Learning English in Taiwan's Elementary Schools

by Wu, Tzu-Ying

ABSTRACT

The learning of English is a significant education policy issue in Taiwan. The government of Taiwan tries hard to improve students’ English language competence. When policy-makers launch a policy on learning, they need to consider both external and internal learning factors at the same time. The external aspect deals with the reasons for the learning: learning for use in day-to-day life or specifically for a test. The internal part concerns those people most affected by the policy – i.e. students and teachers. In this paper, I explore the English-learning policy of New Taipei City in Taiwan, by reference to both its external and internal parts. I then use futures studies methods to discover some alternative futures in English learning – concluding that the preferred future is “Gaming English”, with the learning focused on students and on using English in daily life. To bring this preferred future about, I suggest some policies to help teachers change their teaching methods in order to achieve sustainable futures.

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