An Evaluation on Primary English Education in Taiwan: From the Perspective of Language Policy

  •  Ai-hua Chen    


There is a growing tendency in Asia for English as a foreign / second (EFL/ESL) programs to be implemented in the early years of primary schooling. Government policies supporting teaching primary school English are often framed in terms of globalization and the need to compete with other Asian neighbors. In the case of Taiwan, this notion increasingly has led government to support primary school English teaching curricula for all students and to parents spending large sums of money on private tutoring or out of school tuition. Arguments for this position are often based on the “earlier is better” ESL evidence, rather than on sound language policy settings and EFL research. As a consequence, problems and controversies have arisen related to inconsistencies that exist between the macro- and micro-level implementation forces. The purpose of this study is to explore these implementation issues and problems from a language planning and policy perspective through an examination of the language-in-education policy types required for the development of successful programs. This study concludes with some implications for the possible reforms of primary EFL education policy that aim to improve implementation in order to better serve the EFL learning needs of students in Taiwan.

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