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1 A STUDY OF A PRE K BALANCED BILINGUAL PROGRAM IN TAIWAN By SHIH FEN YEH A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Shih Fen Yeh
3 To my parents who support me all the time
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am writing to e xpress how much I appreciate many people unforgettable support and help. When I felt frustrated and depressed on my doctoral journey, I always received encouragement from my committee, my colleague s my friends, and my family, who supported me in various ways. I know without them a nd I would not have finish ed my journey I ow e my deepest gratitude to my committee: Danling Fu, Dr. Linda Lamme, Dr. Ruth Mckoy Lowery, and Dr. Cynthia Chennault. F irstly, I would like to thank my ad visor, Dr. Fu. She has been an understanding and suppor tive mentor since I started studying at the University of Florida in 2006 Her guidance, encouragement, support, kindness, and patience enabled me to think and act as a researcher and an instructor. She gave me an opportunity to teach Language Art s which was one of most rewar ding experience s and open ed a door for me so I could see my professional growth. In 2009, Dr. Fu visited my school in Taiwan. She gave me valuable feedback and suggestion s on what I might study at my school. Dr. Fu helped me shape my research questions and revise my prospectus. We always had long discussion s and unlimited revising during the writing of my dissertation. As an innovative writer, a dedicated researcher, an intelligent scholar, and a devoted educator, Dr. Fu is my model an d I believe I will continue to feel her influence my whole life. Secondly, Dr. Lamme is a great professor. I marvel at Dr. Lamme high scholarly productivity, which urges me to work harder in the future. S h e inspire d me to love c hildren s l itera ture helping me learn how to study c s l iterature from a cu ltural perspective and peaking my interest in research ing c hildren s l iterature. Dr. Lamme s
5 enthusiastic attitude toward c hildren s l iterature has mentally encourage d me to integrate c s l iterature into my future teaching and work. I appreciate that Dr. Lowery kindly shared her opinion s related to my study and gave me her notes and detailed feedback on my prospectus and dissertation I also am deeply grateful to Dr. Lowery for supporting me when I taught c hildren s l iterature in 2007. From her I gained a lot of practical skills in teaching c hildren s literature. I really extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Chennault who allowed me t o sit with her in her office a s together we w orked through a Chinese translation of my research ; this experience widened my vision of understanding on Chinese classic books. I won t forget when Dr. Chennault mailed me the hard copy of my prospectus after my proposal defens e; then I had her feedback in her hand writi ng. A lso I really appreciate Dr. Behar Horenstein who always gives her students positive hope and I genuinely appreciate her fabulous encouragement and perceptive advice as I struggle d to write my dissertation. I worked i n the School of Teaching and Lea rnin g at UF for five years. I also want to say many thanks to many people there Of course, my great thanks to my great colleagues, Joanne Laframenta, Chu Chuan Chiu, Qing Liu, Zhou Li, Juan Du, Feng Liu, Jiyoung Kim, He Huang, Vasa Buraphadeja, Hsiao Yu Chang, Ya Yu Cloudia Ho, Byeon, Seongah, Patricia Jacobs, Soim Shin, Pinky, and Tong Wong. They are appreciated far beyond words. I will remember them forever. Meanwhile, unlimited thanks must go to my study group membe rs. We had a meeting every Friday afternoon D uring my dissertation study they listened to my presentation s discuss ed issues addressed my concern s, and provided me with valuable feedback. I think they are really
6 great study group members. I sincerely th ank to them. Also, over the five years, I do not remember how many times I ask ed for help in or al practice and writing revisi on from Dr. Laframenta who always welcome d me no matter how busy she was Besides I am deeply impressed by Dr. Liu, F eng Liu and D r. Li, Zhou s solid work and strong self discipline encourage d me to keep working I am heartily thankful to Chu Chuan and Qing, who always help ed me at the last minute ; I was very happy to have them keep me company and make this long journey not so lonely. T heir persistent concern and emotional support are very important to me In addition I sincerely appreciate The Natural Way S chool. Special thanks to Mr. Z a ng, the founder, who allowed me to obser ve in classrooms ; interview students teachers, and staff, and collect a ny data I needed. His support was very important for my study too Furthermore I would like to thank Dr s Minta Napier and Mary l ou for their editing help. They really contributed to the final versio n of my dissertation work. Finally, my heartily thanks go to my parents and my son, Yun Chung. T here are no word s to express my appreciation for their unconditional love and support. I am very lucky to have them
7 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 11 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 15 Background of the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 15 Purpose and Research Question s ................................ ................................ .......... 19 Research Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 20 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 21 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 23 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 24 Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ ................................ 24 Definition of Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ ....... 24 Early Childhood Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ 25 Review of General Studies of Bilingual Education ................................ ............ 28 Lingu istic Studies of Bilingual Education ................................ .......................... 29 Cognitive Studies of Bilingual Education ................................ .......................... 29 Social Studies of Bilingual Education ................................ ............................... 30 International Perspectives on Bilingual Education ................................ ............ 31 Immigrant Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ .......... 32 Post Colonial Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ .... 34 Bilingual Education In Practice ................................ ................................ ......... 36 A Brief of Chinese Education and Chinese Educational Philosophy ....................... 38 Theories of Language and Culture ................................ ................................ ......... 42 ................................ ...................... 43 Bilingual First Language Acquisition ................................ ................................ 45 Bilingual the First Culture Acquisition ................................ ............................... 47 Bilingual Second Language Acquisition ................................ ........................... 49 Bilingual Second Culture Acquisition ................................ ................................ 50 Theories of Cultural Identity ................................ ................................ .................... 52 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 54 From a Colonized to a Multilingual and Multicultural Society ................................ .. 55 Language Sensitivity in Taiwan ................................ ................................ .............. 57 A Modern Taiwan Where t he East Meets the West ................................ ................ 59 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 61 Early Childhood Bilingual Education in Taiwan ................................ ....................... 62
8 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 65 The Major Questions Explored in the Study ................................ ............................ 65 Perspective Research Methodology ................................ ................................ ....... 65 Pilot Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 67 Setting of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ 68 Participants in the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 69 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 70 Procedures of Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................ 70 Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 70 Observation ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 72 Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 72 Collection of Artifacts ................................ ................................ .............................. 73 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 74 Validity and Reliability ................................ ................................ ............................. 80 Subjectivity Statement ................................ ................................ ............................ 81 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 82 4 PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCHOOL ................................ ................................ .......... 84 The Pre K Bilingual Program ................................ ................................ .................. 84 Revisiting the School with a Bilingual and Bicultural Perspective ..................... 85 The Educational Philosophy of the Natural Way School ................................ ......... 85 Western Educational Theories and Philosophy ................................ ................ 87 Chinese Cultural Tradition ................................ ................................ ................ 88 .............................. 89 No Single Educational Mode Fits All Children ................................ .................. 90 Family Education Is Just as Important as School Education ............................ 91 The Interactive Is More Effective Than the Transmission Approach ................ 92 A Balanced Approach to Develop a Whole Child in the Weste rn Perspective .. 93 .......... 95 Learning from Natural Phenomena ................................ ................................ .. 96 Teaching Students without Any Discrimination ................................ ................. 97 .......................... 97 Socially Culturally Embedded Instruction ................................ ......................... 98 Teaching Students to Gain Rich Traditional Literacy ................................ ........ 99 S caffolding Learning Systematically ................................ ............................... 100 Self Initiated Learning Is the Most Effective Learning ................................ .... 102 Good Teachers Can Help Bilingual Students Engage in Learning with a Positive Attitude ................................ ................................ .......................... 103 A Belief in the Learning Potential of All Children ................................ ............ 105 Hold in Reverence with Learning Not Inquiry ................................ ................. 106 Conclusio n ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 106 5 CURRICULUM AND TEACHING PRACTICE ................................ ....................... 110 Chinese Cultur e and Chinese Literary Traditions ................................ ................. 111
9 Twenty Four Chinese Solar Terms in the Chinese Literary Tradition ............. 111 Nature and Humanity in Twenty Four Solar Terms ................................ .. 115 Holidays and Festivals in the Twenty Four Solar Terms ................................ 116 Family Values within the Twenty Four Solar Terms ................................ ....... 118 Poetry, Rhythm, and Chinese Literary Traditions ................................ ........... 120 Competency Development ................................ ................................ .................... 121 Oral Language ................................ ................................ ................................ 121 The Chinese Language Is Used for Communication ................................ 121 Science ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 123 Using the Chinese Language to Develop Mathematic Skills .......................... 125 Music, Art and Drama ................................ ................................ ..................... 125 Cultural Events ................................ ................................ ............................... 127 The Bilingual Environment ................................ ................................ .................... 128 Teaching Practice ................................ ................................ ................................ 130 Maintaining the Chinese Culture and Ideas within the English Teaching Context ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 131 ..................... 131 Learning abou t Chinese Culture for Effective Instruction ............................... 132 Cultural Lessons in the Daily Schedule ................................ .......................... 134 Daily Schedule of the Bilingual Program ................................ ........................ 135 P rofessional Development on the Chinese Literary Tradition ......................... 137 Teacher Training on the Chinese Literary Tradition ................................ 137 Promotion of the Chinese Culture for the English Speaking Instructors ......... 138 Learning about the Two Education Systems ................................ ............ 139 Bilingual Program Assessment ................................ ................................ ............. 140 Alternative Assessment fo r Assisting Language and Subject Learning .......... 142 English Homework as a Learning Resource from a Chinese Perspective ...... 143 Multi Purpose Assessment (Both in Chinese and English) ............................ 144 Portfolio Assessment ................................ ................................ ............... 146 Parent Teacher Conferences ................................ ................................ ... 147 Perceptions of the Bilingual Program ................................ ................................ .... 149 Chinese and English M utually and Orally Support at B eginning Stages ........ 149 Knowledge of Chinese L anguage, Pinyin, Needs to Be Taught in the Bilingual Program ................................ ................................ ........................ 150 Chinese Phrases and Poems from the Curriculum of the 24 Solar Ter ms Help Familiarize the Students with Chinese Recitation of classical Literature Activities of Elementary Schools ................................ ................. 152 S tudents Lear n Chinese Idioms ................................ ................................ ..... 152 The Curriculum of the Chinese 24 Solar Terms Relates to Many Aspects of Chinese Culture, which Can Facilitate Chinese Literacy Development in Middle School ................................ ................................ .............................. 153 Sensitivity T o Cultural Learning ................................ ................................ ... 154 The Students in the Bilingual Program Could Have More Appreciation of Their English Proficiency and Their O wn Culture ................................ ........ 156
10 Chinese Holidays and Festivals in the Curriculum Are Reinforced at Home in Chinese ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 158 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 159 6 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ...... 161 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 161 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 161 Implications of the study ................................ ................................ ....................... 170 Culture as a Focus Can Be Taught in an Early Childhood Bilingual Program to Avoid the Tilt Toward Language Hegemony ................................ ........... 170 An Understanding of the Target Culture in the Bilingual Education Can Also Help Students Understand Native Culture ................................ .................. 170 Cultural Curriculum Can Integrate All the Subjects of the Early Childhood Bilingual Program ................................ ................................ ........................ 171 Subjects. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 172 Native Cultural Learning Allows the Use of the Native Language to Facilitate the Learning of a Second Language and Cultural Development .. 173 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 173 Recommendation for Future Research ................................ ................................ 174 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 175 APPENDIX A I NTERVIEWS QUESTIONS FOR TEACHERS ................................ .................... 178 B I NTERVIEWS QUESTIONS FOR ADMINISTRTORS ................................ .......... 179 C I NTERVIEWS QUESTIONS FOR FOUNDER ................................ ...................... 180 D I NTERVIEWS QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS ................................ ..................... 181 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 182 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 195
11 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Interview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 72 3 2 Observations in 2009 ................................ ................................ .......................... 73 3 3 Observations in 2010 ................................ ................................ .......................... 73 3 4 Coding Example ................................ ................................ ................................ 78 3 5 Proposed Outlines of Data Sources, Collection, and Analysis ........................... 79 5 1 Thematic Topics ................................ ................................ ............................... 113
12 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 5 1 Classroom ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 130 5 2 Alternative Assessment ................................ ................................ .................... 141 5 3 Learning Sheet ................................ ................................ ................................ 143 6 1 Typi cal Bilingual Education in Taiwan ................................ .............................. 162 6 2 Not Balanced Bilingual Education ................................ ................................ ..... 163 6 3 Bilingual Education of the Natural Way School ................................ ................. 164
13 ABSTR ACT Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy A STUDY OF A PRE K BALANCED BIL INGUAL PROGRAM IN TAIWAN By Shih Fen Yeh December 2011 Chair: Danling Fu Major: Curriculum and Instruction In Taiwan, English education during early childhood is a debate d national dilemma. Many Taiwanese parents send their young children to learn English in early childhood bilingual schools so they m ay benefit from a more positive self image and, later in life, a better career (Shin, 2000; Lao, 2004). On the other hand, some scholars (Tsai, 2003; Chang, 2004) maintain it is inappropriate for young children to learn a foreign language, as they are not mature enough to have developed a cultural identity and a sophisticated understanding of how their nati ve language works T he purpose of this study was to demonstrate how a bilingual program in a non English speaking country emphasizes the development of home culture and language. Through an ethn ographic case study approach, this study investigated how a school strives to eliminate the concerns and balance Chinese and English language learning in the early childhood bilingual program. By using a quali tative study, three questions were explored: (1 ) What is the educational philosophy of the Pre K bilingual program of the Natural Way School in Taiwan? (2) How does the curriculum and instructional planning of the school demonstrate its balance in the Pre K bilingual
14 program? (3) What are the perception s about the program by students who have graduated and their parents? The study triangulated multiple data, including interviewing the founder, teachers, administrators, parents, and students, and close obs erv ation of classrooms and artifacts. Through Wolcott s (1994) description analysis interpretation and Glaser and Strauss s (1967) constant comparative as data analysis strategies, the study present s how the Pre K bilingual program employs Chinese culture including C hinese educational philosophy and Chinese literary traditions to balance the hegemony of English education in Taiwan The study found an emphasis on learning about Chinese culture in early childhood bilingual education can overcome the hegemony of English. The school not only develop s bilingual education in a harmony with cultural ly independent education al ideas, but also educate s the children for a globalized society
15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the S tudy As a language for global communicati on English in non English speaking countries has been considered a n important tool within the world community T o promote internationalization, children around the world are required to learn English at an early age (Spolsky & Shohamy, 1997, 1999). For example, to promote globalization the Korean government plans to revise English textbooks and curriculum to rais e English language competence. I n addition, i n Malaysia, learning English is considered a way to strengthen its power as a nation (Mahathir Mohamed, The Sun September 11, S tandard Engli has been reformed to develop global literacy skills, including a work ing knowledge of English for everyone. In 2000, the Singapore government Standard Good nationwide for improved spoken English In t his era of internationalization and globalization, the governments of these Asian nations are devot ing great effort s to improv ing English education across their respective count r ies. Taiwan), Taiwan has a highly developed economy which relies on international business and trade. As a small island invaded by outside forces and ideas for centuries, y society, and cult ure have been greatly influence d by the outside world. T o reach out and communicate with the international community, English in Taiwan has become a crucial language and an important tool for its economy and communication. In addition, Taiwan needs to make its nation more visible worldwide to
16 increase its economic growth and political power and to be internationally recognized on its own merits By the turn of the millennium, based on the desire of the general public, the Taiwanese government decided to in crea se its nation s English proficiency as the first step toward internationalization. Since approximately 2000 a substantial increase in the number of Taiwanese learning English has taken place at different levels In 2001, t o meet this public demand, t h e Ministry of Education (MOE) made studying the English language a required subject in all elementary school s starting at G rade 3 with three major learning objectives (Wang, 2003) : To develop in students from Grades 3 to 9 an international perspective through English education during their integrated education To follow the trend of the new era and to fulfill public expectations In Taiwan, parental expectation s are highl y respected and can heavily influence the decision of the Ministry of Education. Taiwan ese people have extraordinarily high They English proficiency represents their educatio n level. A student with low English proficiency is seen by the public as less well educated with limited knowledge and competence. Furthermore, many Taiwanese people want their children to learn English at a young age so they can become proficient in Engli sh to compete for competitive jobs nationally and internationally. Therefore, to giv e their children a head start many parents send their children to study English in private bilingual programs before their formal education begins
17 To meet this social de mand, more and more private schools have established preschool bilingual programs. However, with large numbers of children beginning their English learning at th is young age, many scholars and educators in the field of language acquisition and child develo pment have raised concerns about beginning English at such a young age First, the opponents of preschool bilingual education doubt the suitability of teaching English to children before they have their fundamental education in their native language (Hansen, 2003 ). They also voice concerns about young children needing to fully develop their native language competence Second, the opponents believe that language is a cultural artifact in which Taiwanese values, history, traditions, and beliefs are embe dded ( Mori, 2001 ). Learning a foreign language at a young age may therefore cause confusion in the children s cultural identity Third, learning a second language at a young age may cause too much stress and anxiety in a child s psychological development. Fourth some educators ( Wang, 2003 ) have pointed out that preschools, kindergarten s, and elementary schools in Taiwan currently are not ready to offer English as a required subject because they are lacking a well developed curriculum and well trained teach ers in English instruction. The se educators believe that without a good English language curriculum and with poor quality teaching, English instruction will create serious problems in the children s ability to learn English in the form of poor pronunciati on and inappropriate learning habits. concerns are in the forefront of the controversy of teaching English at a young age A nother important issue is language polic y (Chen, 2004; Crombbie, 2006; Lin, 2006; Scott & Tiun, 2007). Language and cultural identity have always been a sensitive issue in Taiwan Each political change has been connected with these issues
18 In Taiwan, the Taiwanese dialects are considered divers e : Mandarin, Southern Min, Hakka, and nine aboriginal languages. I n 2000, the Kuomintang (KMT), which had ruled the island for 55 years, lost the presidential election and had to turn over administration to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The centered language policies came under serio us attack and ethno consciousness was awakened ( Chen, 2000 ) causing the call for i ndigenization to become common Ho wever, it is difficult for Taiwan to call for internationalization and indigenization simultaneously. Internationalization or globalization requires learning English and studying Western cultures. Indigenization looks to Taiwan s multicultural base. T hus, the dilemma for the Taiwan ese government is how to implement both types of political goals regarding Taiwan and the West. While the process of internationalism and / or globalization is now rapidly developing, is hesita nt t o carry out bilingual education. But bilingual education has been instigated in many private school s and language institutes. T his undesirable situation ha s caused mixed reactions throughout the country Currently, struggle s ha ve arisen advocating that every Taiwanese citizen learn Chinese and English as some people advocate that every Taiwan citizen learn s enough English to become proficient bilingual and educated citizen s in the global village. R egarding economic influence, the voice of internationalization is always raised and receives attention ; however, the T aiwanese face a significant challenge to resolving the paradox of the hegemony of English an d c ultural identit y in education ( Chen, 2002). I n most early childhood bilingual programs in Taiwan, English language dominates the education and Chinese is left to parent s at home. Although the school s use the term Chinese/English bilingual program, Eng lish education is stressed on all learning levels
19 which includes English textbooks, English teaching methods, English learning contents, and English speaking instructors (not Taiwanese). English is first priority in the bilingual program because the Taiwa nese expect their children to become proficient in English. T he hegemony of English inevitably happen s everywhere. I n Taiwan English proficiency represents a person s education level and social economic status. S tudents in early childhood bilingual program s are required to study all subjects in English. T his is the main reason that educators and scholars oppose English education in early childhood education. They are worried that learning English at a very young age will cause children to only value English. Simply stated, the problem faced by the Taiwanese is how to educate truly bilingual individuals who are proficient in their home la nguage and have a strong home cultural identity as well as being competent in English. Purpose and Research Questions The dilemma between nationalization (national consciousness) and internationalization is a major problem for the government. However, i n Taiwanese society, early childhood bilingual education is still debated To consider educators and concerns, advocates of bilingual education have found many ways in which bilingual programs try to deal with the dilemma ( Chen, 2003 ). T hus, my study focused on how one particular school t ries to solve the problems faced by the Tai s dilemma. I n other words, what kind of bilingual educational practice can be used to develop the Chinese language and cultural identity in young children, but still accommodate the children learn ing of English ? T he purposes of this study therefor e are to investigate how a Pre K school balances a Chinese and English bilingual program and how the balanced Pre K bilingual program helps children to develop the
20 national language and cultural identity. To gain a deep understanding of this issue I used one school as a case study to explore the aforementioned concerns and issues of bilingual education in Taiwan My three research questions were as follows : 1. What is the educational philosophy of the Pre K bilingual program of the Natural Way School in Taiwan ? 2. How do the curriculum and instructional planning of the S chool demonstrate its balance in the Pre K bilingual program ? 3. What are the perceptions of the program by students who have graduated and their parents? Research Methods Epistemology is the grounding for deciding what kinds of knowledge are possible and how we can ensure that they are both adequate and legitimate (Maynard, 1994, p.10). It is important to identify the epistemological stance for the research orientation. The e pi stemology of my case study is Constructionism because I believe meaning is never simply described as objective nor subjective but is constructed o n the object by the subject (Crotty, 2004). Based on ll meaning in context (Merriam, 1998, p. 1), mean ing is constructed by people interact ing with the world they are interpreting (Crotty, 2004). A qualitative study hopes phenomenon studied and draw its own interpretation about meaning (Patton, 2002 p. 10 ) Therefore, the study provide d concrete descriptions (Geertz, 1973) of the school setting, students, teachers, curriculum, and documents to give a picture of bilingual education in the paradoxical context. My study presented with a rich, thick descriptio (Merriam, 1998, p. 29) to answer my three research questions. It was firmly grounded in the large amount of information through data collection from the case study which is an urban private school that has a range of students from ages 3 to 15
21 and mo st of the children come from affluent families. I chose the school, the Natural Way S chool as my research case for three reasons : 1) the school has had a good reputation in the field of bilingual education; and 2 ) the school is known for its balanced curricu lum and instructional planning ; 3) I had worked at the school for nine years and knew its administ rat ors and staff and could easily explore the learning environment Research methods included a pilot study, observation interviewing and collection of all types of artifacts such as teachers notes, lesson plans, students portfolios, textbooks, and school curriculum. I conducted analysis immediately after each observation and interview, and continued this analysis throu ghout the data collection process. I employed d omain analysis (Glaser, 1992 ; Strauss, 1987) in the transcription of interviews. T he description interpretation method for document coding analysis described by Wolcott (1994) was used. Significance of the St udy The study contributed to the current early childhood bilingual education of the first language (L1) and cultural identity development. Since T a iwan is a country representative of economic growth and political democratization and wants to have a visible position in the world (T sao, 1 998) English is considered the language of wider communication for providing access and receiving information around the world. Bilingual education is inevitable and English, as a first foreign language, has obviously become the second de facto national language (Kaplan & Baldauf, 2007). Thus the Taiwanese believe that their children l earning Chines e and English simultaneously will en able the country to gain communicative advantages in a global society (Liou & Chen, 19 98). However, learning a language is also cultural and ideological learning and language is a cultural artifact in which cultural values, history, traditions, and beliefs are
22 embedded (Shannon 1995). Young children learning English in an English hegemony context with Western values is consi dered as inappropriate and damag ing to the Chinese language and cultural identity In Asia, many countries, Malaysia, Thailand Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and China, face the same problem where the national language and English learning conflict and impact upon cultural identity Th is case study involved the early childhood bilingual education of a school which strive s to balance the culture of the West and East, Chinese and English. Thus, the findings provide evidence of how a school can overcome English hegemony and damage to the cultural identity while emphasi zing English education in non English countries. This study is therefore significant in demonstrating that the S chool, which conduct s bilingual education, Chinese and English, has tried to solve the paradox of developing a national language and cultural identit y while promoting a second language In other words this study explores how th e Pre K bilingual program of the Natural Way Scho ol has develop ed a balance d bilingual education and has overcome the hegemony of English. Overall, this study focused on understand ing how a Pre K bilingual school the Natural Way School, resolve s the paradox of legitimizing the hegemony of English and develop s a national language and cultur al identity through its philosophy curriculum and planning. It is crucial for Taiwan today because the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people both need to know how to prevent the hegemony of English to preserve their cultural identity and national language development Moreover, t h e research findings can also be beneficial to countries such as Japan, South Korea, Hong
23 Kong Thailand, China, Singapore, and Malaysia indeed, any country in the entire non English speaking world may share these issues. Summary When non European countries make great effort to improve English education, the hegemony of English becomes an issue that make s people fear they will lose their national language and cultural identity. Taiwan, a small country, wants to develop national language and cultural identity and simultaneously improve En glish learning and promote internationalization and globalization Therefore, bilingual educ ation, a debate d national dilemma h as been an important issue for discussion. Developing nat ive language and cultural identity and o ffering English education at a very young age should be balanced in bilingual schools in order to prevent the hegemony of English context Thus, many bilingual schools are st riving to prevent the hegemony of English and develop cultural identity and national language in Taiwan This study explored a Pre K bilingual program and provide d an in depth look into b ilingual practices in non English countries in order to aid teachers, parents, administ rators curriculum designers, and school policy makers who are interested in bilingual educati on, and are concerned about the first language development and cultural id entity.
