By Elliot Machinyise, Head of Language Department -Kwame Nkrumah University .
“There is excitement among Zambian Teachers after the presidential pronouncement about Zambian Teachers going to Madagascar to teach English. This is quite good move as it will give opportunity to many unemployed Teachers to replace those who would be redeployed to Madagascar
However, from a professional point of view it’s not every Zambian teacher that can teach in Madagascar. From an applied linguistic perspective, you can not teach a target language if you cannot speak the medium of instruction of learners. Firstly, we should understand the linguistic landscape of Madagascar. The official language is French while the national language is Malgache or Malagasy while English is a non domain foreign language. A non domain language is a language which is not used in any environment, it is artificial it is only used as classroom optional subject.
In order to teach a non domain foreign language we use two major approaches: the GRAMMAR TRANSLATION APPROACH and COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT). In Grammar translation approach we use the mother tongue of learners to teach the foreign language while in CLT we use the national language as medium of instruction although the target language is used through out the lesson.
Of course Zambian Teachers can use CLT to teach Madagascar learners but they will need the knowledge of the official language as medium of instruction. The only Zambians who can teach English in Madagascar are Teachers of French and English. Now how many Zambian Teachers with ENG/FRENCH combination?
The best the Madagascar govt can do is to bring their teachers to Zambia we teach them English the way we learnt French in France, Reunion and Burundi. Here in Zambia we were taught French by French lecturers with English background. Teachers of English should not think they will be teaching rewrites through out no, you need to explain through the medium of instruction, you need to give instructions through the medium of instruction. The other way is to subject Zambians to fast track French lessons either here or in Madagascar”
ZWD comment: It’s all bullshit. These are PF lies. No one wants Zambian teachers in Madagascar. Zimbabweans would have filled those positions by now.