Examination of the implementation of English as a foreign language curriculum in Taiwan's elementary schools

Chin-Chi Lai, Fordham University


One purpose of this study was to examine the nature of teacher implementation of EFL curriculum in Taiwan's elementary schools. It attempted to provide insights into the EFL classrooms as to the language components taught, materials utilized, teaching style applied, and assessment tools implemented as well as the nature of language used by teachers and students. Another purpose was to determine the extent to which and in what areas teachers implemented the curriculum guidelines published by Taiwan's Ministry of Education (MOE). This study served as an exploratory study to investigate the actual implementation in the 3rd-grade English classroom settings.^ Eight 3rd-grade EFL teachers in 8 Taiwanese public elementary schools, 4 urban schools and 4 rural, participated in this study. Each of them was observed for six 40-minute class sessions with a researcher generated observation instrument and taking field notes. The teachers were also interviewed and samples of instructional materials were collected.^ Findings revealed that teachers focused on the teaching of vocabulary and pronunciation and stressed listening and speaking skills. Little culture was taught. Textbooks were the main instructional materials and also the base of teachers' curricula. The blackboard was used most frequently and teachers favored flashcards. Teaching style tended to be teacher-student collaborative, but activities were mainly teacher-directed. Performance assessment was the main assessment tool. In the area of language use, oral language was the primary language mode and both teachers and students used English more than Chinese or a mixture of the two languages. English was used by teachers for many simple and common classroom utterances in addition to the learning contents per se. Chinese was necessary when explaining rules or concepts and managing classrooms. English was used more by students when talking in chorus, but they often used Chinese when speaking individually.^ The observed EFL classroom curriculum was in general accordance with MOE curriculum guidelines.^ The study further conducted post hoc analysis to compare rural and urban classrooms. Results showed no significant differences between the rural and the urban classes.^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Elementary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Chin-Chi Lai, "Examination of the implementation of English as a foreign language curriculum in Taiwan's elementary schools" (January 1, 2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3255065.