24 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this study is to explore an early childhood bilingual program at Nature Way School in Taiwan. In order to understand the context of the study, a review of related literature is presented in the following sections: (1) contemporary theories and practices of bilingual education; (2) the history of Chinese educational philosophy and its contemporary application in Taiwan; (3) relevant theories of language acquisition and culture learning ; (4) theori es of cultural identity in the second language acquisition ; and (5) understanding of a country from a colonized to a multilingual and multicultural society. Each of thes e contribute s significantly to a framework for understanding the al to help young children become biling ual while strengthening their sense of Chinese cultural identity. Bilingual Education Definition of B ilingual E ducation Bilingual education involves learning two languages simultaneously through the design of curricula and instructional activities ( Cummins 1977 Krashen ,1998 ). We can categorize bilingual education into two types; transitional bilingual education and maintenance bilingual education (Fishmans, 1976; Hornberger, 1991). Transitional bilingual educ ation aims to shift the child from the home minority language, to the dominant language majority language. Social and cultural assimilation into the language majority is the main purpose. In contrast maintenance bilingual education endeavor s to foster th e equality between the first and second languages, strengthening the child s sense of cultural identity, and affirming the rights of an ethnic minority group in a nation Furthermore, Otheguy and Otte (1980) make the distinction th at subcategorizes
25 mainten ance bilingual education into two purposes: static maintenance and developmental maintenance Static maintenance involves maintaining language skills at the level of the child s entering scho ol. On the other hand, developmental maintenance develop s a stude s home language skills to full proficiency and full biliteracy or literacy, which is referred to as Enrichment Bilingual Education for minority language children. Static maintenance attempts to p revent home language loss but not to increase skills in th e first language. Developmental maintenance has a goal of proficiency and literacy in the home language equal to English (Otheguy & Otto, 1980, p.351). Maintenance bilingual education maintain s the individual and group use of minority language, leading t o cultural pluralism, and linguistic diversity (Vold 1992 ). Early C hildhood B ilingual E ducation Interest in early childhood bilingualism go es back at least three centuries, to bilingual schools in European. After World War II, the interest continued with various forms of bilingualism. However, at the same time, r esearch ers started to discuss the problems of bilingualism, the relationship of bilingualism to school and society, an d the use of a second language as medium of instruction (Escobedo, 1983). Two facets, language and culture in early children bilingual education, were discussed by researchers For example, the development of language in early childhood bilingual education and the influence of culture on young children s learning began to be studied. Leopol d (1939) conducted o ne of the first investigations of bilingual acquisition in children. T hat researcher stud ied the bilingual acquisition of English and German in his ow n daughter. He found that as a bilingual learner was exposed to both languages during infancy, the learner seemed to link two languages into one system during original
26 language production periods; early language forms were characterized by free mixing. However, lan guage production during mature periods seemed to reveal that the use of English and German grammatical forms was developing independently. Padilla and Liebman s (1975) research involved a longitudinal analysis of Spanish English acquisition in 2 3 year old bilingual children Children had linguistic interaction over a five month period. They reported that there is the differentiation of linguistic system s at a phonological lexical, and syntactic level ; yet the proper use of both languages was evidenced and co rrect word order was preserved later. Moreover, in a cross sectional comparison of monolingual (English) and bilingual (Span ish English) children (3 6 years old ) by Carrow (1972) demonstrated a po sitive d evelopmental trend B ilingual children 3 6 years old had score s lower than monolingual children on English measures at the beginning of learning (3 years old) but in the final age comparison group ( 6 years old ). Eventually, b ilingual s and monolinguals did not differ significa ntly on English measures. T he combined results reveal that early childhood bilingualism is developed independently. Children can acquire more than one language during early childhood. Bilingual children may lag behind monolingual children at the beginning of language acquisition but eventually bilingual children can catch up. It means that the acquisition of two languages does not impede the acquisition of either language Although some children may very well develop an interlanguage in a mixed utteranc e (Garcia, 1982 & Huerta, 1977), later on, they can acquire two independent language systems. Overall, there is no difference in the first language acquisition between the bilingual children and monolingual children.
27 T he impact of culture on early childho od bilingual education has been of interest to educators and scholars (Jackson, S. & Espino, L. 1979 ; Escobedo T 1983 ; Contreras, G. 1979 ). Research addressed some issues such as hat cultural variables can determine children s behavior? or How can cultural learning be incorporated into bilingual classroom s ? The definition of culture from perspective of bilingual researcher Brooks (1973), i s the distinctive life way of a people, whether tribesmen, townsmen or urbanites, who are united by a common language (p.3) In other words, culture is a learned habit of a distinctive life way. He divide s culture into two categories: surface culture and deep culture Surface culture refers to consisting of t he products of artistic endeavor (p.4), its elements are concrete and can be presented in a classroom situation. It includes such items as language songs dances, arts and crafts, foods, holidays, and history. Deep culture refers to the thoughts and beliefs and actions, the concerns and hopes and worries, the personal values, the minor vanities and the half serous superstitions, the subtle gradations of interpersonal relationships as expressed in actions and words, the day by day details of life as it is lived (p.4) It elements are feelings a nd attitudes toward various matters. Carlisle (1971) and Gaardr (1965) support cultural understanding as a priority of bilingual education However, h istorically bilingual education practice has been mono cultural or culturally exclusive. Harold (1974) b lame s that the schools for failing to make systematic terms for the language, heritage, values, and learning styles of cultural groups. Gonzalez (1971) reaffirms that self concept is a determining factor in a child s cognitive development He (1974) concluded that culture and personality are essentia l ly
28 united and that self concept, motivation, and positive cognitive behavior are grounded in childhood experiences Thus, in practice, he (1974) support s incorporating cultural content into all su bject areas in bilingual education In s ummary, bilingual program s are bilingual and bicultural. T hey do not only teach the second language and maintain the first language, but also have cultural component and c o urse contents present cultur e learning. Over all, the research addresses important questions in the areas of language and culture related to children in bilingual programs The existing literature establish es the framework on language and culture research at early childhood bilingual education and p rovides information according to prior research and practice, which can give us a lens to investigate current early children bilingual education. Review of G eneral S tudies of B ilingual E ducation According to Brisk & Harrington (2007) review of bilingual research conducted on Bilingual Education over the last three decades the focus has been on three areas: (1) the linguistic aspect: (Padilla & Liebman, 1975; Garcia & Gonzalez, 1984; Garcia, 1986; Hakuta & Snow, 1986); (2) the cognitive aspect (Lanco Worral, 1972;Cummins, 1979,1981,1984; Kessler and Quinn, 1986); (3) the social /communicative aspect (Hymes, 1974; Haillday, 1975; Ginishi, 1981; Ramirez, 1985; Zentella, 1981; Garcia, 1983,1986, 1988; Garcia & Carrasco,1981;Moll, 1988). It should be noted that a majority of the studies of bilingual theory, educational practice, and educational policy were focused on the English proficiency of student s. T here has been less systematic research available about the native language (L1) acquisition of children who are acquiring more than one language during early childhood.
29 Linguistic S tudies of B ilingual E ducation Padilla and Liebman (1 975) point out that bilingual education may develop two languages equally or not. I n other words, one language may lag behind, race ahead, or develop equally with the other language. Moreover, Garcia (1986) support s this point, finding that there is no quantitative or qualitative differ ence on morphological productions between bilingua l students and monolingual students. However, Huerta (1977) argue s that bilingual education may result in a n Interlingua incorporating the lexicon, morphology, and syntax of both languages at beginning stages H e f ound that languages may develop independe ntly later Overall, according to research from the linguistic perspective, bilingual education does not impede development of acquisition of either language. Cognitive S tudies of B ilingual E ducation L inguistic flexibility can be related to a number of non linguistic cognitive tasks such as categorization, verbal signal discrimination, and creativity (Brisk & Harring,2007) M oreover, Peal & Lambert (1962) point out that bilingual children have more abilities than monolingua l children, such as advantageous mental flexibility superior concept formation, and a generally diversified mental ability. Lanco Worral (1972) also finds that bilingual education can make children concentrate more on the meaning of words. Feldmean and Sh en (1971) discover that bilingual children not only score higher on specific Piagetian, metalinguistic, and concept formation tasks, but also that these children have more strategies to solve problems. All of this research gives positive results for biling ual education. On the other hand, some researchers, Cummins (1979, 1981, and 198 4 ) Padilla & Liebman (1975) and Diaz (1983) f ind that bilingual children have lower scores than monolingual children on standardized measures of
30 cognitive development, intell igence, and school achievement. T hese researchers indicate a less than positive result. In conclusion, it appears that the results in terms of cognitive development still remain tentative Social S tud ies of B ilingual E ducation Social research about bilingual education has found that the results of bilingual education not only have linguistic and cognitive characteristics but also a social aspect. Especially, in early childhood bilingual education, social development takes on more consideration than linguistic and cognitive because s surrounding environment and social communications influence learning behaviors (Garcia 1983 1986, 1988). Zentella (1981) f ounds that children make the decision to use their best language with their peers. Ginishi (1981) also argue s that students use a language based on their previous language use history with their fellow students. I n other words, social contexts and environment influence students in bilingual program to make choices of language Moreover Garcia & Carrasco (1983) stress that children choose a language to use depend ing upon the language that their mothers were using to initiate the interaction. O verall social interaction is critical element for children to determine language usage such as the intimacy of the mother, which will influence children to use a particular language In understanding the essence of bilingual education it is impossible to igno re any of the elements as we discuss research of bilingual education. As Garcia ( 1983 ) points out cognitive processing factors may act to influence linguistic and social development and linguistic development may act to influence social and potential co gnitive functioning I n turn, the development of social competence influences directly the acquisition of linguistic and cognitive repertoires (p. 106 107 ) It is agreed that
31 linguistic, cognitive, and social development are interrelated in bilingual education In other words, changes in one of these elements will contribute to changes in others. This may transform the result of bilingual education. I nterestingly, in the recent research has not determined that if cultur al identity is emphasized what c hanges may take place in the linguistic and cognitive aspects of that bilingual education. International P erspectives on B ilingual E ducation In the USA, bilingual education was born in the 1960 The Canadian bilingual education movement began with an expe rimental kindergarten class in St. Lambert, Montreal, in 1965. However, the historical origins of bilingual education predate this century Lewis (1977, 1981) discusses the history of bilingualism and bilingual education, and provides a picture about bilin gual education from the Ancient World through the Renaissance to the modern world. Around the world, bilingualism is more the norm than the exception. In Europe, bilingual education has been high ly value. For instance, throughout the Roman Empire, for mal schooling was widely available and all students were educated in Latin, regardless of their first language. Even now, Latin as the language of schooling is still maintain ed. In Asia, because English was historically a colonial language, the citizens of many countries speak English in addition to the national language officially recognized by the government. Although there is also bilingualism in Asia, bilingualism is due to the presence of minority language. Actually bilingualism has become common in almost every corner of the world. A number of countries are officially bilingual or multilingual including Canada, Belgium, Finland, Cyprus, Israel, and Ireland. I n these countries, more than one language may be used in transactions with the government or in the schools. A lthough different policies
32 have developed in some countries with respect to the language officially approved, people consider bilingual education an absolute necessity for business success Thus, bilingual education has become a practical reality The following provides an overview of worldwide bilingual education Canada has been officially bilingual (E nglish and French) since 1967. Canada not only provides a notable success with its French English immersion programs for English speakers, but also has been a model for dual language instruction. Some bilingual education instructional programs have been es tablished with the aim of transitioning children from their primary languages to English, while others have the purpose of preserving proficiency in their heritage language Bilingual education programs in Europe (Brisk & Harrington, 2007) also ha ve a goo d reputation for promoting scholastic achievement, linguistic equity, and even multilingual proficiency and multicultural awareness S tudent s national, cultural and linguistic identity is maintained through solid first language instruction and a variety of courses are offered in different languages so that student s become bilingual or even multilingual. Immigrant B ilingual E ducation Sweden has a large portion of immigrants approximately 12 percent of the population (Boyd, 1999). The immigrants do well i n maintaining their home language through bilingual education. In most European countries, bilingual or multilingual educations attempts are made to maintain the child s first language and cultural identity At the same time, it striv es to promote a nation al identity through instruction in at least two languages, compulsory leaning of a third language through subject matter, and options regarding a fourth language (Beardsmore 1995, 28).
33 In the United States, a monolingual education using English was the do minant mode of the 19 th century. However, in the beginning of the 20 th century, some changes in attitude toward bilingualism and bilingual education occurred A fear of new foreigners, an Americanization movement arose, which called for the integration, harmonization, and assimilation of immigrants. Moreover, English competence was deemed a mark of loyalty to the United States, and the immigrants lack of English language and literacy was identified as a social political, and, economic concern. Proposition 227 a policy for new immigrants, was passed in California Its intention was to educate limited English proficiency students in a rapid, one year program. The bilingual education programs were placed b y t he s tructured English I mmersion mod e l s which were assimilation over multiculturalism All well implemented bilingual education programs should be aligned with the standards of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Moreover, all bilin gual programs should comply with Federal and State requirement s in order for English L anguage Learners (ELL) to progress in English development and good academic achievement in English. Thus, transitional bilingual programs are the most common bilingual p rograms in the United States, the goal of which is to develop students proficiency in English. T he first language of immigrant students is used for instructional support until students have reached satisfactory levels of English proficiency T hese student s are finally expected to move out of a transitional program when they are capable of functioning in an English only classroom. On the other hand, in 1988, the California Association for Bilingual Education publish ed a report (Vold.1992) Bilingual Education s Success in California (Krashen &
34 Biber, 1988), which argued that a strong base in a first language facilitates second language acquisition T his s upported home language and culture for building students self esteem and enhancing their achieve ment (Hakuta & Could, 1987 ; Cummins 1996 ) Language maintenance programs are pluralistic, which promote bilingualism and biliteracy for language minority students. Many American scholars argue that maintenance programs may be the most effective means for promoting the English language skill of limited English proficiency students. T hey recognize that language ability and skill learned in a student s first language can transfer to second language learning ( Cummins 1996) However, in fact, most bilingual edu cation programs are transitional programs that serve ELLs who are minority in culture an d language learning T he purpose of bilingual education for ELLs in the United States remains English development and academic achievement Overall, it appear s that in the United States, when people consider individual bilingualism in the cases of persons such as scholars, and diplomats, they believe this to be a worthy accomplishment and people appreciate being bilingual; however, when political ly conservative people consider the bilingualism of an ethnic group, they see bilinguals as a disparate group. Certain political factions appear to sneer at group bilinguals and insist that immigrants give up their first language as part of their Americanization. Whethe r or not to allow immigrants to maintain their language and own distinguishable identity or to encourage them to become assimilative Americans is a political issue Post C olonial B ilingual E ducation In Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Colombi a, Peru, and Argentina, bilingual education has established Spanish as the language common to the entire
35 national wide territory Mexico uses bilingual policies of maintenance and development, which consolidates mastery of the students mother tongue with the simultaneous adoption of the second language, Spanish (Mexican Federal Education Law of 1973). Therefore, bilingual education would be carried out in two languages and the development of two languages. Bilingual schools in Latin America have developed various structures. F or example, in Argentina, bilingual schools allocate 50 percent of the time to Spanish and 50 percent to English from kindergarten through fifth grade. In Mexic o, secondary school instruction is in both Spanish and English for six y ears. This is considerably more demanding than an all English upper grade program. I n Colombia, student s of bilingual schools study content area subjects in English using textbooks from the United States and also follow the Spanish curriculum required by t he government ; at the same time, students also are taught language arts and social studies, including Colombian history and government, in Spanish. Countries such as India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, were ruled in the past by the British or Japanese empires. Bilingual or multilingual education was common during those periods. Today, in India, 14 languages plus English are officially recognized in the cons titution. Bilingual or multilingual education is taught by the educated elite. People generally speak more than one language and may well have oral proficiency in as many as five or six. As one research e r comments, in spite of mass illiteracy, a societal type of bilingualism/ multilingualism has become the life and blood of India s verbal repertoire ( Sridhar 1993).
