Taiwanese Mothers as Their Child’s First English Teacher: Issues and Challenges

Yi-Chen Lan,Jane Torr,Sheila Degotardi
page. 1~18 / 2013 Vol.7 No.3


In Taiwan, current policy encourages parents to participate fully in their children’s education and toregard themselves as their children’s first teacher. There is, however, little data about whether mothersdo indeed perceive themselves as a “teacher” of English language and literacy to their pre-school-agedchildren in home contexts. Nor is it clear how they enact this role and responsibility during everydayinteractions with their children. This study investigated Taiwanese mothers’ views about their role intheir children’s English language learning. Six mothers of children aged three to six years participated inan extended semi-structured interview. While mothers used the term “teaching” to refer to their practiceswith their child, their views about appropriate practices and their perceived capability as a parent-teachervaried considerably. The findings contribute to our understanding of how mothers respond to, and areaffected by, educational policies regarding English language learning in very young children.

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