chapter  6
25 Pages

English education in Zimbabwe: testing communicative competence

Background In Zimbabwe, as in other anglophone African countries, the education system in colonial times was modelled on the one in Britain - indeed, the British model was followed particularly closely because the country's substantial settler community demanded an education for their children that was comparable to what they would have had at home. Thus, a British curriculum was followed, textbooks for all subjects were originally imported from Britain, and the examinations on which certificates were based were provided by British examining boards such as the Associated Examination Board and the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Needless to say, the language of instruction was English, and both curricula and teaching methods were based on the assumption that students were native speakers or had native speaker proficiency.