36 Before 1997, Hong Kong was bilingual in English and Chinese. However, since the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in that year, the Chine se government decided that Chinese should replace English as the language of instruction in schools. Although English is not the official language, it is still considered an absolute necessity for business success. T hus, bilingual education still flourishe s in private schools from preschool to college. In Taiwan, early childhood bilingual childhood education is prohibited by the Taiwan Government in public school settings, but private bilingual schools are very popular and profitable in Taiwan. Most Taiwan students learn English as a second language from grade three of elementary to college (C hapter 4). T he bilingual preschool described in this study is a private school. Bilingual E ducation I n P ractice When discussing bilingual education in practice, it is important to understand and distinguish between bilingual programs that are additive bilingualism or subtractive bilingualism. Additive bilingualism occurs when a second language and culture are acquired with little or no pressure to replace or reduce the first language ; it refers to a positive cognitive outcome from being bilingual. On the other hand, subtractive bilingualism occurs when the second language and culture are acquired with pressure to replace and dominate the first language and culture In additive bilingual ism, language minority members or language learners are proficient in both languages and have positive attitudes to ward plural cultures. For example, bilingual education in Canada allows English speaking children to study French and En glish from kindergarten through sixth grade. T hey are first immersed in French only and later around the second grade, begin to develop literacy in English. B y the end of sixth grade, the children are bilingual and biliterate (Cloud, Genesee, and
37 Hamayan 2 000). I n other words, additive bilingualism means a language is added, and the student will not lose the first language and has a positive cultural identity and self concept at a social level. Conversely in subtractive bilingualism, language minority memb ers or language learners will lose their first language and have a negative attitude to the first language. For example, Early Exit bilingual education in the United State s allows ELL students to use the first language at the early years of their educatio n; however, s tudent s are exited as soon as they show enough ability in English to pass Basic English proficiency standards. The purpose of this bilingual education is for English language development and academic achievement in English. Such, subtractive bilingualism means a learner s first language will gradually diminish in use, and positive self concept and cultural identity decrease at a social level. However, t here are different types of bilingual education which are distinguished by curriculum design and language teaching methods First of all, dual language is very popular in New York City. This means the use of the two language s are balance d close to 50% 50% Acco rding to Ruiz (1984), dual language programs are considered a as ientation that sees language other than English as a resource to be developed rather tha n a problem to be overcome It is a developmental program that employs bilingual enrichment. Ruiz (1984) points out that the most effective model of instruction for lea rning of English is dual language education. In a dual language program, student s develop high levels of proficiency in their first and their second language they achieve above grade level on academic performance measure and they demonstrate positive cro ss cultural attitudes and behaviors (Howard and Christian 2002; Thomas and Collier 2002).
38 Immersion programs in bilingual education were conducted in Canada for a while. There are two types of immersion programs, structured immersion and enriched immersio n. T he purpose of structured immersion, a one way bilingual program, is to help minority language learners acquire the majority language; therefore, bilingual learners are taught the majority language. In practice, this program provides content area instru ction through the native language and ESL instruction for one to three years; then it integrates all subjects into all target language instruction. O n the other hand, the purpose of enriched immersion, a two way bilingual program is to acquire two langua ges with initial emphasis on L2; thus, native speakers are taught content through the second language but the native language is introduced later. The goals of TWI programs are for all students to become bilingual and biliterate and achieve academically th rough both languages (Christian 1994; Cloud et al. 2000; Lindholm Leary, 2001). Although students receive instruction in English, the first language is still maintained and developed. Finally, students become bilingual and biliterate (Christian 1994 ). A B rief of Chinese Education and Chinese Educational P hilosophy Chinese education had a long history from the Xia, Shang and Zhou 3000/4000 years ago. At that time, a schooling education system had already been established by the Imperial Court ( Government ) T his type of school was Guan Xue ( Government School/Education) which is controlled by the Imperial Court. All students were a ristocrats and high ranking officials. On the other hand, Confucius born in 551 B.C. the famous scholar, educator, philosopher, broke the rule of Xue Z ai Guan Fu (learning at the government hall). H e encouraged learning for all hierarchical levels and for all ages (Confucius Analects ) Confucius opened the door of education to the any people
39 who are interest ed in learning He established his own school and started to spread his ideas thoughts and views. He became the earliest founder for private education This type of private school/education is known as Si Xue (private institution) Later, Si Xue develop s and becomes private education system known as Si Shu T hese Si Shu are primary school for ordinary folks. G overnment S chool and P rivate S chool formed the two systems for ancient Chinese education. From Han Dynasty (206 BCE 220 CE) till Qing (1644 1912) Dynasty, the formation of government institution had been well established. A ll the teaching material and education al training and preparation were for Imperial E xamination. After receiving a title in the Imperial E xamination one would receive a position in the b ureaucracy. A ll G overnment S chool and P rivate S chool only have one purpose which is fo r preparing for I mperial E xaminations Private S chool Si Shu is generally more liberal in teaching, but most of them are still hard to avoid this intension Imperial Imperial Examination, the only value, influences Chinese education system. The teaching materials in Private School, Si Shu, from Ming Dynasty Qi Dynasty were not changed too much, and the beginning of Republic Of China found in 1911 still followed the system and teaching materials such as Three Words C lassics (San Zi Jing) Family Surnames (Bai Jia X ing) Thousand Characters Writing (Qi an Zi Wen) Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems (Tang Shi San Bai), and Four Bo oks and Five Classics (Si Shu Wu Jing): Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, The Analects, Mencius, Classic of Poetry, Classic of History, Classic of Rite, Classic of Changes, and Spring & Autumn Annals. The essence of learning based on philoso phy places a great
40 emphasis on humanity and culture education It focuses on the teaching of morality and the development of wisdom. I t covers philosophy, language, literature, history, discipline nature, and culture. Except for Imperial Examination the essential purpose of Chinese education is to educate a person to become one of morality and wisdom, who can contribute his ability for people. Thus, teaching on knowledge comes later, but learning moral virtues such as loyalty, filial piety, respect elderly, hard work, righteousness, study hard to become a moral one comes first. In the type of traditional Si Shu the rules and regulations are extrem ely strict. Teaches are given absolute authority even there is some violation of rules such as hitting the hands and hitting the butts T he educational philosophy has a rich heritage from the traditional philosophers Confucius, Mencius, Tsunzi, Zhu Xi and so on T heir theories enhance understanding the relationships between people and nature justice and self discipline and knowledge and action. The development of moral virtues is to pursue goodness and benevolence through everyday practice and self development. According to Confucius benevolence and etiquette are closely connected to each other. Su n (2011) indicates, Benevolence determines etiquette Psychological self consciousness of benevolence functions, as the intrinsic essence of etiquette that reflects benevolence as its external manifestation and realizes benevolence in real life contexts (p.316). I n other words, the rationale of traditional Chin ese educational philosophy guide s people to seek moral perfection in the real life that fulfill goodness and benevolence In a 2000 year educational history, Confucianism has been a broad and profound influence d on the national spirit, political ideas, moral concepts, value orientation and
41 the way the Chinese people think, especially, on education (Sun, M. 2011). However, t her e are two main influences on contemporary Chinese (Taiwan) educat ion : c lassical Confucian philosophy and western educational philosophy I n modern Chinese (Taiwan), the first philosophy of education occurred in the 1920s and 1930s (Shenghong, J. and Dan, F., 2011). Also, in this period, the first influence coming from w estern philosophy of education John Dewey s pragmatism had important inspiration and changes in scholars and practitioners Dewey visited China (1991 1921) for two years at a very significant moment in Chinese history. Sue, Z. (2011) explains the attitude and changes of intellectuals during this period: When the Opium War in 1842 revealed the decay and decline of the feudal dynasty and heightened its social crisis, many Chinese intellectuals recognized the need to learn Western science and technology to reform the old system of education, which was characterized by Confucian learning and imperial examination that emphasized memorization rather than reasoning. Once they rejected the past models they were very eager to search for Western ideas that might be relevant to China (Su, Z., p.304). Therefore, Taiwan s philosophy of education has long been relied on the foundation al education support and under t h e shadow of the west M oreover, in recent 20 years, m any Taiwan scholars who studied in Western returned home and brought back new educational ideas and new ways of thinking, which provided broad scope for the rise of educational philosoph ies. T here were growing numbers of educators and scholars who tended to agree with Dewey and more Westernized elements gradually changed Chinese education For example, b ilingual educators in Taiwan who consider Chinese educational values f rom a Vygotskian perspective which is about language and thought development within influences of cultural and environmental interaction between children and adults Current debate in Taiwan regarding bilingual education centers upon the hegemony of
42 western culture as embedded in English education and educators have bec ome concerned with the immersing young children in Chinese cultural contexts while they are a cquiring the first language and developing a second language. In other words, the relationship between language and culture has taken on increased importance. The ories of Language and Culture To define culture, Matthew Arnold (1822 1888 ) said that it is ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the 6). Philip Riley (2007) add ed more details to explain that culture is a product of human activity and effort and the sum of knowledge. I t is accumulated stored, and transmitted throughout history by human being. In the 832 1917) declare s : Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society (1897, p 1) L anguage is an important vehicle for expressing and presenting ex perience s, through which people of groups share their beliefs and construct the ir culture and custom. Fishman (1985) distinguishes three links between language and culture: language as a part of culture; language as an index of culture; language as symbol ic of culture (p.13). He explain s that language reveals the ways of thinking and organizing personal experiences, which are associated cultures. Kramsch (1998) also claims that language expresses culture reality; language embodies cultural reality; language symbolizes cultural reality (p.3). She uses a lens of a post structuralist to see the relationship of between language and culture. She said
43 T he words people utter refer to common experience. T hey express facts, ideas or events that are communicable because they refer to a stock of knowledge about the world that other people share. Words also reflect their author s attitudes and beliefs, their point of view language expresses culture reality (Kramsch, 1998, p.3). Therefore, language includes culture and culture includes language. Language and culture cannot be separated under most circumstances human language is always embedded in culture (Byram, 2002). Language is a cultural and social too It assist s indivi dual s to grow as ethical beings and ultimately to effect discourse change ( Bakhtin 198 1; Gurevitch 2000 ; Nealson 1997 ) Language and culture are deemed close ly related with each other. In deed, language and culture have mutual consequen tial influence because language use presents as a form of social action (Austin, 1962, Searle 1969) in social contexts and events E ssential perception s of culture include language usage and choice of language patter ns Vygotsky s C ognitive D evelopment of C hildren Vygotsky theories link language and culture in terms of cognitive development. Because Vygotsky regarded language as a critical bridge between the sociocultural world and individual mental functioning, he viewed the acquisition of language as th e most significant milestone in s cognitive development (Berk & Winsler, 1995, p.12) T hree of (1962) studies are regularly cited as providing the foundations for process based model of children s learning they include his: (a) analysis of transformation from thoughts to language, (b) concept of learning as a socially constructed process and (c) the zone of the proximal development (ZPD). Vygotsky shows how thought is transformed into language. Language begins ego central speech that is economic al in words and hardly understood by others and between words and meaning. As egocentral speech develops as an inner speech, internalized speech, and finally become the closest form to thought. This is the form of pure meaning or the most
44 abbreviate d form of language. Eventually, thought is transformed into the communicative language --thought in the conventional form. According to Vygotsky, thought is not just expressed by language because it exists through language. Thought, meaning, and language are interrelated and interwoven into one form. foundation for the process based learning model. His theorization of the learning process helps us to have a lens to observe and understand teaching in the classroom. Look ing instructors can assist students to provide good models and help them communicate m ore clearly in language acquisition Language l earning is a transfo rming process, and understanding the learning process is to make this transformation happen and complete. I n his work, Vygotsky notes that learning occurs during interaction between adults and children in real contexts. Children make sense of the world they live in They actively participate in the to higher functions. An understanding t hat learning is a socially constructed process promotes an explanation of how children learn in their natural life. According to Vygotsky, i nteraction not only invites children in to learning activity but also provides space for their reflection on what the y have received, which is the moment of internalization.
45 Bilingual F irst L anguage A cquisition Bilingual first language acquisition (BFLA) is generally referred to learn two language s from birth (Genesee, F., & Nicoladis, E. 2006). There is e vidence that Bilingual first la nguage (BFL) learners might go through an initial monolingual stage (Leopold, W., 1949). The difference between bilingual first language acquisition and monolingual first language acquisition depends upon the development path and timline of language development I n BEL learners resemble children learning only one language (DeHouwer, A.,1995). B ilingual first language learners and monolingual first language learners have the same process of the first language acquisition. There are four different theories of first language acquisition E ach of them is based on researchers studies. F rom traditional perspectives, language acquisition is simply a matter of imitation and habit formation (Skinner, 1957; Miller & D ollare 1941 ). The process of acquisition can explain how some aspects of the langu age such as grammar, sentence pattern, word meaning, and pronunciation are learned. However, the acquisition of language seems to depend on children s possession of some kno wledge, allowing them to develop the language they hear (Chomsky, 1959). T hat is to say children imitate the sounds and sentence patterns which they hear around them and receive positive reinforcement in their environment and society. I n other words, child ren imitate and practice the patterns until they acquire the habits of correct language use to communicat e in interaction. According to the view, quality and quantity of the language the child hears, as well as the consistency of the reinforcement offere d by adults in the environment, have important influences on the child s success in language acquisition However, language acquisition is very complex. Language acquisition follows not only behaviorist s belief s which are imitation/ practic e
46 and construct a grammar on the basis of biological structures (Chomsky, 1959), but language is also acquired from processing the language knowledge and encouraging children to express themselves interactively in real life situation (McLaughlin, 1984). T he interaction between children and the world develops children language acquisition; meanwhile, children apply their development of language by relating what they already know to what they encounter. In other words, it means that language is the verbal way children express their understanding of the world (Piaget, 1983) Lindfors (1991) says that language is an important way for children to make sense out of the world and past experience, to learn from it, and to make it comprehensible declaring that: Lang uage is inextricably entwined with our mental life --our perceiving, our remembering, our attending our comprehending, our thinking --in short, all of our attempts to make sens e of our experience in the world (Lindfors, 1991, p.8) Language is l earned through enthusiastic interaction between the child and the environment. F irst language learning is a process of socialization (Vygotsky, 1987). C hildren must be exposed to language and able to interact with others. As children engage mutual interact ion they learn the world and knowledge. Children s interaction with others gives them meaning to relate language to the sound/meaning relationship. T hus, children naturally acquire first language that helps them to express their needs and purposes. Children constantly adjust their spoken language with their guardians or people around them, in which children develop their ability to use first language and become more and more understanding of social situations and learn how to use words to express their thoughts. Lindfor s (1991) asserts that language is purposeful and as children take part activities, they do so through language In other
47 words, by listening and speaking, chil dren can do self corrections and imitation through the interaction in which they realize the extent of their knowledge of language structure. Interaction gives children an understanding of what they can comprehend Lindfor s (1991) strongly supports that ch ildren s play is one way for children to extend their language abilities; as well as it is where new words can be introduced and used in new ways. Children s play also allows children opportunities to express their point of view, solve problems, and convin ce peers to work together (Lindfor s 1991). The h ome and surrounding environment are importan t places in which children are provided mutual interaction s or chances to imitate and practice language from parent s and guardians with a high degree of success in communication. I n other words, first language acquisition is essential to the way children communicate with other s (Berk & Winsler, 1995; Lindfors,1991 ). Bilingual the F irst C ulture A cquisition M ost research focuses on the process of culture learning as it accompanies language learning based on perspective of native culture C ultural development a s the way to think, feel, and believe, behave and speak has been considered both in terms of the progress of the individual or development of the group thro ughout human history and contexts Moreover, researchers claim that p eople utilize preferred language pattern s to present their ideas, in which language choice, mixing, and alternation are shaped by individual and social ideologies (Austin, 1962). Searle (1969) also asserts that language changes and adapts to meet the needs of the language user who has concise forms of expression for object or concepts that exist in his/her culture and society (Searle, 1969). T herefore, b ecause c oncepts, thoughts, a nd identities are
48 expressed through language culture is concerned with language acquisition and socialization into a group ( 1897 ) This is a very important point about the relationship between first language and first language culture. T his means that peo ple develop culture identity and know to change and adapt their language patterns to meet their needs in the social contexts based upon the relationship between their first language and culture Thus, bilingual first culture learning is also like culture learning in which should be seen as a process, which find s value, right, and logic in one s own cultural pattern. Bilingual first language acquisition and native culture development acquisition are simply a specific type of human learning related to patter ns of human communication and identification (Damen 1987). Although first language acquisition i s taken for granted when children have enough of engagement and interaction with their contexts, the first culture learning in a bilingual education context bec omes more complex. Basically learning a first culture is a process of indoctrination (Damen, 1987, p.140) and e nculturation leads to the construct ion of a sense of cultural identity. That involves a network of values and beliefs, patterned ways of livin g, choice of language usage, and belief s in the power and the rightness of native ways. In addition, Damen (1987) elaborate s that language learning and culture learning are mutually supporting and reinforcing, but the processes different from each other. Overall, bilingual first culture learning is a natural process where learners internalize the knowledge needed to function in a social group However, b ilingual learners develop self awareness and consciously invoke the attitudes associated with another culture. They grow to be in charge of a conscious and purposeful process
49 Bilingual S econd L anguage A cquisition Krashern (1988), Cummins, (1981), McLaughlin (1987) all claim important impress ive theories of second language acquisition. The main of focus of a second language acquisition is that a second language acquisition have a certain level of awareness and operate at a conscious level, which is including emotion, motivation, comprehensible input language natural order, and, controlled and automatic processing mechanisms McLaughlin defines a utomatic processing of second language acquisition is that the learner s can manage many types of information simultaneously because certain sub skills have become automatic operation in learns brain On the other hand controlled processing of second language acquisition is conscious learning and gives learn er s certain forms of language to practice Generally, early childhood bilingual second language learners do not pay attention to the learning of forms or grammatical rules; instead; their focus is on communication of meaning and interaction, that process of acquisition is more close to the first language learning. T hus, as children acquire a new language, they demonstrate automatic processing. At the beginning, learners may not internalize instructors corrections because of their developing grammatical system ; therefore, an instructor modeling of proper sentences provides a plent iful input for students to use later in developing and monitoring accuracy in language usage B oth McLaughlin and Krashen e mphasize the importance of introducing authentic and contextually embedded language through meaningful activities and the ultimate goal of using language is to communicate, and second language learning should focus more on meaning and not on form. While second language learners should be introduced to complexity of language structures, explicit teaching of forms should be
50 done at a p eripheral level. I n other words, as learners become engaged in activities that encourage them to use language in a purposeful and meaningful way, they will eventually learn the forms of the language. Research in L2 acquisition (Cummins 1981) indicates tha t second language learners who are good in their native language tend to have a better understanding of grammar rules and a better concept of language learning. Second language learning involves the assimilation of information into existing cognitive stru cture of the first language. Jim Cummins (1978) makes a distinction between social language and academic language with in second language acquisition. H e uses four quadrants for proper tasks and strategies to help ELLs at varying proficiency levels from soc ial langu age to academic language. Cummins suggests that children in bilingual program must accomplish in order to avoid cognitive deficits (lower level threshold) and to show advantages in cognitive development ( higher level threshold). Although children in bilingual program have not accomplished varying proficiency levels of second language, they still can show advantages in cognitive development of the first language. However, cognitive flexibility is an attribute of the proficient bilingual In other w ords, the process of a second language acquisition can have varying proficiency levels from social langu age to academic language. Bilingual S econd C ulture A cquisition L earning a second language it is not only grammar and vocabulary that one learn s but also culture. Language learners are individuals in their own right with a social status and identity, who have been socialized into a given culture. Second language learning has dealt with cultural subjects in connect with l anguage development. For s uccessful second language acquisition, second language
51 and second culture inevitably nee d to be learn ed at the same time. In other words, bilingual education must bring two cultures and cultural identities into the interaction. M ichael Byram and Karen Risa Language Teachers, Politics and Cultures, mentioned: The foreign language learner must be able to perceive and understand the cultures of the native speaker, to reflect on his/ her own culture as seen from the foreign perspective, and to r elate one to the other, explain each in terms of the other, accepting that conflicting perceptions are not always reconcilable. This is a quite different cultural competence from that of the native (1999, p.59). Second language learners bring their culture to the interaction, but also adjust to the identity bestowed upon them through the second language and become representatives of their cultures Thus second language/culture learners are exposed to both enculturation and acculturation. Success in learning a language is partially related to the acquisition of the cultural learning that is going along with any linguistic system. Both first culture and second culture learning are process es which reflect the nature of stages of enculturation and acculturation in the first and second language acquisition T hey need a specialized context in which the environment should be made as open as possible for intercultural communication A child in bi lingual program uses his/her own culture to increase awareness of other cultures. Moreover, Hoop es ( 1979 ) describes the intercultural learning process as a continuum from assimilation, adaption biculturalism or multiculturalism. As the child grows up in bilingual and bi culture contexts, he/she is aware of mak ing the decision to adjust to her/his understanding and attitude necessitated by encounters with the other
52 culture. A learner sees his/her own culture as a center of the universe in respect to many o ther views of the universe. Damen (1987) elaborate s that the acquisition of a first culture (enculturation) and that of a second or additional culture (acculturation) exhibit unique variations. He said: Although language learning and culture learning are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, the processes of differ from each other in first as well as in subsequent acquisitions (p.6). Thus, inhabitants (Damen 1987 p7) of first language and second l anguage learning are engaged in culture learning and attempting intercultural communication. Culture acquisition need to be provided a specialized environment for intercultural communication and learning. I t is believed that this is the only way in which cultural contact and language acquis i tion can be made (Damen 1987 ) in light of the development of cultural identity. Theories of Cultural Identity What is cultural identity ? Hall (1996) argues cultural identity is a process of identification which is i n ongoing construction. I n the process, the individual becomes aware of common characteristics shared with other individuals and groups at various levels. Moreover, Sumaryono and Wilma (2004) point out that when most people describe cultural identity, th ey generally think that the most important components are the language and ethnicity of the social and cultural group to which they feel connected and belong to. I n other words, cultural identity can be defined that one s c ommon characteristic s share d amon g group member who fe el connected based on shared the language and ethnicity. F or example, individual shares or feels the common characteristics with the groups such as ancestry, territoriality institution values, norms, and language West (1992) asserts that people understand the distribution of material
53 resources in their society and they know how to gain access to power and privilege for recognition, affiliation and security and safety. West emphasizes that they understand their relationship to the world and their possibilities for the future. Working on feminist poststructuralist tradition, Weedon (1987) integrates language, individual experience, and social power in a theory of subjectivity. S he believes that subjectivity and language are concei ve d as reciproca l ly constitutive ( Weedon, 198 7 ). Language is important in constructing the relationship between the individuality and a social and cultural context. In other words, cultural identity is something that lies between identity and relation s of p ower and symbolic power, because subjectivity is produced and structured in a variety of social sites by relations of power. From a social and psycholo gical perspective (Landry & Allard, 1992; Phinney &Rosenthal, 1992; Tajfel &Turner, 1986), cultural iden tity is that individual behavior which can be guided by the value system of the culture, and that which can hold positive attitudes towards the culture, and can feel a sense of belonging to the culture. Psychological researchers highlight the mutual influe nces between the value system of the culture and individual emotion. Singer (1982, p.54) explains that an individual perceives the process of his/her own cultural identity : M an behaves as he does because of the ways in which he perceives the exte rnal world . W hile individuals and the groups which they constitute can only act or react on the basis of their perceptions, the important point is the at the same stimuli are often perceived differently by different individual and groups. Not only the langu age he speaks and he way in which he thinks, but even what he sees, hears, t astes, touches, and smells are conditioned by the culture in which he has been raised (Singer, 1982, p.54).
