kiswahili. You can then translate them into English.
  • Use Kiswahili strategically to help learning. For instance to get the meaning of key concepts.
    Remember that Form I students have to concentrate very hard to listen to English. If you talk for a long time in English, it will be difficult for them to keep focused on what you are saying.

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