Multilingual Education and Education Policies in Taiwan Public Elementary Schools: Teachers' Perspective and Experience
The number of new immigrants and international marriages is increasing in Taiwan, resulting in growing interest in multicultural and multilingual education. The purpose of the present study was to explore public elementary school teachers’ perspectives and experiences regarding the implementation of education policies for new immigrants and their children through an in-depth analysis of a principal, teachers, and parent-teachers at two public elementary schools in rural Taiwan. I examined education policies that were established in response to concerns involving the new immigrants and their children in Taiwan. Using an interpretive phenomenology methodological framework, I obtained a deeper understanding of elementary school teachers’, principal’s, and parent-teachers’ experience of teaching English and their mother languages and how they perceive the new immigrant children compared with Taiwanese children. The findings of this study are based on interviews, class observations, education policy documents, and field notes. I applied culturally responsive teaching theory to enhance the analysis and interpretation of the findings. The teachers perceived multicultural education as increasing cultural awareness, developing positive racial and ethnic attitudes, and addressing the inequality and social justice of new immigrant groups. From the participants’ experiences and perspectives, this study presents a deeper understanding of the multicultural and multilingual practices in the elementary schools in Taiwan.
Phillion, Purdue University.
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