54 Singer describes an identity group is as an aggregation of an individu al s w hich exists within a society Identity groups are formed by collection of persons sharing similar ideas and emotions of the external world. I n addition from a post structural perspective, Norton (1997) concludes that cultural identity refers to th e relationship between individuals and members of a group who share a common history, a common language, and similar ways of understanding the world. Summarizing the relationship of language and identity, s he says that it is complex, contradictory, co co nstructed, and multifaceted (p.79). I n other words, cultural identity is the kind of contextualization that individuals in social process construct. As outlined above, an understanding of cultural identity from different perspectives will guide this stu dy. Overall, to a bilingual learner, cultural identity is not only a relationship between the individual and society, but it is the process of enculturation which takes place during childhood and is largely formed by the individual s family, native institutions, and experiences However, even in the same environment individual s do not have the similar personal experiences. T hus, culture identity has two parts, partly private part and partly public part (Doman, 1987). Partly public p art of cultural identity is similar to that of others ( Norton 1997 ; Hall 1996 ; Sumaryono and Wilma 2004) T he partly private part of cultural identity is idiosyncratic (Damen 1987 p.140), which is reveal ed by (Landry & Allard, 1992; Phinney &Rosenthal 1992; Tajfel &Turner, 1986, Weedon (1987) C onclusion Chinese educators and scholars in Taiwan still seek what is most important from Chinese philosophy of education to encourage real dialogue between traditional
55 Chinese philosophy and western education al philosophy (Shenghon, J. & Dan, J., 2011) In this chapter, I reviewed important issues in traditional study of early childhood bilingual education in where two important elements, language and culture, had been discussed from perspectives of early childhood bilingual education. A brief of Chinese education and Chinese education al philosophy were positioned to support an awareness of background knowledge of current Chinese education An understanding of theories and practices of bilingual education in the world provide a lens to investigate a bilingual preschool in Taiwan related to language and culture acquisition at bilingual contexts. Moreover, theories of language and culture were extended to include the investigation of bilingual first language and culture acquisition as well as bilingual second language and culture acquisition as the relation between the two have become a concern of bilingual educators in Taiwan where there are concerns about whether bilingual ism would negatively or p ositively affect in early childhood education T heories of cul tural identity were addressed to examine a process of cultural identity from various perspectives. Overall, the literature review ed in this study developed a formwork to study a n early childhoo d bilingual program of a school in Taiwan where issues of language and cultural identity are of primary concern From a Colonized to a Multilingual and Multicultural Society Taiwan is composed of diverse races which are constituted by 91 percent Han and 9 percent Austronesians. The indigenous population is divided into two subgroups, the Plain tribe and the Mountain tribes who are Amis, Paiwan, Puyuma, Saisiyat, Yami, Atayal, Bunun, Rukai, and Tsou (Tsao, F., 1997) immigran ts were Han who were pioneers in the late Ming and Qing dynasties and
56 Like many Asian countries, Taiwan also had a colonial experience th at influenced its ethnolinguistic composition and political development (Copper, 2003). colonial experiences were complex. As the immigrants interacted with the Austronesian nd they assimilated into the Chinese culture and language. Although for business trade, Taiwan was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish for short periods, there was not much effort on changing the language and culture of Taiwan (Copper, 2003) Ho wever, in 1894, Taiwan was ceded to Japan by the Qing dynasty regime because Qi dynasty regime lost the Sino Japanese war. Taiwan remained a Japanese colony until 1945, the end of World War II, when it returned to China. The period of Japanese colonization (1895 1945) was characterized by a rigid but successful effort to educate all Taiwanese elites in the Japanese language and culture which had particularly profound effects on cultural identity (Tsao, Feng fu, 1999) Later, in 1949, the Nationalist governm ent lost the mainland of China to the Communists and withdrew to Taiwan. Taiwan, under the administration of the Nationalist government, launched a very successful land reform and developed into a prosperous industrialized society. With rapid economic grow th, education was no longer a luxury to the people of Taiwan. In 1982, 98.6% of the elementary students continued their studies into middle school (Tsao, F., 1999) and Mandarin became the dominant office language People had opportunities to receive higher education, which increased their ability to get better jobs, receive higher incomes, and raise their social status. Indeed, this rapid economic development of
57 Taiwan has a fully developed economy and a wealthy society, even with the economic downturns in 2011. Language S ensitivity in Taiwan diverse ethno linguistic heritage (Tsao, F. F., 1999). However, when the 1949 government of Chiang Kai shek was defeated by the Communists and feared an imminent invasion (Tsao, F. F., 1999) from the Communist mainland, Nationalists (KMT) adopted a new language policy which forced every resident of Taiwan to speak and write in standard Mandarin because the Nationalist government believed that great diversity causes a great hindrance to national unification and integration (Tsao, 1996). (Tsao, F. F., 1999) which is a one way affair, with the lesser population of the aboriginal people, Hakka and Minnan, needing to learn Mandarin rather than the Mainlanders (around two million people after 1949 when Chiang Kai As national integration was the top national priority (Tsao, 1999) this one way bilingualism became the first choice. The KMT government made an effort to promote Mandarin and Chinese cultural heritage by making Taiwan a sort of cultural repository. Mandarin, the national language, became the only language for official communication, and the language of literacy in Taiwan. After fifty years of very successf ul promotion, an estimated 90 percent of the population is able to communicate in Mandarin (Tsao, 1996) All minority languages --Minnan, Hakka, and aboriginal languages --have become weak and even extinct. Nevertheless, with rapid economic growth, Taiwa
58 consciousness was awakened. The way bilingualism language policy was attacked and oppugned in the 1980s and 1990s (Tsao, 1996) As Taiwan has moved towar d have been playing an increasingly important role in the process of language policy making. For ethno consciousness and the international business trades, the Taiwanese are no longer satisfied with their one in education policy (Tsao, 1999) has been largely conducted to include three language education parts: (1) the local island dialects: Hakka, Minnanyu, and aboriginal language s, (2) Mandarin, the national language, and (3) English. Mandarin, the national language, still has a powerful position in the language in education system. It is used in teaching and communication in school and daily life ages or mother tongues. Mandarin is an important subject in the s from grade 1 to the college level (Tsao, 1999) ; in addition, Mandarin is also as a tool and a medium of instruction for acquiring other knowledge. Therefore, competence in In spite of the important role of Mandarin, mother tongue education in indigenous languages has turned into a considerable issue heritage, culture and language, and can help students to develop concepts about preserving, transmitting, and creating heritage, language and culture. Further, mother tongue education can foster respect for multilingua lism. In 2002, indigenous languages were made compulsory by the MOE (Ministry of Education) and most schools allotted
59 one or two hours per week for the study of one of the indigenous languages. Some counties have even started remedial language courses for various indigenous languages up to the years of the middle school curriculum. Nonetheless, many studies mother tongue, Minnanyu, Hakka, or Austronesian language, has dete riorated, proficiency in Mandarin has improved considerably over the generations (Tsao, 1999). However, indigenous languages are voiced in the diverse ethno linguistic heritage society. A Modern Taiwan W here the East M eets the West Another significant la nguage policy change that has been emerging due to the needs of modern society is English education. As mentioned in the introductory chapter, depends more than in the past on high tech and highly literate industries that essentially need various technical knowledge and skilled manpower. Tsao (1996) provided a concrete example: if Taiwan becomes an Asian Pacific Regional Operational Center, it i s estimated that Taiwan needs at least half a million people who not only have specialized knowledge, but also are truly bilingual in English and Chinese. With the ambition to become the international trade center of Asia, Taiwan needs to raise the English proficiency of its people. Since English is the key to modernization and political and economic power, the Taiwanese felt impelled to have their government adopt English as their second dominant language. Beginning in 2005, the MOE (Ministry of Education ) decided that English should be taught in the third grade curriculum of elementary schools nationwide, and in Taipei, the capital, English education would start in the first grade. English
60 school ers to elderly people, whether male or female, everyone shows great interest in learning English and tries hard to improve their English proficiency. From school academic learning to commercial business, from TV programs to advertisements, everywhere one c an read/see English words and hear English in Taiwan. Despite the fact that English is not the official second language in Taiwan, its importance and influence worry some scholars and educators. They are concerned that Taiwan is gradually becoming an Engli sh colony. They agonize that the hegemony of English will diminish the respect, use, and value of Chinese languages or even make Chinese languages and culture inferior to English and the Western culture. Since MOE inevitably extended English education from the elementary to the middle school level, more and more Taiwanese parents believe that if they do not provide an early English learning environment, their children will not be as competitive in the future. Thus, numerous private institutes and organizati ons provide English instruction from preschool to graduate levels, even as early as nursery school (one two years old). English has come to be the dominant language and is overpowering the Chinese language to a certain extent. Moreover, some private school s allow their English teachers to punish children for speaking Chinese (Mandarin) in classrooms. Shannon (1995) developed a working definition of linguistic hegemony: Wherever more than one language or language variety exists together, their status in relation to one another is often asymmetric. In those cases, one will be perceived as superior, desirable, and necessary, where the other will be seen as inferior, undesirable, and extran eous (p.8) Educators and scholars are concerned that the Chinese lan guage and culture will become inferior, undesirable, and extraneous with the rise of this English hegemony in
61 Taiwan. They strongly oppose English learning from pre school or kindergarten. They believe that if the Taiwanese do not resist the hegemony of En glish, the Taiwanese will lose their cultural identity and their languages. C onclusion From the colonized to a multilingual and multicultural society, Taiwan has developed a diverse ethno linguistic culture consisting of Minnanyu, aboriginal languages, Ha kka, Japanese, Mandari n, and even English. However, for over 100 years Taiwan has feared losing its cultural identity and languages, especially since the Japan ese invasion and the later take over by the Nationalist government. They have worried about losin g the Chinese languages, Minnanyu and Hakka, when the Japanese occupied Taiwan, and losing the aboriginal languages, Hakka, and Minnany, since the Nationalist Government began ruling Taiwan. They have been concerned about losing the local languages and the ir cultural identity twice in the last 100 years of history. Currently, they are terrified of losing Chinese (Mandarin) and cultural identity since many Taiwanese have became desperate to learn English in order to become a modern country and the internatio nal trade center of Asia. In reality, although the Taiwanese have an historical fear of losing their cultural heritage and languages, they are eager to develop into a modern high tech industrialized society. Therefore, the fear of the loss of languages an d cultural identity in Taiwan because of outside interference (first to the Japan invaders, later to the Mainland force, and currently to the Western world influence) makes Taiwan not only sensitive to language and cultural issues, but also more aware of t he necessity to fight, protect, and maintain its language and cultural identity. Currently, Taiwan, a small island, has a common consensus that the international language English, is an inevitable language
62 for the needs of modern society; however, Taiwanese also fight against the hegemony of English in order to maintain their language and cultural identity. My research school fac ed the dilemma of either developing an English progr am or maintaining the heritage culture and languages for young childr en T he school did not take either position; moreover, the school makes efforts to fight again st hegemony and educate children to become bilingual and bi literate modern citizens with English competence and knowledge of Chinese literary tradition. Early Childhood B ilingual E ducation in Taiwan A lthough early childhood education is deemed as informal education not compulsory education in Taiwan, it has developed in Taiwan over the past 100 years (Lin, 2007). Traditional early childhood education in Taiwan was heavily influenced by Chinese values which emphasized academic achievement; therefore, teaching practice s in early childhood education in Taiwan focused on didactic methods such as : memory and recitation formal school skills such as counting and Manda rin phonetic symbols, and pencil paper activities such as practicing quizzes However, in the past 20 years, many scholar s and educators have stud ied in Western countries, such as the USA, England, and German y and they have brought back the ideas and phil osophy of Western education such as the theories of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and Rudolf Steiner ; consequently these have deeply impacted Taiwanese early childhood education. Many early childhood schools have adopt ed Western educational concepts such as attending to s needs, democracy in the classroom, hands on activities, and the importance of free play (Lin and Tsai, 1996) However, b ecause early childhood education is not an indispensable responsibilit y of the government in Taiwan, pa rents have to pay the tuition by them selves; therefore,
63 they also bring a lot of ideas and expectation s to early childhood education Many parents enroll ing their children in kindergarten expect the s chool to arouse their s growth in intelligence in early stages (Lin 2007 ) Moreover, many middle class parents think that send ing their children to a preschool/ kindergarten that not only has a high emphasis on individual creativity, autonomy, and critical thinking but also on academic learning will ad d up to an emphasis on English education. They think literacy in English is necessary and represents the future financial and career success T his is the reason why early childhood bilingual education receive s widespread support from parents While early child hood bilingual education is very popular and pro fitable in Taiwan, it en counters the following obstacles and problems: Most of the early childhood bilingual schools follow Western educational philosophy and ideas which are not relevant for s Taiwanese/Chinese cultural belief s and educational philosophy Early childhood bilingual education is too westernized for Taiwanese children because of the influences both from Western educational philosophy and English language usage. Most o f the early childhood bilingual schools emphasize English languag e learning and ignore children Chinese language development Most of the early childhood bilingual schools rely on ready made English language teaching materials which include Western conte nts and ideas with in a narrow curriculum design. B ilingual curriculum contents are based on English language knowledge and are not related to Taiwanese s real life experiences. Western educational philosophy and theories are introduced in t eacher s c olleges and conducted by teachers in English in bilingual preschool/ kindergarten classrooms. Western cultures and educational philosophy and language have significantly infused Taiwanese early childhood bilingual education. Thus, in order to deal with the serious concerns above, the demand s for early childhood bilingual schools are growing.
64 Scholars and educators are try ing very hard to prevent the loss of the Chinese language and cultural identity in current early childhood bilingual education
65 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The M ajor Q uestions E xplored in the S tudy This study investigated how a Pre K school balances a Chinese and English bilingual program and how the balanced Pre K bilingual program impacts the national language and cultural identity. U nderstanding the contexts of the school was critical to investigate the philosophy/mission and curriculum/teaching practices of the school. Thus, the organizing research questions evolved from a literature review of bilingual education and the synthesis of the relationship of language and culture and curriculum development 1. What is the educational philosophy of the Pre K bilingual program of the Natural Way School in Taiwan ? 2. How do the curriculum and instructional planning of the school demonstrate its balance in the Pre K bilingual program ? 3. What are the perception s about the program by students who have graduated and their parents ? Perspective Research M ethodology Q ualitative research is a field of inquiry which can facilitate research ers understand i ng of the complexity of social and cultural contexts including people s belie fs, values, identit ies and attitudes. Moreover, a qualitative case study is appropriate for exploring a bounded system in depth, and the bounded system of interest r epresented in the case being studied (Stake 1995) which has three features, particularistic, descriptive, and heuristic I n other words, a case study can demonstrate a particular situation, event, program, or phenomenon (Merriam, 1998) in a rich and
66 thick descriptio n, which can illuminate the reader s understanding of the phenomenon under study (Merriam, 1998, p.30). Since this study was to descri be the complexities of language and cultur al development in an early childhood bilingual education school, it needs a thing, a single entity, a unit around which there are (Merria n 1998, p.25). Moreover, a case study could present a holistic and lifelike Merrian, 1998. P .30) description of how the S ch ool conduct s bilingual educatio n. Thus, I utilize d case stud ies as my research design to seek an in depth understanding Many scholars (Robeter Stake, 1995; Merriam, 1998, and Robert Yin, 2003) wr o te about designs of case stud ies that are very common in educational research such as describing educational s ystems of a classroom, a program, a school, or a college campus In a similar vein, research techniques of case studies were studie d and applied in this study to triangulate multiple data source s including interviews, observations, and artifacts, to devel op an in depth expl oration to better understand my case study An epistemology is a way of understanding and explaining how we know what we meaning in context (Merriam, 1998, p. 1), all knowledge is social ly constructed (Gergen, 1985) and In other words, knowledge is formed between the objective world and the subjective mind through human being s engagement and interpret ation. My research was grounded with c onstructi v ism as an epistemology an d therefore, the belief that theories are dependent upon the construction of knowled ge I believe all theories depend on situation s in which they are not discovered but are constructed. Also, I consider that we cannot sufficiently
67 describe any object in isolation from our conscious experienc e nor can any experience be described in isola tion from the object of the experience. Experience is directed toward objects and the object is shaped by the experience. Objects and experience s mutually interact as social interpretations are constructed. Moreover, Heidegger and Merleau Ponty (Crotty, 20 04, p.44) world and objects in the world may be themselves meaningless; yet they are our M y research attempt ed to con struct knowledge within a constructivist paradigm in the form of a case study with a rich and thick (Merriam, 1988) description Via the lens of constructivists, the focus of this study is on the object, the school, in which knowledge has been constructed by the school and perception. W ith th is intention, qu alitati ve research is capable of providing in depth information because quantitative research usually seeks for general patterns with a large scale of samples. Thu s, it does not allow me to see current phenomenon with in its real life context. More importantly, quantitative research tends to use the final product to explain the result, in which there is no rich narrative and description to reveal some important ignor language policy, and social contexts. Pilot S tudy With the IRB approv al I conducted a pilot study in Taiwan from Jun e 1 st to August 25 th 2009 The purposes of the pilot stu dy were : 1) to test my research methods which include d research questions, interview questions, data collection methods, and data analysis methods (Glesne, 1999; Sampson, 2004), 2) to familiarize myself with the research setting, and 3) to narrow the resea rch focus. T he pilot study was very helpful
68 in chang ing my position from an insider to an outsider with a researcher s lens doing observation and interviews. I refined semi structured interview questions about cultural identity issue s ; meanwhile, I change d my interviewees from kindergarteners to former students who were old enough to understand cultural identity questions because kindergarten children were too young to answer the questions. I interviewed students and teachers who entered a summer Engli sh pr ogram. The majority of the information was gathered from observation s informal interviews, semi structured interviews, and artifacts T he findings from the pilot study were later used as background knowledge for this study Setting of the S tudy This resea rch was an investigation of cultur al identity and English education in a Pre K bilingual program of a private school a bilingual education al context The setting for this study was a school with grades from preschool to high school located in the middle of Taiwan. The range of ages of school students was from 3 15 years old. There a re 4 divisions of the school: preschool, kindergarten, eleme ntary school and middle school. Most children in the school were from middle class families whose parents we re enthusiastic My focus was on the Pre K bilingual program. T here were three groups of students in Pre K bilingual program: 3 4 year old s 4 5 year old s and 5 6 year old s totally around 120 students. The school was chosen because the bilingual program has existed since 1997 and the English teaching has a good reputation in the region. Another reason was that I had worked for this school for 9 years beginning in Octobe r of 1 997. As a former employee of the school, I had easy access to approach the administrators, students teachers, parents,
69 and document s and I was very familiar with programs and environment which would be a big help for me in carrying out the research and collecting data. Participants in the S tudy Research participants were students, teachers, the founder, and administrators of the school. I conducted my pilot study in summer As I interviewed some participants, I found that when I asked s ome questions about cultural issues, former older students displayed more confidence and understanding in their respon se but when I asked questions about the purposes of the that only students who studied at the school for mor e than 2 3 years had some ideas and opinions Thus, I used criteria sampling to select and recruit my participants T he following selection criteria were used: (1) a dministrator s who were in early childhood bilingual program ; (2) t eacher participants who taught early bilingual program s for at least for one year ; (3) s tudent participants who were former students and over 15 years old ; (4) p arent participants whose children had been in Pre K bilingual programs for 2 3 years. I recruited 2 4 participants: 10 students, 8 teachers, 3 parents, 2 administrators, and 1 founder. The purpose of th ese interview s was to collect information to answer my research questions ( K uzel, 1999; Patton, 1990). Ten former students were over 15 years old and they were in the bi lingual program of the School for 2 3 years when they were preschoolers Three homeroom Chinese teachers, two English speaking instructor s, and three subject teachers were interviewed. I n addition, 3 parents and 2 additional administrators we re included to provide other perspectives on the bilingual program.
