English is one of the two official languages of Uganda besides Kiswahili. As a subject, English is taught in all primary schools in
Uganda and examined at the end of the Primary school curriculum in Primary Leaving Examinations. It is a medium of instruction from P1-P7 for learners whose first language is not any Ugandan mother tongue. For learners whose first language is not English, it is the medium of instruction from P4-P7. In settings such as urban centres where there is no common area local language, English is used as the medium of instruction from P1-P7.
In all schools in Uganda, English is taught daily. From P1-P3 the period for English takes 30 minutes and there are 5 periods in a week. In P4, P6 and P7 English is allotted 7 periods whereas in P5 it has 6 periods, each with a duration of 40 minutes.
Benefits of Teaching/Learning English
The several ways learners in Uganda benefit from studying English can be summarised as follows:
Firstly, they acquire effective utility of the four basic language skills, namely; Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Various activities are designed to help learners develop the language skill.
Secondly, learners develop the confidence to express themselves in both oral and written English. Learners become proficient in written English by spelling words, using learnt vocabulary and structures in both oral and written form, completing puzzles, reading and answering questions about various texts and interpretation of data. Through play lets, language games, dialogues, reciting poems, impromptu speeches, discussions and debates learners become fluent in spoken English.
Thirdly, learners acquire the appropriate language to use in a variety of situations for instance while greeting, making requests, advertising, extending invitations, and writing letters. During shopping, banking, celebrations, debating, discussions, making statements, to mention but a few, learners are able to communicate fluently.
Lastly, learners are prepared to pursue life-long education besides getting a foundation for future careers like Journalism, Mass communication, Law, Public Relations and so forth.