Exploring Taiwanese Primary English Education: Teachers’ Concerns and Students’ Perceptions

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Eri Osada, Kokugakuin University; Makiko Tanaka, Kanda University of International Studies


Taiwan officially started elementary school English education from Grade 5 in 2001 and from Grade 3 in 2005, and it is known as one of the countries neighboring Japan that exert strenuous efforts to promote English education. This study was conducted to investigate how elementary school teachers and their students perceived English education in an elementary school in Hsinchu, a major city in Taiwan. The researchers observed Grade 5 and 6 classes and interviewed a total of 24 students and 4 of their Taiwanese and foreign teachers. The results showed that the teachers had intense enthusiasm about grammar teaching and strong concerns about connecting the English education in elementary school with that of junior high school. Students, however, revealed that they had difficulties in acquiring English skills such as spelling and grammar knowledge while they found learning English to be important for their futures.