70 Data C ollection A variety of qualitative data were collected Multiple data sources included interviews, archival data, and observation s The methodology of the study was based on a constructionist theoretical framework. Data was gathered from t hree main sources: 1) interviews: semi structured interviews, informal interviews T he purpose of the interviews was to learn about the school s phi losophy and the result s of the educational practi c e s of its Pre K bilingual program 2) A rchival data that included the scho curriculum, course syllabi and students work The purpose of collecting artifacts was to supplement my understand ing the curriculum of the Pre K bilingual program 3) O bservation s that included : classroom activities and school events. Field notes and reflections were recorded Ob servation s I conducted for the pilot study in the summer of 2009 were included As an insider who became a n outside observer I became a passive observer, which allowed me to physical ly be in the school, but not take part in the classroom activities. The purpose of the observat ion s was to understand the interaction between teachers and students in the school and the classroom activities S urvey s also were used to find out the ages and years in the school Procedures of Data C ollection Interviews There were two kinds of interviews: Semi structured interviews and informal interviews. There were four protocols ( Appendix A, B, C, D ) for semi structured interviews ( Table 1). The first protocol was for students, the second protocol was for teachers, the third was for parents, and the fourth was for the founder part The 40 50 minute semi structured interviews focused on participants past experience s and were
71 held with former student participants Each participant was ask ed to recall his/her previous exp erience of learning English in the bilingual program and to describe his/her cultural identity. T he one hour semi structured interviews with teachers were focus ed on how they conducted their teaching and designed lesson plans under the S chool s philosophy and mission. I nterviews with parents emphasize d how they take part in the school s activities and how they support their children in bilingual education, and what their opinion s are of the Pre K bilingual program at the Natural Way School. The interview w ith the founder was conducted to clarify the school s philosophy All participants c ould use either Chinese or English in the interviews. I nterviewees responde d freely without any limitations. The interviews were tape recorded and transcribed. T he other i nterview s were informal interviews. These interviews were conducted spontaneously whenever the time and place was approp riate during the pilot study summer. These interviews were conducted purposely with main informants who ha d sues, such as administrators. Interviews were conducted with a non fixed set of questions which we re open ended and unstructured The interviews activities. The purpose of informal interviews was to guide me to understand the related issues by providing general information about the school. T he administrators usually bec am e more talkative after the tape recorder was turned off, speaking freely on many intere sting and controversial school policies and events. In all the interviews I followed a listen more talk les s strategy (Seidman 1991). A digital recorder was used to record the interviews. Sometime s I took short notes to guide me during the interviews.
72 Table 3 1 Interview Interviews Participants Numbers Times Time Total Semi structured interviews Students 10 1 40 50 min ut es 7 hours Parents 2 1 1.5 hour 3 hours Teachers 8 1 1 hour 8 hours Founder 1 2 2 hours 4 hours In formal interviews Students 6 2 No limit No limit Administrators 3 2 N o limit No limit Observation My study was a phenomenon of some sort occurring in a bounded context (Miles and Hubeman 1994 p. 25); therefore observation in real contexts wa s necessary and important for collecting data. Observation times were schedu led in 2009 and 2010. During th ose periods, I wen t to the schools from Mondays t hrough Fridays 9:00 5:00. In 2009, my observation focused on interaction s between students and teachers ( Table 3 2 ). I n 2010, my o bservation focused on the S chool s event s and classroom activities ( Table 3 3 ). It was dense observation and I kept field notes and reflection s of observation. In the observation process I was involved as a non participation observ er even in the classrooms of some teachers I was very familiar with. M y field notes record ed what happen ed in the school and how the s tudents involve d thems el ves in the school s events and classroom activities. Survey A personal backgro und questionnaire (Appendix E) w a s to survey the students personal background, ages, language learning experience during Pre K bilingual education, an d reflection on bilingual education I conducted it after I interviewed my
73 former student participants. I ts purpose was to increase unde rstanding of the participants learning background. Table 3 2 Observations in 2009 Table 3 3 Observations in 2010 Observations: focus on classroom activities and school s events Total 3 4years old classrooms: 5/31, 6/1, 6/8, 6/9, 6/16, 6/17, 6/24, 6/25, 7/1, 7/2, 7/9 11 days 4 5 years old classrooms: 6/2, 6/3, 6/10, 6/11, 6/18, 6/21, 6/28, 6/29, 7/5, 7/6, 7/12 11 days 5 6 years old classrooms: 6/4, 6/7, 6/14, 6/15, 6/22, 6/23, 6/30, 7/7, 7/8, 7/13, 7/14 11 days Collection of A rti facts McCulloch (2004) mentions: Documents represented evidence that researchers did not produce for themselves but which was already in existence (p.26). T his means that documents were not manipulated by the researcher for conducting their research. Moreover Denny Taylor & Catherine Dorsey Gaines use Levine s words that we cannot afford to ignore the content and functions of written materials and Observations: focus on interactions between teachers and students Total 3 4years old classrooms: 5/28, 5/29, 6/5, 6/8, 6/15, 6/16, 6/23, 6/24, 7/1, 7/2, 7/9, 7/10, 12 days 4 5 years old classrooms: 6/1, 6/2, 6/9, 6/10, 6/17, 6/18, 6/25, 6/26, 7/3, 7/6, 7/13, 7/14 12 days 5 6 years old classrooms: 6/3, 6/4, 6/11, 6/12, 6/19, 6/22, 6/29, 6/30, 7/7, 7/8, 7/15, 7/16 12 days
74 information th at they contain is a strategic social resource (p. 263). T hus, commercial prints ( advertisement s ) of the school yielded information about the contents and purposes of the school, and the school s document records were used to gain an in depth understanding of the school s daily activities. I paid attention to my needs and goals of study to determine the selection and collection. My document collection could be divided into two parts which were primary and secondary sources. Primary sources constitute the basic, raw, imperfect evidence which were often fragmentary scattered and difficult to use (Marwick 1970 p 131), such as: lesson plan s teachers diar ies course syllabi supplementary exercise records, and students written work Secondary sources included the text books an advertising brochure teaching video tapes, and audio tapes of the founder s speech ; these provided coherent look at the school s history promotion and an introduction to the school s mission The y provided a rich source of data for understanding the school s teaching and learning discovered p.44 ) and they are deemed as a holistic record of teaching and learning The t apes were analyzed to furnish cultural information for understanding the mission and philosophy Collecting these artifacts really help ed me answer my research question s. While collecting data, I work ed on the analysis process and use d the data to generate information for interviews and to discover more information for analysis. In addition, my field notes were an important r esource when I analyzed my observation s artifact s, and interviews. Data A nalysis Data analysis is a consistent and systematic method to analyze the data for presenting the findings of the study which align with the theoretical perspective for the
75 study Numerous data was produced during process of collection. I divided data into two parts: (1) documents and (2) transcri ption s, in which I used separate methods of analysis : description analysis interpretation and domain analysis. In my study, I knew that document analysis in documentary based educational and social research is an important practice. Thus, whether primary or secondary documents, all need ed to be read critically and analyzed rather than being taken at surface value. I applied McCulloch s rules (2004) in appraising and analyzing my study documents, which are authenticity, reliability meaning and theorization Since authenticity is a fundamental criterion (Scott, 1990), the first step for analyzing was to establish the authenticity of the d ocument to determine whether the evidence was genuine and of unquestionable origin (Scott 1990, p.6). McCulloch (2004) suggests that in the case of documents the author, the place, and the date of writing all need to be established and verified I concl ude d the authenticity of evidence for the r esearch. The second step was to appraise reliability or the truth and bias of the documents. I checked how readily the documents could be relied on, and whether they might give a false outline of events or omit im portant points to avoid incurring the displeas ure of the readers for whom it was intended. Tosh (2002) points out that each type of source possesses certain strengths and weakness; considered together, and compared one against the other, there is a chance that they wil l reveal the true facts or something very close to them (2002, p.98) I took this concern into account in my study. Meanwhile, I kn e w that bias is also produce d by a wide range of possible intentions, such as to rationalize on s own action s, to discredit those of others, to support a case or to undermine it, and to understate a problem or to exaggerate it. As McCulloch says:
76 Several writers have suggested that, in order to overcome these potential problems of reliability and bias, it is necessary to make use of a wide range of different kinds of documents which will represent alternative viewpoints and interests. At times this process appears to be conceived as a form of triangulation, through which the truth will emerge from testing different kinds of documents against each other. According to Tosh, for instance, historical research should not be dependent on a single source, for it is likely to be in some way inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise tainted. (McCulloch, 2004, p.44) Therefore, I underst oo d that biases involved in document selection were a significant clue for me to the issues being analyzed and I asked second opinions from former colleague s to overc om e the potential problems of reliability and bias. Another im portant issue of document analysis was the meaning of the document. In other words, I ha d to pay attention to the context in which the document was produced (McCulloch, 2004), and the meaning of document help ed me to ensure that the evidence wa s clear and comprehensible. The last step was developing a theoretical framework through which to interpret the document. Jupp and Norris (1993) stressed that the interpretive approach emphasizes the nature of social phenomena such as documents that are socially const ructed. The analysis of the documents based on this perspective set out to establish the social ly constructed interpretation o f the text. This approach aim ed at providing an accurate practice to s h ow how the school finds the balance in two languages and two cultures what students do learn, what the school does look like, at critical moments in a particular place (p.149). I describe d everything conceivable such as all the information from the school s document s which might unwieldy and incomprehensible. However, I determine d what wa s and wa s not relevant data. As Wolcott (1994) quo tes his favorite ethnographer, Michael Agar: In ethnography you learn something ( collect data ), then you tr y t o make sense out of it ( analysis ), then you go back and see if the
77 interpretation make s sense in light of new experience ( collect more data ), then you refine your interpretation ( more analysis ), and so on. T he process is dialectic, not linear. (A gar, 1980, p 9) I use d Wolcott description analysis interpretation to transform the dat a Description I tried to interpret and mark it in phrases like cultur al purpose language 24 s olar t erms, or cultur al orient ation Then, I went back to my description to see if it made sense or not with the new information or data I collected, and I refined my interpretation Data consist ed of observations written by me and documents from t he School Analysis addresses the identification of essential features and the systematic description of interrelationships among them in short, how things work. In terms of stated objectives, analysis also may be employed evaluatively to address question s of why the school is now working or how i When I went through the document s I interpreted processes questions of meanings and contexts: I applied Wolcott s questions throughout the process. As I carefully read each document, what was in my mind to help me to understand the document Then, I categorize d organize d and synthesize d Th is analysis started from descriptions of the practices of the school according to school s documents and field notes in order to gain the general information for research questions. The other type of data consisted of the transcript s of interviews. I analyzed the transcript s of interviews in using Glaser (19 analysis which is the constant comparative method Merriam (1998) asserted that constant comparative is the inductive, concept building orientation of all qualitative (p. 159) It was my purpose in the study to provide an in depth description I
78 wrote domain analysis worksheets and open cod ing. Qualitative coding was used to define what the data are about. I name d segments of data with a label that simultaneously categorize d summarize d and account ed for each piece of data (Charmaz, 2006), and develop ed the categories i n which constant comparison (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) was conducted. Table 3 4. Coding Example My codes showed I took segments of data apart, named them in concise terms, and propose d an analytic handle (Charmaz, 2006, p.45) to develop abstract ideas for interpreting a segment of data. I attempt ed to interpret the meaning and gained a sense of the parent s concerns and expectation s
79 Table 3 5 Proposed Outlines of Data Sources, Collection, and Analysis Research Questions Data Resource Method of Collection Method of Data Analysis What is the Pre K bilingual educational philosophy? Interviews: Founder, Teachers, Administrators Archival: C urriculum Lesson plan O bservation, Interviews, Artifacts 1. D escription ana lysi s 2. Domain analysis How does the curriculum of the Pre K bilingual program balance Chinese and English learning ? S A ctivities, C urriculum, S Textbook s Lesson plans, Teaching dia ries O bservation, Interviews, Artifacts 1. D escription a nalysis 2. Domain analysis What are the results of education al practices in a balanced bilingual program upon the young children? Interviews: Students, Founder, Teachers, Administrators, parents Survey: Students Interviews Artifacts Observation Survey 1. D escription a nalysis 2. Domain analysis What is the Pre K bilingual educational philosophy? Interviews: Founder, Teachers, Administrators Archival: C urriculum Lesson plan O bservation, Interviews, Artifacts 1. D escription ana lysi s 2. Domain analysis How does the curriculum of the Pre K bilingual program balance Chinese and English learning ? S A ctivities, C urriculum, S Textbook s Lesson plans, Teaching dia ries O bservation, Interviews, Artifacts 1. D escription a nalysis 2. Domain analysis What are the results of education al practices in a balanced bilingual program upon the young children? Interviews: Students, Founder, Teachers, Administrators, parents Survey: Students Interviews Artifacts Observation Survey 1. D escription a nalysis 2. Domain analysis Of course, constant comparison was applied to analyze document s, observation s and field notes. D ifferent types of data were categorized, organiz ed and synthesized for developi ng theories. I used cross data to analyze each type of data; then, constant comparative method assisted me to induct themes and conceptualize theories
80 Validity and R eliability The findings in the study should be considered with the trustworthiness and the degree of rigor. Glesne (1999) cites eight verification procedures outlined by Creswell (1988, p. 201 203). I use d them as methods of r igor. 1. Prolonged engagement 2. Triangulation or use of multiple data collection methods 3. Clarification of researchers bias 4. Member checking 5. Rich, thick description 6. External audit In order to increase credibility of the study, the different data collection methods, observations, interviews, and artifacts were used to strengthen the study in terms of data triangulation (D enzin, 1978). Gee (2005 #72 p.74) suggested validity should be increased by using different analysis. Therefore, I applied Wolcott s (1994) description analysis and Glaser (1992) and Strauss (1987) domain analysis In addition to cross check ing t he observ ations to provide insights about the school s contexts such as the atmosphere, I also observ ed activities and interaction s with peers and with the teacher. F or c larification of researcher s bias I did a double check with the participants about their responses when I had done my interviewing A rtifacts such as curriculum, lesson plans, and writings and curricula all supplement the textbook s work books, lesson plans, and exercises and serve as evidence that can illustrate a part of the whole picture of the school for rich and thick description of the study. F inally, my external audit was my colleagues who are doctoral students majoring in ESL, math education, reading, literacy, and educ ational technology in my study group. D uring the data analysis stage, they audit ed my transcript and help ed me reexamine my research process.
81 Subjectivity S tatement I n a qualitative research t he research ing of the selected topic and the way of interpret ing research findings are shaped by researcher s perspectives (Glesne, 1998). Indeed, as a former assistant principal who worked for the school for 9 years, my position m ight be considered an inside resea rcher. Merton (1972) noted that inside research ers l ooking into their own work organization appears far too narrow on a number of counts and is usually taken for granted by insiders as to be practically invisible (Garfinkel, 1967). As Merton mentioned, insiders have close and intimate relationships with the organization, which may pollute the objectivity of their research. However, Hockey (1993) points out the strengths of the insider viewpoint. He says: The advantages of researching in familiar settings, for example, the relative lack of culture shock or d isorientation, the possibility of enhanced rapport and communication, the ability to gauge the honesty and accuracy of responses, and the likelihood that respondents will reveal more intimate details of their lives to someone considered empathetic are juxt aposed with the problems that proponents of insider research nevertheless acknowledge. (Hockey, 1993, p.199) His viewpoint strengthens the position of insider research. He appreciates the insider as an individual who possesses a priori intimate knowledge of the community and its members (Hellawell, 2006, p.484). The retrospective analysis shows a very ) involved as her own employment position changed and her understanding of and empathy with her interviewees and their situation deepened (Le Gallais, 2003 p.45 ). I t is a strong support to insider research. However, although I was an insider for 9 years at this school, I am an outsider currently I le ft the school in 2006 for f ive years for advance d study in the USA which has reinforce d my theoretical knowledge of
82 technique s to review the Pre K bilingual program at the Natural Way School I bec a me a more sophisticated researcher As I return e d to the school in the summer of 2009 I bec a me a kind of stranger an outsider in this social setting Hence I can objectively stand back and collect information from the perspective of a researcher Hellawell, ( ide the In other word s empathy and alienation are us (p. 34) Thus, my position and learning experience allow ed me to be a qualified researcher in this study. My interpretation provide d an insider outsider lens to see the process of bilingual learning in the Pre K bilingual program. Summary The goal of th is study was to provide a description and an interpretive explanatory account of what t he bilingual sc hool is what the educational philosophy and balanced curriculum are and what the perception of the bilingual school from former students and parents is I n other words, the study was to describe how the school balances two languages and two cultures ; s pecifically, what elements of tasks were require d and performed by the School in the early childhood bilingual progra m and how these tasks and ideas seem to enhance opp ortunities for language and culture development. To fulfill the goal of the s tudy I use d multiple data collection strategies in order to ensure that a variety of data sources we re available for description and analysis. The data were collected by observations survey formal and informal interviews of students, parents and adminis t rators and school documents. Because of the nature of the research questions which focus on the the school student school task interaction s audio taping of the introduction of the school, on going
83 interviews with students and parents, and collection of the were used as a means to accomplish this goal. I am aware of some factors affecting the credibility and reliability of this case study as a researcher collecting the data To pro duce strong qualitative research, I establish ed trustworthiness and credibility by using various strategies such as triangulation, prolonged engagement, and rich, detailed description. Moreover, d ata analysis was recursive in nature and t ook place during t he data collection process such as coding, classifying, and describing. I employ ed that rification would be taken as a constant movement during data collecti on and data analysis. My purpose is to present the end result as a thoughtful description.
