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English Teachers' Perspectives on Implementing English-taught Programs in Tainan City, Taiwan

Abstracts


The emergence of English as the world's most common language has had a considerable impact on English educational policies and practices. In Taiwan, for example, the Ministry of Education has encouraged English language instruction in higher education, with the hope of enhancing college students' English proficiency and their ability to use English as a learning tool. Recently, similar efforts have been made by bureaus of education in Taiwan's major cities so that English skills can be built and developed at a young age. In 2015, the Tainan City Government in Taiwan announced a 10-year plan to adopt English as its official second language. One of the action plans involves a reorientation of primary and secondary school education to have courses taught in English. This paper reports the result of an English teacher survey conducted from July to October, 2016, the main goal of which was to investigate and compare what Tainan City's English teachers at the primary (n=265) and junior high school (n=209) levels thought of the policy. The findings are organized into four broad categories, with the first three being (1) teachers' views on English instruction, (2) appropriate classroom tasks to be instructed in English, and (3) potential challenges and training needs. In the fourth and final section, teachers' written responses are summarized to enrich the quantitative data. The findings reveal that, in comparison to the junior high respondents, primary school teachers showed stronger support for the policy, had higher confidence in their ability to leach in English, and presented more appropriate instructional events and learning tasks where English instruction could be deployed. The data thus suggest that implementation starting at the primary educational level and the timing of English instruction is more suitably determined by types of activities rather than by the percentage of class time in which English is taught. Since teachers' beliefs affect how they teach, and their opinions of a specific policy can exert an important influence on the success or students acquiring English as a basic skill, it is hoped that this study's findings will contribute lo Taiwan's English education policy formulation.

References


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Cenoz, J. Genesee, F. & Gorter, D. (2014). Critical analysis of CLIL: Taking stock and looking forward. Applied Linguistics 35, 243-262. doi: 10.1093/applin/amt011
Doiz, A. Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2011). Internationalisation, multilingualism and English-medium instruction. World Englishes, 30(3), 345-359. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-971X.2011.01718.x

Cited by


Lin, L. C. (2017). Using Informational Picture Books to Integrate English Learning and Curricular Content: CLIL Pedagogical Framework and Activities for EFL Primary Schools. English as a Global Language Education (EaGLE) Journal, 3(2), 25-44. https://doi.org/10.6294/EaGLE.201712_3(2).0002
Curran, J. E., & Chern, C. L. (2017). Incorporating English into a Science Camp: Perspectives from English Teachers. English as a Global Language Education (EaGLE) Journal, 3(2), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.6294/EaGLE.201712_3(2).0001

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