Macquarie University
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Mothers' ideas about home-based English teaching and learning for children prior to school age: a study in Tainan, Taiwan

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posted on 2022-03-28, 12:04 authored by Yi Chen Dora Lan
In contemporary Taiwan, issues surrounding the teaching of English as a foreign language to young children are widely debated. The Taiwanese Ministry of Education has encouraged parents and preschool aged children to study English together at home in a playful, informal manner (Taiwan MOE, 2004b), instead of using English "cram" schools and English-only kindergartens. Anecdotal evidence suggests that home teaching of English may be common. There has, however, been a lack of empirical data about Taiwanese mothers' beliefs and practices concerning their child's English language learning. -- This study investigated Taiwanese mothers' ideas about young children learning English as a foreign language (EFL), and their self-reported practices in teaching English to their child in the home. The study took place in Tainan, Taiwan. A mixed methods design, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, was employed to gather and analyse data from Taiwanese mothers of children aged from 3 - 6 years. The data included questionnaire responses from 647 mothers and interviews with 6 mothers. -- Results of the study showed that Taiwanese mothers expressed a generally positive view about the importance of early English language learning in the global and Taiwanese contexts. Many stated that early childhood is an important time for EFL learning ("the earlier the better"), and engaged in home teaching of English. They were also seeking more information about how they could support their children's English acquisition. Mothers' views and self-reported practices were associated with their demographic characteristics, such as their educational attainment. The findings have implications for policy makers, early childhood educators, parents and the general public.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Methodology -- 4. Initial statistical results of mothers' ideas of young children's early English as a foreign language (EFL) learning -- 5. Factors related to the home EFL teaching -- 6. Mothers' practices of their young children's EFL learning at home -- 7. Maternal motivations of teaching preschoolers at home -- 8. Maternal roles of teaching preschoolers at home -- 9. Discussion and conclusion.


Includes bibliographical references Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Institute of Early Childhood

Department, Centre or School

Institute of Early Childhood

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jane Torr

Additional Supervisor 1

Sheila Degotardi


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Yi Chen Dora Lan 2013.




ix, 205 pages illustrations

Former Identifiers

mq:28672 2066122