84 CHAPTER 4 PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCHOOL The P re K Bilingual P rogram The Natural Way School has an open minded atmosphere Diverse teachers from America, Canada, England, South Africa, and Australia etc speak English with different accents and also speak a little Chinese. Even though the general staff speaks Chinese in the School, they are willing to learn English and try very hard to communicate in English with English speaking instructors Moreover, the School includes an English department that is in charge foreign affairs. The staff in the English department provides direct information to Englis h instructors in fluent English. For example, people in that objectivities, conduct curriculum meetings, and provide teacher training in English. Also, the library supplies mor teaching aids and materials and use them in their classroom. In both English and Chinese, the School helps the te achers develop and strengthen attitudes, attributes, and abilities that characterize effective teaching and help them learn to balance the variety of roles they need to assume. In the bilingual program, generally there are three levels of classes, the cla ss for 3 4 year olds, two cla sses for 4 5 year olds, and two to three classes for 5 6 year olds. Each class size is around 20 22 students. Two Chinese teachers and one English instructor work with 20 25 children in each of the 3 5 year old classes, and one Chinese and one English speaking instructor work with the 5 6 years old students. Children may speak both Chinese and English in the classroom. Although the Chinese teachers are
85 certified in early childhood education and they put forth more effort on chil care, all activities are conducted by both the Chinese and English teachers. If the English speaking instructor takes charge of the lessons or activities, all the instruction and procedures are delivered in English. Ch inese teachers play the r ole of an assistant and translator during instruction. Revisiting the S chool with a B ilingual and B icultural P erspective In 2009 when I stepped into the Natural Way School where I had worked for nine years after being gone for three years, it was the fi rst time I felt the School was distinctive. The portraits of Confucius, Lao zi, Wang, Shou rin, Johann Wolfgan Von Goethe, and John Dewey came into my view. The tablet of The Path of Nature written in Chinese calligraphy hung at the center of the hall wa ll with two lines of Chinese then you can act. Knowledge and action should be in unity by Shou rin Wang. From the ork, there is learning, and one learns by doing; what one does has useful application John Dewey. This belief of the School, I had taken for granted for many years. I had never thought about how and why the words of two philosophers, one an American an d the other Chinese, could be familiar but I was thinking about what the School was; what its philosophy had become; and why teachers remained teaching there. Does the Scho ol provide an eminent method to educate children, and what will their students become in the future? The E ducational P hilosophy of the Natural Way School Based on the social historical context of Taiwan, the use of English as a world language has increa sed, and English is taught in many schools from kindergarten
86 through high school and even at universities, especially in the big cities of Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Gao Xiong. Private bilingual schools have been set up to allow students to learn Chines e and Eng lish, and these schools had their goals which can Way founded in 1997 by Mr. Zeng. The School provides the opportunity for learnin g English and Chinese and strives to balance bilingual learning. The Natural Way School has a thirteen year history The founder, Mr. Zeng, said: I studied educational philosophy and involved myself in educational projects. It simulated me to rethink what education is good for our children. What curriculum belongs to the Chinese and the culture of our children in our land? In 1997, I visited some outstanding scholars in different fields, Also, I visited some prestigious schools in Taiwan, and even in Japan, France, and Germany. In this period, my ideas were expressed in 16 Chinese characters: Humanistic Concern for the World, Natural Environment, Discovery and Creativity, and Mutual Partic first class of kindergarten graduated and moved to elementary school, I started to organize an elementary program for my school. In the process of its establishment, I deeply thought about our own cultural independence and essent ial education. I tried to seek ONE UNIQUE education which second period, the ideas of the School could be described by these 12 Chinese characters: Eastern Philosophy Aesthetic Educa tion, and Innovative Education (06.15.10). culture element was mentioned. The curriculum of his school reform was expected to emphas ize the importance of Eastern culture which included people, land, and people s life experi ence and wisdom. C ultural learning wa s strongly emphasized in his ideal school in which the School weaves and embeds ideas from the West and the E ast According to the interviews and documents I analyzed, I found that even though this bilingual program wa s set in the School, Chinese culture was not ignored in English
87 education The two features of bilingual curriculum are l anguage and c ulture. In language learning, Chinese and English are required to learn and communicate in a knowledge learning process. I n cultural learning, combines Western education ideas Chinese culture, and Chinese educational philosophy. In other words, the educational philosophy of the Natural Way School is the combination of Western educational theories Chi nese culture, and Chinese educational philosophy. Nevertheless, the information I gathered gave a beginning point from which to construct philosophy The following philosophy is based on an outline of data analysis from the foun Western E ducational T heories and P hilosophy The Natural Way Scho ol is partially grounded with Western educational theories and philosophy. It has been influenced by a number of classic educational models such as Montessori (1879 1952), Froebel (1782 1852), Malaguzzi (1920 1994), and Rudolf Steiner (1861 1925) and some of educational philosophers including Dewey (1859 1952), Vygotsky (1896 1934), and Piaget (1896 1980). Mr. Zeng said: Learning from Western classic educational models and philosophy derived from the scientific approval or experimental approaches may help us to avoid the shortcomings of current Western educational development, and solve some of the educational problems Taiwan confronts; moreover, possibly it can assist us to develop our own feasible pedagogy for the Chinese (08.16.09). Mr. Zeng is inclined to include so me important concepts of human development and theories of psychological education from Western educational philosophy which are missing in Eastern education. Such as: (1) psychodynamic theor y; ( 2) maturational theory, espoused by G. Stanley Hall and Rober t Havighurst (1844 1924); (3) behavioral
88 theory, influenced by John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner (1878 1959); (4) sociocultural theory, discussed by Lev Vygotsky (1896 1934) who emphasized the influence of cognitive developmental theory, with contributions from Jean Piaget (1896 1980) ; and (5) philosophy guided by John Dewey, Rudolf Steiner, and Russell Wheeler Davenport. The School has followed W estern educational ideas to guide children development and l earning process ; these five theoretical and philosophical sources have provide d a guideline and principle s for the School to build up the structure of the curriculum Chinese C ultural T radition China has had 2000 years of agricultural history which presen t how the Chinese live with nature and overcome the challenges of life. Mr. Zeng said: phenomenon. Culture is not only the soul of a festival, but also the soul of people. Every cultur key aspect of that group. Festivals play an important role in the growth of children because they are the essence of civilization and cultural spirit. (06.15.2010) This statement clearly claims th at the School has faith in cultural events which are words, Chinese cultural tradition was incorporated into the principles of the Natural Way School. Thus t he ed ucational philosophy of the Natural Way School and its roots in Chinese culture are based on fundamental Chinese philosophy, thoughts, religions, values, virtues, and life style; Mr. Zeng said: I developed my concept of Chinese tradition from the philosop hies of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It is like a tripod on which I would from Confucianism; from Buddhism;
89 Taoism. (06.15.10) Because the Natural Way School wants to become a unique school different from other schools, t he educational philosophy of the School strongly adheres to thoughts of Chinese philosophy, which are grounded in Confucianism, Neo Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The philosophers Confucius and Lao Zi are recognized more than the others because of the ir voice and perspective as expressed in Analects and Tao Te Ching and through a deep interaction with culture, history, nature, and life experience which has greatly impacted Chinese culture. The Natural Way School is grounded to utilize those ideas and philosophy as the School s educational philosophy To C ultiva te C M inds to P ossess C hinese V irtues The bilingual program of the Natural Way School for preschool/kindergarten is educational philosophy. Yet, learning Chinese virtues is a very important principle in the school. T he school exists to ensure that all students can practice the Chinese virtues of filial piety proper behavior, humility, loyalty, love, harmony, respect, righteousness, humanity, trust, courage, endurance, patience, perseverance, an d strives to combine these virtues into the skills and knowledge incorporated into all kinds of activities. Chinese virtues are integrated into the daily activities and events of the school, through such practices as recital of classical Chinese poems, celebrating Chinese acti vities wearing school uniforms, and eating daily meals, all of which are systematically performed Chinese virtues in practice. For example, the school s uniforms help children learn to focus their attention on group unity rather than on individual differen ces meant t the uniforms are to help children acquire the virtue of humility. Another example is that
90 in the S chool all students must take a bow and greet the teachers before lessons. The purpose of this practice is to reinforce the virtues of res pect and proper behavior for appreciation. The 24 Chinese solar terms serve as the core of the curriculum. Integrative and thematic planning is solidly based in Chinese culture. Flexible language is used usually the language that seems most appropriate, and a strong Chinese and English vocabulary base is evident. F or example, the children learn stories such as taught in English by both the foreign teachers and Chinese teachers working together. Chinese people typi cally emphasize filial piety A Chinese proverb says: O f one hundred virtues, filial piety is the priority Chinese people believe that charity begins at home. Endurance, another virtue, is also appreciated in current traditional Chinese society, represe nted by the Chinese b elief that plum flowers cannot blossom in the spring without having encountered the crucial cold of winter. T he S chool faculty and administrators believe that children too, should go through hardship; then, th ey can become responsible people and truly appreciate happiness. Since filial piety and endurance are not emphasized in the Western culture to the same degree, foreign teachers are learning to appreciate the se qualities alongside the children In turn, the foreign teac hers then help the children develop the English vocabulary to express ideas related to them No S ingle E ducational M ode F its A ll C hildren Mr. Z eng is an idealist who believes no one single educational mode fits all children. Based on the above mentioned C hinese philosophy and Western learning dogmatically
91 copy or emulate any one idealized program (S podek 1973 ). Instead it derives some elements from all Zeng said: When the Western education focus on human psychol ogical/cognitive development is taken into serious i ntrospection, Ea stern philosophies such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, provide a new perspective to education for humanity, human nature, and human development. This new perspective seems to open a door for the integration of East ern and Western philosophies to m erge into a unique mold of schooling that is appropriate for Chinese children. Thus, I desire to find ideas and methods from Chinese literary tradition (03.23.06) Mr. Zeng thinks that although the Western world has well developed educational theories and p hilosophy, the educational philosophy of the Eastern world is equally from a number of theories of Eastern and Western philosophers. Family E ducation I s J ust as I mportant as S chool E ducation Every teacher at the S chool must have knowledge of cognitive and psychological development. They must understand that learning should progress from simple to complex, concrete to abstract, and imitation to creating, and these progressions should A k indergarten Chinese teacher said: family 1 2 times a year. The schedules of h ome v isits usually are arranged at the ve ry beginning of the school year. We know we have to put a lot of effort into h ome v isits, such as recording our observations, designing interview questions, and finding time to do home visits. Actually, my first semester, I was upset about this requirement ; however, when I re called ollege, I understood the h ome v isit is an avenue to help us understand students. The impact of the home is as important as influence of the school. Moreover, we knew the story of Mencius and hi s mother moving three times Mencius mother moved three times because of the influences of the environment. Firstly moving to a home near a cemetery tomb and then from a tomb to a market, and finally from a market to a school. I knew the development of personality and learning are robustly determined by social context and social interaction.
92 Thus, although h ome v isits take a lot of time, we feel each visit is know the individuals into this endeavor. (06.17.10) The School believes that family education plays an important role in virtue learning. According to Analects of Confucius, the School provide s a story about family ed ucation: O ne day Confucius met his son in the living room. The Father immediately asked his son if he learns both poetry and rites. Confucius said, If a person does not learn poetry, he will not be able to talk if a person does learn rites, he will never be well footed in the society T he son nodded his head. T he story shows that family edu cation takes place any moment in the home. Home visits can provide teachers with baseline records and in formation on every child, which helps the teachers to unde learning context and family education Also, h ome v isits demonstrate how the S chool believes in order to know the and family education h ome v isits are required The I nteractive I s M ore E ffective T han the T ransmission A pproach T eachers are encouraged to design reciprocal lesson plans or activities because the School believes that learning with both a hands on approach and group interaction can give children more first hand experience and learning that is more effective th an direct spoon fed instruction of administrator said: My major job is to support classroom teachers who need me to assist their activities. For example, preparing materials, assisting in the activities, always stand by for tea need adults to help the students with their work (06.25.10).
93 Since most of the lessons are embedded in an i nteractive and hands on process rather than textbook based approach the School provides the space an d supporting guidance. The cooperation and problem solving experience s can give children a voice, and also the group activities foster intellectual and social skill dev elopment (Catron & Allen, 1999) This philosophy is adopted from Dewey (1859 1952), Vygotsky (1978) and Wang Yangming ( 1472 1529 ). Dewey (1859 1952) claimed children should learn by actively doing physical and intellectual ac tivities which are based on th e interests, needs, and abilities. Vygotsky (1978) suggested that children acquire their ways of thinking and behaving in cooperative dialogues between children and adults, when they are doing activities. Wang Yangming, Chinese philosopher, also asserted --knowledge and action are cohered as one. Moreover, the Confucius (551 BC 479 BC), stated that practice, experience, and accomplishment of work are more important than the knowledge fo hundreds of crafts, manipulates his handwork by continually practicing in his workshop (Article 19 Analects ) p rovision of hands on activities in order for the children to acquire life experience and abilities, and believes that lea rning is not only from textbooks, but also from participating in activities which can help children develop intelligence, communication and physical, emotional, and personal awareness. A B alanced A pproach t o D evelop a W hole C hild in the Western P erspective In Taiwan, Montessori is a very popular mode for early childhood education. sually used to emphasize sensory motor, intellectual,
94 idea that sensor y education can help children learn basic academic skills which include language, muscular control, math, and sensory perception. However, Montessori provides commercial materials and equipment to simulate children, in which children are encouraged to participate in self disciplined, self directed and independent ways without interaction between children and teachers/adults. The use c ommercial materials without interaction totally conflict with the p hilosophy of the Natural Way School. While some educational material s of Montessori are used to provide development of the children s ability, to balance the School highly appreciates the Reggio Emilia approach --(Edwards, 1993, pp.43 44) With this approach c hildren s ideas and experience become a foundation of the curriculum. Reggio Emilia does not depend upon any commercial mater ials for learning but emphasize s children using imagination to create or accomplish things through all their languages in their own learning process in which children present diverse means to express themselves. Maria, a homeroom teacher, said: In the classr oom, there are some Montessori manipulative materials for children to learn math. This school does not force teachers to let children operate them every day. It i s flexible and allows children to choose their favorite activity centers. Some children are willing to go to center to individually operate materials; some children want to go the creative center where they can play together in, for example, role play and hands on activities (06.28.10) The aesthetic aspect of the Reggio Emilia approach reflect s philosophy concerning c Indeed, are different but they are applied for different pur pose s within the school s curriculum. In other words, the School achieves a whole person learning, which covers the physical,
95 social emotional, and cognitive domains and helps each child become a whole child in the Western perspective. Not L imited in A ny T heories or Modes to R each E ach C P otential Mr. Zeng insists that the Western and Eastern philosoph ies should be selected to achieve the school s mission and philosophy. Waldorf education out of Germany, Italian educational philosophies. Thus the S chool develop s its own eclectic educational philosoph y, and opens all possibilities to each chil d. Zeng said: The West has well developed educational and psychological theories that can concur with our ancient educational ideas. But, although those are well developed educational theories, I do not want our education limited by particular ideas that on Chinese philosophy, culture, and Chinese literary tradition, I combine philosophical foundation (06.30.10). Mr. Zeng does n other words, the School tries to give children freedom to learn. I found the School combines and modifies some theories and philosophies and turns them into parts of the education which considers that children need hands on play for aesthetics, life, and mathematics education; this philosophy is implemented through such activities as origami, geometric buildi ng blocks, singing, and gardening so that children benefit by manipulating materials combined with adult intervention. Although the School recognizes the benefits of hands on play for children, it also realizes that too many activities imposed on children can interfere in their learning. On the other hand,
96 sophical philosophy of Waldorf education and considers hands on play not just for physical and intellectual purposes, but also to open children to all possibilities. liberated c hild and help him/her reach his/her potential, the lessons and activities need intellectual. Learning from N atural P henomena T he name of the School in Chinese is which means grain grows up naturally and is nourish ed by Mother Nature. Thus a nother educational principle of the Natural Way School is powerfully influenced by Chinese culture and the Chinese belief that Mother Nature nourishes creatures persistently. Mother supernatural power] ever say? Yet there are four seasons going round and there are hundreds of things coming into being. What does Heaven ever say (Yi Po Jue n,2009) The Chinese nation was based on agriculture for two thousand years. The Chinese feel closely connected to nature, but they also stand in awe of nature; in spite of this, the Chinese live in peace and harmony together with nature. By observing, und erstanding, feeling, and living with nature, the Chinese admire principles and phenomena of nature, in which the cycle of four seasons and the chang es of solar terms are intertwined in Chinese daily life. The Chinese people recognize twenty four solar term s which reflect the changes of natural phenomena and climate, the relationship between living beings
97 and the seasons, and agricultural instruction. The Natural Way School emphasizes this aspect and integrates it into the curriculum. From the Eastern educat ional perspective of the School, the purpose of learning the twenty four solar terms is not merely academic but also builds a close relationship with nature. In other words, learning is not only facilitated by receiving knowledge from nature, but also bene fits when the harmonious person interacts with nature in a tranquil balance and ecological context. Teaching S tudents w ithout A ny D iscrimination Mr. Zeng maintains the School is not textbook driven, model driven, or teacher l is student centered where every child is treated equally T he Article s, they are teachable The School agrees with Confucius and considers that every child can learn and make progress to reach high levels based on his/her learning styles and ability. learning process can be accepted and respected. Differentiated Instruction to M eet I ndividual S N eeds According to the curriculum design of the School, although the School presents learning o bjectives as goals for teachers to design lessons and activities, the thematic approach of school curriculum is incorporated to allow flexibility for teachers and students to develop learning together. Teachers do not use traditional assessment tools to me assessment and evaluation, such as portfolios, project s, or multiple evaluation games rather than
98 these asses sment methods are not always accepted by parents with Chinese traditional values, who would like to see test scores and compare these children with othe rs. One of kindergarten teacher stated: I spent a lot of time explaining to parents how we assess studen but some parents still do not believe it. They trust the scores (numbers) only. They would like to know how well their children learn in comparison philosophy. We do not rank children with tests. Usually, we do observation training on assessment and evaluation. They are helpful (07.02.10). Xue Ji one chapter of a classic Chinese book about teaching and learning methods from the Confucian perspective. The Xue Ji says, A teacher cannot be a qualified if he only asks students to repeat what they nts [to develop a theory on confusion]. When a student is unable to formulate a question, the student is still not able to understand the subject, the teacher should leave the student a lone temporarily ( Liji ) Mr. Zeng used these Confucian words to remind all teachers of the School that learning is like striking a bell. words, teachers are like knockers and students are like bells. Knockers bang the bell strongly or gently depending on knockers attitude intelligence and give appropriate in Socially C ulturally Embedded I nstruction Based on curriculum, all lessons are within themes presented through a variety of activities related to themes derived from Chinese culture. Maria, a Chinese teacher at the Sch ool, mentioned:
99 In the preschool bilingual program, storytelling, hands on activities, games, singing songs, and theme projects are conducted in meaningful ways in which teachers and students immerse themselves in the context of projects and work together For example, during the moon festival, we recite the Chinese classic poem about the moon, play pomelo lantern, and eat moon cakes we made for celebrating the Moon festival (06.17. 10 ) ign the lessons in meaningful contexts. We believe in the ideas of Vygotsky (1986) and Confucius (551 478 BC). In the Analects Confucius (551 478 BC) talked about the contents of teaching. The major subjects should be taught: culture, morality, loyalty, an d trust ( The Analects should be closely connected with the real world and real people, which include s studying history and literature, and participating in social activities with adult guidance. cultivation of good intentions toward others, and having faith in people. The School faculty and administrators value these con cepts of learning and emphasize learning cannot be disconnected from the real world. Teaching S tudents to G ain R ich T raditional L iteracy In the School, students in bilingual program also lear n classical Chinese poetry Three Hundred Tang Poems and classic Chinese rhythms such as Three Character Classic They are important treasures of Chinese literary tradition. Curtain (1994) said: o language and culture. Children learning poetry has the double benefit of giving children experience with an important dimension of culture and helping them to internalize the vocabulary, rhythms, p. 162 ). The Ch inese people believe poems
100 make it possible for people to be good at using metaphor in language like a poet, be observant in nature, echo with others, and express sorrow ( Article 8) Therefore, the Chinese believe that educated people sho ul d know how to appreciate poetry reading and writing because they believe that without poetry learning, they do not have sufficient humanities cultivation to communicate with others. Confucius (551 stimulated by the Odes, take your stand through the help of the rites and be perfected by music ( Article 8) attitude and manner, rendering him/her suitable for traditional Chinese society. Joan, a Chinese teacher, also said: Sometimes, the School provides the children rhythms and rhymes in Taiwanese or from Three Hundred Poems of Tang Collections in Chinese, which more or less are related to the themes of the curriculum. We let children recite them in the morning and even in the afternoon after nap (07.02.10). Chinese teachers recite Chinese classic poems or rhymes. The children naturally repeat after the teachers. I ask them what it means. The children one poem a week. Usual ly, I select poems from English rhymes, rhythms, or Mother Goose. Of course, I do explain them. Sometimes, the School also provides some poems or songs in English from Rudolf Steiner (1861 1925). We read poems or sing songs aloud when we are transitioning from one place to another or one activity to another (06.18.10). In the bilingual program, the School not only provides English poetry, rhymes, and songs for students, but also along within the Chinese literary tradition, the School puts much effort into c ultivating good attitudes and manners from the Chinese perspective through poetry, rites, and music in curriculum. Scaffolding Learning S ystematically The School believes the element of culture plays a significant role in the bilingual context. Thus, t he curriculum must be planned carefully and in great detail (Curtain,
101 1994). Bilingual and bi literate learning has to proceed in an orderly and successive way. Research in the area of curriculum theories (Wortham,1998,Tanner and Tanner, 1980, and Schwardz and Robison,1982) has repeatedly stressed the importance of instruction in an orderly and successive way. The Natural Way School realizes curriculum design should be sequential and consistent, a practice which is adopted from the ideas from Xue Ji the fi rst article written 2000 years ago about teaching and learning. Examples of these practices include: In the first year it is seen if students can read the texts wisely and know what the meaning of texts is; in the third year, it is seen if students can be responsible and explorative to their study and know what companionship is most pleas ant to them; in the fifth year. ( Xue Ji) The varied forms of assessment show learning scope and sequence have achers are required to study Xue Ji philosophy and all teachers then use this philosophy to design the lesson plans. However, there is a small struggle mentioned by Chinese teachers. They said Chinese philosophy is quite difficult to understand. If they can not exactly figure out the implication, they can not apply it in the classroom. One teacher, Kate, gave an example. She was trying hard to decide which scope and sequence was just right for her students to learn. She reflected that one of the classic books, Mencius (385 303BCE), asserts: The Heaven would like to give a person great responsibility, it first makes his mind endure suffering, burdens his physical being, and knocks do wn everything he tries to build. In this way, Heaven stimulates his mind, stabilizes his temper, and improves him. ( Meng Zi Gao Zi 303 BCE). ( Article 14) This belief is very common in Chinese educational contexts. Most Chinese believe there is no gain without pain and learning cannot be achieved without effort. As teachers, they should
102 give students reasonable challenge to build up their abilities. Thus, two ideas of Chinese philosop hy seem to conflict superficially. One of teachers asked the question about how to push children to speak English and learn more written Chinese, and yet at the same time implement the philosophy of the School: learning in an orderly and successive way. Sh e and other teachers were confused about how much challenge confidence. Finally, in the teachers m eeting, the ZPD theory of Vygotsky (1986, 1978) was discussed as an instrument in shaping the teaching method for balance to avoid over teaching or under teaching or over expectations or under expectations. Overall, the educational philosophy of the School insists teachers in the bilingual program do not overwhelm students in language learning or subjects because that would nd learning style thus giving the student appropriate instructions to help him/her become a problem solver and know how to persist through the process of solving problems within his/her appropriate range. Self Initiated Learning I s the M ost E ffective L ear ning Most language teaching gives insight into a variety of cultures, including arts, food, and elements of customs. The bilingual program of the School provides culturally authentic situations which enhance positive, self initiat ed learning. The Reggio Emilia a pproach believes young children are inquisitive and should be enthusiastically involved in learning based on their interests through exploration and discovery in a helpful, inspiring and authentic environmental situation. The theory of the Reggio a pproach is c urriculum m
103 entic situation Investigation of the theory of the Reggio approach reveals it reflects a theoretical initiated tion in cultural contexts of their own interests. Correspondingly, Chinese educational philosopher Confucius said: I never enlighten anyone who was not been driven to distraction by trying to understand a challenging issue or who had not gotten into a fre nzy trying to put his ideas into words. When I have pointed out one corner of a square to anyone and he does not respond with the other three, there is no point to continue the learning. ( Article 7) Confucius used a metaphor to describe teaching and learni ng and claimed that learning is not imposed but rather is self initiated. Overall, the School presents ons and not suppress learn, teachers have to wait and leave them alone. Good Teachers Can Help B ilingual S tudents E ngage in L earning with a P ositive A ttitude Mr. Zen g used a metaphor about learning from Xue Ji people with his/her unforgettable voice and make them continue the melody used this metaphor to emphasize learning engagement and encourage teachers to pass their passion on to students. The School believes that a good teacher should have knowledge about who they teach, what they teach, and how they teach, so they know how to enable students to become engaged and continue the learning teachers began. Moreover students in the bilingual program are learning two languages and about two
104 cultures simultaneously; therefore, the School does not want to stress the outcome such as passing English exams, but rather stress the process of teaching and learning so the students develop a po sitive attitude toward bilingual learning. The School assumes that teachers should not introduce prejudice into their language teaching because it believes if children have an unfortunate experience; the experience causes children to develop prejudices tow cannot speak English because it is difficult or I can speak English because I am student positi ve direction, discipline, and opportunity. A senior administrator of Activities Design once a semester. All teachers have to demonstrate their lesson plans for this competition. The award is the highest honor for the best teachers showing their favorite lesson plans. The School selects the best one as a role model for other Mr. Zeng said although the Award is a kind of competition, its purpose is to provide opportunities for teachers to emulate other teachers who are better than themselves. It tells teachers in bilingual program not to feel obligated to restrict English to classroom use. Teachers enrich the language environment and surround the activity of the classroom with English and Chinese. Instead of having vocabulary and sentence pattern drills they provide an initial per iod when children are not ready to respond. Thus, during this period, children are encouraged to participate in activities rather than produce language.
