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Volume 3 Number 1, Spring 2006, Pages 1-175   

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An Overall Evaluation of Elementary English Education in Taiwan

    Kate Tzu-Ching Chen

Inter-cultural communication became especially important in Taiwan after the government decided to develop Taiwan into an Asian-Pacific economic center. This economic decree resulted in communication abilities becoming a primary expectation for all Taiwanese citizens. Knowing that, an appropriate place to begin to assess or improve the ability to communicate is to examine the educational system, and that review is the subject of this study. The researcher conducted a telephone survey that collected data from a random sample of 150 elementary English teachers throughout Taiwan to investigate teacher's practices and beliefs toward Elementary English Education in Taiwan. A five-point Likert-type scale was used to measure respondents' practices and beliefs. Data was analyzed using SPSS according to the seven pre-selected variables: teachers' qualifications and training, materials, teaching methods, assessment polices and practices, content/curriculum of English enclosures, environment, and culture. The open-ended questions revealed the survey participants found teachers hope to implement in the programs for increasing the number of qualified teachers, adding teacher qualification policies, and dividing students according to their English abilities. In addition, the teachers reflected that MOE made a smart move by implementing the program immediately upon realizing the importance of the English learning needs among elementary students.