105 A Belief in the Learning P otential of A ll C hildren An important concept of the School for bilingual t eachers is to incorporate language and cultural contexts into the general category of concrete experience, because bilingual education has to reach out to others across cultural and linguistic und them is people interacting with people. Thus, teachers in the bilingual program of the School are reminded that learning language and culture not only takes place inside the classroom, but also through activities outside of the classroom such as field trips, the staging of dramas, and activities in the library, art lab or on the playground... at any moment and around any corner. Jessica, a foreign teacher from America, said, I like the Natural Way School because it is not a traditional school or bu xi b an (cram school). In the bilingual program of the School, foreign and Chinese teachers have to stay with the children all day long. Mr. Zeng said, This school does not mind paying higher salaries for foreign tea chers to keep them with children all day long because I believe language learning is immersed in contexts with people (Vygotsky, 1978). There is no limitation of e to one another by nature. They drift apart through behavior that differs ( The Analects 17). He indicates that the influence of the social and physical environments is crucial for children; teachers have to be a role model for children all the time; th us, they should behave well walking in the company of two others, I am bound to be able to learn from them. I copy strength from the one; I avoid making errors of the other ( The Analects bad influences could happen with anyone, at any moment, and in any place. Children
106 are fast learners, absorbing learning like a sponge. The School believes that any actions and words children can see and hear can be automatica lly learned or imitated by them. Thus, teaching and learning is not confined to the classroom, but also occurs in the social environment of the children. Hold in R everence with L earning N ot I nquiry In the bilingual program, Chinese teachers believe that as teachers, they have to receive great respect, only then can the content taught by them be valued. On the other hand, foreign teachers consider that inquiry is necessary for learning and they encourage students to query. Maria, a senior administrator an d a previous homeroom teacher, said, I was a Chinese teacher in bilingual program, but my current position is the assistant chair. I know now my job is different from the previous one. I was used to being supported by the School. But now, I have to physica lly and emotionally support and respect my colleagues who work with students. I help teachers to gain confidence and knowledge in teaching so they can give young children security, reliance, and confidence. Like saying in the Xue Ji learning, the goal is a teacher with high expectation for students, when that is done, the subject is deemed with honor. When that is done, the people know how to respect learning Mr. Wang, the consultant of the School, gave us lectures about Xui Ji He said need to have high e xpectations for their students. Overall, this belief is not about teaching methods, but about the relationship Conclusion I have pre sented a framework for understanding the educational philosophy of the bilingual program of the Natural Way School. This framework is based on documents, classroom observations, and interviews of the founder, teachers, and administrator s. T he uniqueness o f the School is that it is grounded with both Western and Eastern educational philosophy. Western educational philosophy provides the foundation of
107 educational theories, methods, and ideas, which affords more practice and experience. This philosophy exten ds from the experimental research of John Dewey (1859 1952), Piaget (1896 1980), and Vygotsky (1896 1934). The School believes strongly that classroom practice must be built on a basic understanding of experimental and theoretical philosophy which helps te achers know what they have to teach, why they have to teach, and how they have to teach. Based on an understanding of theoretical concepts and methodology, it can empower teachers to be effective planners of the school curricula. The Chinese culture Chin ese educational philosophy, and Chinese literary traditions also have great impact on the development of the philosophy of the School. Since the Natural Way School was founded in 1999, the School has consistently invited several Neo Confucianism scholars t o give the teachers lectures once a month. In the past 12 years, teachers studied Analects Great Learning Classic of Rites and Three Hundred Poems The lectures were focused on Chinese philosophy, beliefs, and For a century, taking a close look at our current educational environment, we have seen that ideas, thought s, life styles, values, and cultures of the West powerfully have shaped our education. The Western ideas of education have strongly influenced Chinese education in Taiwan. I think the Taiwanese have given too much attention to the Western methods of educat ion, and have given up its own long tradition and rich culture which laid a foundation of its literary tradition. Although Western education enriches Chinese education, Chinese education appears to be losing its mission and purpose, and has become an educa tional colony in which Chinese education has no self identity established the Natural Way School, I always thought about what is my children? What will they be? Currently, we see a l ot of kindergartens in Taichung which are called Montessori School, Reggio School, Waldorf School, or Frobel School. But I do not want the Natural Way School to be named after any philosophy or any mold of the West. I want my school to not only educate stu dents to
108 acquire knowledge for modern society, but also I want my school to represent a real Taiwanese (Chinese) school which is based on our culture, values, and the world As Mr. Zeng said, the philosophy and ideas of cur rent education in Taiwan are mostly adopted from Western education. Thus, when English education spreads out in American English school that is detached from Chinese educational philosophy. Mr. Z eng explicitly explained his recited: Th e Western educational influences are taken for granted in this school. The Western educational philosophy and English learning are not inevitable pressures on the Western influence s it put s much effort in to develop ing an environment based on Chinese culture and Chinese educational philosophy and seek s a balance of the Western and Eastern. However, to balance the Western and the Eastern, the curriculum is not divided into two halves one half about the Western and the other half about the Eastern, nor does it split learning hours in two parts, one part for each ; to balance the Western and Eastern is to harmonize cultures, ideas, values, and languages in a bi cultural and bilingual en vironment. It is about why teachers teach, what teachers teach, and how teachers teach T
109 rather than in the concrete materials or textbooks, so as to help students develop b i literacy and become bilingual and bicultural Overall, the educational philosophy of the Natural Way School is to pursue a balanced way of education for the children in the bilingual program which is the middle p ath, an eclectic approach. It adopts and modifies from both Chinese philosophy and Western educational philosophy and theories in order to better meet the goals of the School. In one word, the School is not only to pursue a harmony of cultural and independent educational ideas, but the most important goa l is to educate the children for a globalize d society with its own tradition and culture.
110 CHAPTER 5 C URRICULUM AND TEACHING PRACTICE Educational philosophy presents the values and beliefs of schools. Hence, to understand if the School really follows their beliefs to operate a school, we should conducted and demo nstrated in the contents of curriculum. This chapter investigates the curriculum of the bilingual program of the Natural Way School. It not only describes a linear sequence of events which includes objectives, contents, activities, circumstances of the Sch ool, and the daily schedules of the bilingual program, but also investigates how the School constructs the curriculum of the bilingual program in order to reflect its philosophy and values. Taking a close look at the philosophy of the School, I found that Chinese culture and Chinese literary tradition were emphasized and integrated with Western educational philosophy In other word s although some beliefs and ideas initially came from Western educational philosophy, they are all integrated with Chinese phi losophy and are compatible from Chinese perspective. The School appreciates Confucius ideas, Chinese virtues, and brings a Chinese awareness of natural phenomena. Chinese culture is a salient element in the philosophy of the School. Thus my field notes from semi structured interviews and class observation s examined the curriculum in three ways: 1) how the Chinese cultu ral and literary tradition are infused into the bilingual and bi cultural curriculum 2) how the teachers exemplify Chinese educational phi losophy in the bilingual and bi cultural curriculum 3) how children develop their bilingual and bi cultural competence in the bilingual environment.
111 Chinese Cultur e and Chinese L itera ry T raditions Twenty F our C hinese Solar Terms in the Chinese L itera ry T radition In the bilingual program, students are exposed to an English environment and communicate with English speaking instructors. English is learned through practice to attain personal goals in a natural and social way. Since children constantly are enc ouraged to test hypotheses, errors are seen as a part of learning; English occurs through purposeful use and is acquired efficiently. Another important factor influencing the development of English language proficiency is the amount of time spen t working o n En glish (Curtain, 1994). O n the other hand, Chinese language learning is squeezed into a small amount of time and can eas ily be ignored However, the School strives hard to balance Chinese and English learning in the bilingual curriculum program Mr. Ze ng said: Our culture cannot be limited to one subject It should represent our people s living and values. Obviously, our ancestors used the Chinese twenty four solar terms as a guide to live with nature. The twenty four solar terms can represent our old ancestor wisdom and values (07.11. 10 ). Thus, the t wenty four Chinese solar terms are an essential part of the curriculum and help to balance Chinese and English learning. The twenty four Chinese solar terms represent the lifestyle of the Chinese people, showing what they eat and wear and how they live, the School is based on the Chinese lifestyle. We want our children to understand the way our people live. They need to learn their cultural herita ge; then they can appreciate 10 ). In other words, the twenty four Chinese solar terms are the curriculum of pedagogical methods and concep ts in its design of all learning content, including language, literacy,
112 science, math, social studies, movement, drama, music, arts, and physical skills. Yet, all subjects are integrated and learned within themes based on the twenty four solar terms. The curriculum consists of twelve themes over a year and each theme focuses upon two profound characteristic solar terms ( Jie Qi ). In other words, the School s New Year which presents the Chinese New Year with two solar creatures in spring with two Spring Wind presents activities in spring with two solar terms, Pure Brightness and Dragon Boat presents insects in summer with two solar beginning of autumn with two solar term autumn festival and activities in natural field with two Halloween with two solar terms, Hoar Frost and De presents thankful heart to Mother Earth with two solar terms, Beginning of winter and terms, Heavy Snow and Winter Solstice The followin follow the thematic topics over the course of the year.
113 Table 5 1. Thematic Topics Month/Solar Term Theme Objectives January : Slight Cold/ Great Cold New Year New Year New Calendar Introduce new students The Lunar New Year Festival Reunion Lunch Lion Dancing February : Spring Beginning/ Rain Water Farming Stories of the Lantern The Lunar New Year Farming: seeding Lantern Festival March : Insects Awaken/ Vernal Equinox Spring Food, animals, and plants of spring Human life in spring Breakfast meeting with parents April : Pure Brightness/ Grain Rains Spring Wind Stories of Tomb Sweeping Stories of Easter Sports and healthy exercise Easter activities Drama play Song/poem activities May : Beginning of Summer/ Grain Full Love Loves/Intimacy Family I/Me/Myself June : Grain in ear/Summer Solstice Festival Dragon Boat Festival Insects in summer Festival Multi purpose Evaluation July : Slight Heat/Great Heat Water Plants/flowers in the summer Cherish the time to get together here Graduation Ceremony Shadow Play August : Beginning of End Summer Build rapport and trust between teachers and new students Relationships School environment Open house September : White Dew/Autumnal Equinox Autumn Mid autumn festival celebration Activities in autumn Teacher appreciation Mid autumn Festival October : Cold Dew/ Frost Descending Harvest Stories of Halloween Rice/Chinese food Various cuisines of the world Halloween Rice Festival November : Winter Begins/Slight Snow Mother Earth Mother Earth: love and gratitude Thankful heart Thanksgiving Drama play Art fair December : Heavy Snow/Winter Solstice Winter Christmas Preparation for winter solstice Assessment Multi purpose evaluation Winter Solstice Christmas
114 The above curriculum outline was designed by the academic committee of the School and provides an overview of the curriculum. The 12 themes are based on the traditional Chinese twenty four solar terms. The twenty four solar terms present different natural phenomena at appropriate times during the year. The Chinese follow the natural phenomena in order to better f end for themselves; the Chinese calendar showed when to plant, when to eat, when to play, when to rest, when to move, when to wear particular cloth ing, and when to work according to twenty four solar terms. For example: during the Winter Solstice of December, the curriculum focuses on Chinese preparations for winter coming, including food preservation (science and math), winter clothing (math and sci ence), and activities in winter such as decorating the house for a family reunion (social studies, language, and arts). Another example: during Pure Brighten and Grain Rains of April, the curriculum focuses on outdoor activities the weather and natural scene I t talks about Chinese people s tomb sweeping activity in this solar term as well as integrat ing a Western Easter activity (it is integrated with the curriculum because it is compatible from the Chinese solar terms perspective) T he t wo activities n ot only allow children to learn Chinese and Western custom s and culture s but also provide children opportunity to experience nature change s appreciate nature scenes of the spring and do outdoor exercise s in the best weather of the year In the curriculum, six themes out of the twelve are related to Chinese festivals/events and the English instructors need the Chinese instructors to help provide enrichment of the teaching content and to translate; an example of this teacher collaboration o ccurs during the Dragon Boat Festival. Effective instruction in this unit needs to tap into some background knowledge about Chinese history and the Chinese
115 language could be used to help the students gain a holistic understanding of the Dragon Boat Festiva l; this history might be most effectively taught by the Chinese teachers. A pre school Chinese teacher Carol said: In our classrooms, you can hear Chinese and English. My students learn the themes of the school in English; however, when I think the children do not understand what the English teacher says, I will do a translation and speak Chinese to make sure children can follow the activity Usually, after I help, the students learn the knowledge in Chinese and English (6.15. 10 ) The Natural Way Sch ool strives to balance Chinese and English learning. In order to balance th e learning of both the Chinese and English languages the curriculum is based on the Chinese 24 solar terms which involve Chinese culture and literary tradition The S chool sets up C hinese educational philosophy as playing a vital role in the school s teaching and learning principle s thus the School emphasize s teaching methods from Confucian educational perspectives T he curriculum is centered on 24 solar terms which f ollow Chinese educational philosophy and integrate all learning subjects (knowledge) of the Pre K with Chinese cultur al and literary tradition s to balance Chinese and English learning. In order to reach the goals of the school the teachers design lesson plans and activities that subsume the philosophy of the school and their curriculum d ocuments are based upon the 24 s olar terms concepts for educat ing students in Chinese values and Chinese language in a meaningful, effective, systematic way. Nature and H umanity in Twenty Four Solar T erms tion. The rest of themes relate to natural phenomena such as plants, insects, animals, flowers, and weather. T he
116 spirituality of these themes precisely matches the idea that China has been a nation based on agriculture and that Chinese culture emphasizes n atural phenomena because of farming. F universal themes ; these are New Year Spring Wind, Harvest, Mother Earth, and W inter These themes tal k about Western celebrations: New Years, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Inte restingly, although five themes correlate with western celebrations, they still are attached to the Chinese solar terms. For example, Pure Brightness and Grain Rains of April, represent phenomena of spring. Egg hunting and Bunnies of Easter link up to spri ng activities and to when the spring wind blows over the field. T he characteristic elements of the 24 Chinese solar terms relate to two things: nature and culture. Natural phenomenon presents natural science from a Chinese perspective. Cultural events dem onstrate the Chinese lifestyle, language, customs, and values. Students and teachers are encouraged to explore and experience Chinese culture in this bilingual curriculum. The activities involve many cultural experiences and natural science. Students learn how the four seasons change from a Chinese perspective ; how Chinese culture is in harmony with nature ; how the Chinese get along with one another ; and how the Chinese celebrate festivals such as a family reunions. Holidays and Festivals in the Twenty Four Solar T erms Holidays represent the cultural values of a society. Thus in th is bilingual program school holidays and cultural traditions are used to nurture students in develop ing cultural understanding. I find that in the curriculum, six out of twelve themes are related themes of
117 De he school y. This provide s opportunities for children to explore the differences. One Chinese teacher mentioned that all Chinese holidays in Taiwan also are celebrated outside of the school ; therefore, the school emphasizes their values and educational purposes. S he gave an example, the Chinese Moon Festival. The school stresses the meaning and value of the Moon Festival. Children learn poems, stories, songs related to the moon in both English and Chinese and participate in traditional Chinese activities related to the Moo n Festival. S he also pointed out that children show curiosity about and interest in Wester n holidays because these holidays are fun, special, and unique to them and they feel no pressure from the Chinese teachers to find meaning and value i n these holidays. T he Western holidays help children to better understand their own culture when they make comparisons. For example, eight of the eleven alumnae said their favorite holiday is Halloween. Kate, a 15 year old former student, said: Halloween is so fu n and not scary at all; oppositely, Chinese Ghost Day is very scary and fearful We could not have fun like we did on Halloween; we had to take it more seriously. On Chinese Ghost Day (July 15 on the lunar calendar) it is believed ghosts go out from hell t o catch bad luck guys. Thus, we keep our distance but still respect them. Respect is shown by giving the Chinese ghosts reverence and preparing food for them (06.22.10). Another former student, 16 years old, Sara said, I like all festivals, but my favorit e is Halloween. I could make up to become any character I wanted. I could collect a lot of candies. It was so fun (11.07.10)! Discussion of ghosts in Taiwan is a taboo for children because from an Eastern perspective they are fear ed Although the curriculu m of the school does not overly
118 emphasize Chinese ghosts and the School about extraordinary negative things, feats of strength, disorder, and spiritual beings, children naturally make comparisons. Since Halloween is not taboo, they figure out a point of view. T hese discussions can facilitate student thinking in the areas of science, logic, and self awareness. Family Values w ithin the Twenty F our Solar T erms T he twenty four solar terms have gradually formed a collective consciousness and become traditional values. In collective consciousness, family values are deemed the most important. Thus, the curriculum of the school stresses family values within the themes of April and May, which include Pure Brightness Grain Rains, and Beginning of Summer These months have nice weather and are a good time for tomb sweeping and memorializing ancestors so the school takes the opportunity to have students learn these conce pts of Chinese family values. the most important of all memorial days, a day when all family members reunite to sweep tombs and worship ancestors together. Thus, once again, even though the language used in the bilingual program is English, the curriculum stresses Chinese cultural values. C hildren must learn the names of relatives, such as Ye ye (father of the Shu and Shen e) in Chinese. Mr. Dan indicated that in English, aunts Chinese, aunts cannot represent aunts from both sides of the family. C hildren in the
11 9 bilingual program become aware that they, too, have to be addressed with different practice helps avoid confusion and helps children become aware of differences in language use Another important concept concerning family is the relationship between the individual and his/her family. The curriculum focus es on the individual and the family during May and November. Study of concepts such as self, siblings, parents, relatives, and friends help students learn about the closeness of t he Chinese family. The family unit plays an important role in Chinese society. Family relationships are like a social web. Chinese people are always concerned ab out the family first. T he self comes the family, not t o him or her alone; similarly, a individual values, which means no matter the magnitude of the success or the failure, it belongs to the family. Because family values a re highlighted in the school of the social studies subject. Children are taught about how to show love for your parents, how to love your siblings, and how to help your friends. A Chinese teache r, Maria, said I t is hard for my (American) co teacher to understand Chinese filial piety. I checked the English Chinese dictionary. I do not think the explanation in the English dictionary can fully express Chinese filial piety. I stress filial piety as the first priority of morals. Nothing is more important than filial piety. However, my co teacher believes children need to learn to respect parents. In my class we discuss the ways we love parents. At last, the children design a coupon with five items suc respect and obey their mothers (06.17. 10 ).
120 Chinese family values play a dominate position in the curriculum, and are then reinforced and practiced in the daily life of Taiwan society. Po etry, R hythm, and Chinese Literary T raditions The Chinese think poetry is the most appealing and effective lite rary entry point on the p ath to becoming an educated individual in Chinese society. Most Chinese encourage their children to recite Chinese classic poetry such as the Tang Dynasty Three Hundred Poems or rhythms such as the Three Characters Classic Learnin g poetry has two benefits: 1) providing children with experience in the heritage of Chinese culture, and 2) helping children internalize the rhyme, rhythm, pronunciation, vocabulary, phrases, and structures of classic C hinese literature. E ven in the biling ual program, poetry and rhythm play an important part in the curriculum. In the formal lessons or during transitional time, teachers usually have students loudly recite poetry or other literature. A Chinese teacher gave the following example of how rhythm is integrated into a lesson on the summer solstice: When summer is coming, the days are getting longer. Summer solstice day is the longest day. After summer solstice, the days are getting shorter. Winter solstice is the shortest day. Because summer days a re very hot and with the children. Meanwhile, we teach the During the learning process the English teachers explain the summer solstice entirely in English, but we still provide opportunities for the children to use le xia zhi mian, yi tian duan yi xian The school insists Chinese poetry and rhythm should be integrated into the bilingual program because teachers can precisely present Chinese values and wisdom d intelligence. Again, a mixture of English and Chinese is used. The English speaking instructor helps children cook cool
121 noodles and shows the pictures and meaning of summer solstice in English; meanwhile, summer solstice and in ternalize Chinese vocabulary and phrases. T he use of a variety of visual hands on activities represen ting Chinese poetry and rhythm help s relate the interests of the children to their Chinese literary tradition. Competency Development Oral L anguage The bilingual program stresses oral language development in Chinese and English. Although students are exposed to an English instruction al environm ent, once students begin to express themselves orally, they are provided encouragement and opportunity to com municate in a wide variety of ways including English, Chinese, or body language. Within the communicative classroom environment, however, learners may need to be able to express some messages before they have had a chance to fully assimilate the language to the point at which oral language is ready to emerge (Curtain, 1994 p.117 ). S ince their English is not yet fluent students naturally speak Chinese instead of English in the classroom for the purpose of communication Overall, the amount of time avail able for instruction does not reflect oral language ability; however, the amount of time devoted to speaking influence s oral language competence. At the beginning stage, the students in the bilingual program have better Chinese oral language than English. The Chinese Language I s U sed for C ommunication Linguistic proficiency is an important tool for acquiring knowledge in the classroom. If students are not proficient in the target language of the classroom, they may not efficiently learn the academic skills and contents (Curtain, 1994). Therefore, a
122 major concern at the school is: help young students in the bilingual program overcome language barriers and learn knowledge? It is an important issue for students in the bilingual program because the language barrier can create a communication problem and cause misunderstanding in the classroom. The S chool speaking teachers in daily activities, such as explanation of theme activ ities, show and the delivery of information and accumulating knowledge. In general, English is used dominantly in all academic instruction in the bilingual program. T o ensure learning development the Chinese language is used as a tool for acquiring knowledge but not for teaching a subject. Even though English is the target language in the bilingual classroom, the Chinese language acts as a liaison to help students lear n lessons. Thus, t knowledge English and Chinese both are used and switched. T he students can ask for the English to be translated or ask a teacher to repeat what was said; th ese practices give the students more confidence so they can continue their learning. Chinese is employed for special events and extra curricula, Chinese rhythms classic poem s characters, stories, phrases and songs that are taught. The S chool does not seem to consider Chinese as a subject I n other words, Chinese learning is integrated in to all themed activities and the special/extra curricula, which focus on Chinese listening comprehension and speaking communication For example when I was observing the drama teacher (extra curricula) was teaching the theme of Spring and asked the children to jump like a rabbit, run like a horse, walk like a cat, and hop
123 like a frog She helped the student s learn about the intended outcomes and also provided Chinese vocabulary instruction The vocabulary focus was on similes and metaphors and helped the students better understand the lesson In the bilingual program, Chinese writing and reading are taught in the last year of kindergarten. The purpose of this teaching is to help the students in the bilingual pro gram when they transfer to regular public elementary school. In the last year of the bi lingual program, students learn, Chinese Pinyin. Maria, a Chinese teacher, said: Parent s are worried about Pinyin. They are concerned because studying in a regular publi c elementary school is very competitive. The y believe that without learning Chinese Pinyin, the students from the bilingual program w ill get lost and w ill have a hard time adjust ing when the context is only in Chinese. (07. 16.10) Overall, in the bilingua l program, Chinese language development is emphasized as tool for assisting in curriculum implementation and is a major language in the extra curricula classes Chinese language usage can be improved in the extra curricula classes with the Chinese subject teachers, like Chinese Pinyin; however, most children use the Chinese language when they are seek ing help and collect ing information during classroom activities. In other word s the objectives of the Chinese language learning focus on commu nicative competence. Science The school adopts Western scientific methods to observe natural phenomena from the perspectives of the Chinese 24 solar terms curriculum. Teaching methods stress the importance of process over product and focus on phenomena ob servation such as weather, four seasons, sun, moon, stars, the e arth, rivers, lakes, oceans, mountains,
124 wind, and rain, and this is also true during student participation in activities like observing flying kites, making a traditional Chinese shuttlecock, or dyeing clothing. Curriculum design bonds with age appropriate scientific knowledge with smelling, --two solar terms, White Dew and Autumnal Equinox, and its learning obj ectives focus upon the concepts of autumn and the Chinese Moon Festival; instruction focuses on content such as weather changes, wind, moon, farming and autumnal equinox. For the 3 4 year old students, learning involves observing and discovering; for the 4 5 year old students, curiosity is tapped and they learn through their five senses and make some comparisons; and, the 5 6 year old students learn to understand natural phenomena. In planning the lessons, teachers follow the objectives of the 24 solar ter ms curriculum and determine the proper activities for the students. The teachers strive to determine the sequential order of the contents of learning of bilingual education. Frequently, the teac hers have the students create web s in order to gain understand ing. For example, for the theme D ragon Boat Festival, a web was designed by the 5 6 year old students; the web involves all content areas: literacy, social studies, science, math, music, health, and geography. Although all elements cannot be covered in th e web, information gathered in this way forms the basis for further planning. Each of the circlets on the diagram involves one activity. For instance, for Rice Dumplings students study science and math through making rice dumplings; this activity delves i nto learning the shapes of leaves, the function of leaves, weight, and the process of steam. The Dragon Boat activity involves an experiment to help students understand the science of sinking
125 and floating and how the Chinese use fragrance to keep away from bad insects. The a ctivity could be tied to science, Chinese health and physical education. Overall, the curriculum of the Chinese 24 solar terms focuses on the Chinese life cycle and the Chinese attitude toward natural phenomena. Observation and experi ment of natural phenomena are stressed in the learning process; Chinese language is used so as to help students acquire knowledge Using the Chinese L anguage to D evelop M athematic S kills Mathematics is a very important subject for Chinese parents. They believe that if children have a good base in both math and language, they will be academically prepared to pursue more advanced education in the future. Thus, numerous memorizing strategies frequently are applied in traditional Chinese mathematics learning. The School believes that some mathematic concepts are best learned through the use of Chinese rhythm and oral language. Therefore, the School encourages the teachers to ask the students to say numbers in Chinese and English simultaneously so as to help the children better grasp a concept. Meanwhile, the Chinese teachers use traditional methods in having the children recite the Three Character Classic Ten, Ten to Hundred, Hundred to Thousand, Thousand to Ten Thousand children in bilingual program learn math in a Chinese manner. Music, A rt and D rama In addition to the core curriculum of the 24 solar terms, the school provides extra curricula for students, which include fine arts, creative movement, drama, music, and PE (physical education). This extra curriculum is taught in Chinese and places an emph asis on skills learning and cultural understanding. The fine arts focus on visual experiences including Western color water painting, Chinese black ink water painting,
126 brush painting, crayon/colored pencil drawing, clay sculptures, and varying texture cra fts. The content of the subject combines Chinese and Western cultural elements. The music curriculum focuses on body movement, clapping hands, cheering, and singing songs for self expression and other activities strongly tied to cultural heritage such as C hinese rhyme and Mother Goose rhymes or Christmas carols. The movement and drama curriculums include gross motor, fine motor, body awareness, spatial awareness, and balance activities. Drama is deemed a meaningful and joyful activity because it is designed for students to develop an understanding about themselves, other people, and other cultures. These subjects are taught in Chinese by professional Chinese teachers who majored in these subjects. Professional subject teachers also follow the school theme s and objectives when designing lessons and coaching specific professional skills. Each subject has importance and learning purposes T his helps students acquire knowledge in all subjects. The bilingual students can focus on the subject, just like the mono lingual students in a regular Chinese program. In other words, students in the bilingual program not only learn the skills involved in the subjects, but also the Chinese language is used to acquire knowledge of the subjects. The Scho ol also integrates all subjects into the themes; one example of this is art integration. For example, in the case of the Chinese Lion Dancing on Chinese New Year, the fine arts teachers teach the students how to create the craft masks and costumes of the lion/dragon; the creativ e movement teachers teach how to act like a lion/dragon; the drama teachers teach how to express the body language and oral
127 expression of lions; and music teachers teach some Chinese New Year songs in Chinese. Cultural E vents Cultural events are importan t learning activities; examples include the Lantern Festival, the Easter play, song/poem performances, the Rice Dumpling Festival, multi purpose evaluation, the Graduation Ceremony, shadow play, the Moon Festival, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Art Fair, and Winter Solstice/Christmas and all of these planned by the S Subject lessons such as music, movement, and fine art s usually fit into a le cture style, but in cultural events, the students are engaged in active participation. An academic Chinese administrator, Irene said: One of my responsibilities is to design and conduct cultural events with the students and teachers. We have a curriculum meeting twice a month to he yuan ( reunion lunch and L ion Dancing, the Lantern Festival, the Easter drama play, song/poem performances, the Rice Dumpling Festival, multi purpose evaluation, the Shadow Play, the Moon Festival, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Winter Solstice/Christmas event. Only few activitie Day, the Graduation Ceremony and the Art Fair take place outside of the school; conversely, a few activities such as the Breakfast Conference and Open House occur in the classroom. Even though all activities are designed by us (school academ ic administers), the activities leave open many possibilities for the students and teachers to expand lear ning beyond the classroom (06.19 .10). Cultural events are very powerful tools for language learning and social /cultural knowledge development. The school requests English and Chinese instructors to participate in two drama shows a year The curriculum administrator, Sara said:
128 The s chool believes that language expression in plays can expand vocabulary and phrases and help children improve expression and emotion. We spend almost one semester preparing for each drama performance. Children really enjoy drama even though they may not understand all the English or Chinese words in the plays. They are totally involved i n the play (17.06.10). Cultural events are a part of the planned curriculum (Marsh and Willis, 1995). Focus on cultural events helps students in the bilingual program develop a much wider context, a context involving languages, knowledge skills and the at titudes needed to appreciate culture. The Bilingual Environment Environmental learning also is included in the curriculum of the School To develop a bilingual/bi cultural program, the s chool tries to create a balanced Chinese and English learning environ ment in order to provide many learning opportunities for children a nd teachers. Tanner (1980) said a school activities and exerci ses for the students to find meaning in their learning, learning not only subject matter but also social roles, attitudes, and values (Tanner &Tanner, 1980) The Natural Way School of an empty space surrounded by classrooms connected with one another. It is called he ). T he building of si he yuan is different from the general Western pre school and kindergarten. The open courtyard of si he yuan is the heart of the School and the front of the open courtyard has a square stage; therefore, all of the people in the classrooms c an directly look up and be aware what is happening in the open courtyard. This style is very close to Chinese collective life style. Children can use the open courtyards as a common place for many types of activities, such as hide and seek, jump rope, mor ning exercises, singing, dancing, eating, cooking, racing, read aloud
129 performances, etc. In the open courtyard, you can hear Chinese and English in all kind s of activities. Kate, a bilingual teacher, said: We sing English songs or Chinese poems during the transition period. sing, talk, and watch. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, and Chinese people get to gether in the courtyard to celebrate ceremonial events. (06.11. 2010) The environment of the Natural Way School is designed in accordance with he creates a lush traditional Chinese atmosphere, one in which all the children and teachers work together like a big family. Children are free to use Chinese or English to communicate. The environment supports the instruction of both the Chinese and English teachers. This environment accords a great deal of attention to traditional Chinese culture. In the classrooms there are seven centers: reading corner, art corner, learning center, science corner, cooking corner, house corner, and block corner. Decoration of the classroom is according to the curriculum theme and is frequently are posted on the wall. All through my observation, I saw a print rich bilingual classroom environment in which Chinese and English labels w ere on all materials and furniture. The duel labels were used even during activities, in the class schedule, in the their own dictation in English and with the Chin English and Chinese. These are frequently posted
130 I find that the sc hool believes that if environmental print and symbols are conne opportunity to make meaning and learning has immediate relevance. Thus, authentic materials of environment are stressed and manipulated for bilingual learning. Figure 5 1. Classroom T eaching Practice T he t eaching practices incorporated in bilingual education illustrate the methods used to conduct the bilingual curriculum. I will focus on three parts: 1) how do the Chinese and English speaking instructors maintain the Chinese culture and language within the context of teaching English? 2) How is professional development for both Chinese and English speaking instructors achieved in regard to the Chinese literary tradition? 3) How do the Chinese and English speaking instructors work together to help the students develop their language and subject knowledge. Season Circle learning table Reading corner center corner House corner Science corner Block co rner Art corner Cooking area Books
131 Maintaining the C hines e C ulture and I deas within the E nglish T eaching C ontext While learning English, the children also are expected to develop their Chinese language and cultural identity within the bilingual program. Chinese teachers believe the s chool sc hool concepts and language development; this is accomplished through their daily instruction their cultural experience knowledge, and in their verbal interaction with children. One Chinese teacher, Shelly, said: I really care about polite bows, so because I am Chinese and follow our I require all my children to take a bow to show their appreciation before/after we finish lessons. I know some bilingual these bilingual kids follow my rules and take the appropriate actions. The teachers believe if the students respect teachers through their actions, they can discipline themselves well. Otherwise, some Chinese teachers believe the students will not listen to them. This is an example of the cultural knowledge a Chinese teacher imparts: how to respect tea chers through daily activities and lessons. Using the S chool I deas W hich A re R elated to W estern I deas The e nglish speaking instructors focus more on teaching skills than on cultural knowledge. However, the educational philosophy and ideas of the Natura l Way S chool are close to their beliefs. Mr. Dan pointed out he totally agrees with the school philosophy and said: for learning you need to get the kids emotionally involved and when you connect something to their culture, you get that involvement. You get them them motivated to learn; the emotional involvement can smooth the way they integrate new informa tion into their brain. Sometimes, if you tell kids 25
132 vocabulary words, they go in one ear and out the other, but when you attach a word to their culture and make it meaningful and give them a classroom experience they learn. (06.07.10) Mr. Dan stressed using emotion to help students better relate to learning, making the learning more meaningful. Also he thinks learning at the Natural Way School is based on cultural experiences which relate to personal experiences and emotions. He understands tha t language and culture are already being successfully integrated into the curriculum; luckily he thinks that some philosophy and ideas of the school initially are from Western educational philosophy and it is helpful for him to understand education philo sophy of the school. Learning a bout C hinese Cu lture for E ffective I nstruction includes various cultural events and activities; in other words, if English speaking instructors or C Chinese 24 solar terms which are based on how the Chinese people think, live, work, eat, dress, move, an d get along with nature. However, to an English speaking instructor, there are some conflicts and cultural differences. English speaking instructors are usually not familiar with the 24 solar terms; they are not familiar with why the 24 solar terms are so meaningful for Chinese, and they need to assistance to be familiar with the support their lessons and activ ities.
133 English speaking instructors honestly stated that at the very beginning, they totally e Interestingly, although the Chinese culture takes time to learn in order to be familiar learning by doing helps the English speaking teachers better und erstand Chinese culture Furthermore, the School provides a cultural atmosphere and environment. A meals different from those at other schools where he had taught. Each class has seasonal ta bles for display of local plants, insects, animals, leaves, flowers, and fruit, this display assisted his understanding of how the children learn and how the meals of rice beans, and vegetables are another concrete example for the English speaking instructors of how to teach Chinese culture. The Canadian English teacher said: E at the school s meal, wear the school s Chinese style uniform, and l isten to the s e classical music. The s chool has a very strong experience Chinese culture (06.17.10) English speaking instructors have their own cultural background and experiences which helps t hem be aware and make connections with Chinese culture. Moreover, whole environment is really supportive for English speaking instructors to learn about Chinese culture For successful instruction they must immerse themselves into the in order to learn about the Chinese culture.
134 Cultural L essons in the D aily S chedule Although the 24 solar terms are important ideas that assist in the acquisition of Chinese cultural concepts, the curriculum of the 24 solar terms is very abstract. The th emes and objectives provided by t he s chool help the teachers focus on designing appropriate activities. Thus, the 24 solar terms have to be digested and then designed into activities for the bilingual students; well designed activities can encourage students to focus their attention on new learning rather than the surface features of English. Although teachers primarily are interested in culture and language development, they are also keenly aware of activity designs that facilitate the transition of information into kno wledge and language learning. Every day a routine schedule is followed by the teachers and students. Preparation is done before children com e in B oth the Chinese and English teachers come to the classroom around 7 :30. Usually, the teachers let the students engage in speak Chinese to each other; sometimes, they talk to the English teacher about their personal needs, such as going to the bathroom, having some water, etc. This time is followed by using their English for greeting and storytelling in the morning circle. After include: an introduction, storytelling, rea ding, writing, drawing, cooking, or hands on activities. During this early period, the English teacher is in charge of all instructional activities, and Chinese teachers assist the English teacher. Outdoor activities or field trips let the students out of classroom to run, walk, jump, and dance. Students are used to speaking a mix of Chinese and English languages during this time.
135 which includes drama, music, fine arts, motor skills, and PE. All subject t eachers are professionals; they major ed in drama, music, art, dance, or PE. The subject teachers focus on their professional subject teaching ; for example, the music teacher teaches rhythm systematically with songs and body mo vement which focuses on the children cognitive development in knowledge of music. They follow their own syllabi which are based on the Chinese 24 solar terms on Engli sh learning and includes the alphabet, phonics, vocabulary, and sen language objectives. During this period the English speaking instructors concentrate on language instruction. ck. When the English speaking instructors leave the classroom, the Chinese teachers take the students to a room where their parents pick them up. Daily S chedule of the B ilingual P rogram 7:30 8:30 Arrival: Free time The children can do any activity of their own choice: reading books, drawing, playing with puzzles/toys, or preparing breakfast (mainly in Chinese). 9:00 9:10 Morning Circle: The teacher brings the class together for songs and sto in English) 9:15 10:45 Work Time: The students and teachers work on the topic activity; students are divided into small groups (language mixed) 10:45 11:00 Clean Up (language mixed) 11:00 11:30 Outdoor Activity (language mixed) 11:30 12:00 Prepare for Lunch (mainly in English)
136 12:00 2:30 Take a Nap 2:30 3:30 Extra Curricula: Drama/Music/Fine Arts/Motor Skills/PE (mainly in Chinese) 3:30 3:50 Snack Time (language mixed) 3:50 4:20 ESL Time (mainly in English) 4:20 5:00 Go Home these are a dialogue written by Chinese parents and Chinese teachers to communicate about Time, the Chinese teachers translate the important messages from Chinese into English for the English speaking instructors. Free Time also is used by the Chinese and English t eachers to discuss and communicate about students and make daily plans. The m orning c Chinese teachers use this time to have the children practice Chinese poems and rhythms, and t alk in Chinese about classroom discipline. Lunch and Snack Times are also good moments to conduct lessons on Chinese table manners and discipline. The students are asked to say appreciative words and eat quietly, which is based on the the Chinese teachers sometimes play a Chinese or English lullaby.
137 P rofessional D evelopment on the C hinese L iterary T radition Teacher Training on the Chinese L iterary T radition Also, I found the School provides teacher beliefs and philosophy. Teacher training is given once a month, and may include lectures such as Wong Zhen Hua speaking on educational methods and Confucian perspectives. Mr. Zang the fo under of the School, requires all Chinese teachers to attend the lectures without any excuse. They study chapters from The Analects The Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Class of Poetry, Classic of Rites, and Class of Changes Although some Chinese te achers complained about the training; they philo sophy. This training facilitates the Chinese teachers as they weave Chinese literary tradition into the bilingual learning process. For example, I Chingz (later than 223 BC), should come to teachers for their questions rather than the teachers solving the This idea encourages teachers to allow students to ask questions and, while teachers should know about their students, they should not solve problems for them. Furthermore, the School provides some teacher training in traditional cultural practices, such as the Tea Ceremony (Cha Dao ) traditional Chinese dyeing, zither/bamboo flute, and Chinese swordplay etc; this training helps teachers get an philosophy. O n the other side, English speaking in structors are required to participate in the Teachers Conference in which the senior English instructor of the school share s
138 his/her understanding of the S chool s educational philosophy to increase English speaking instructors experience and knowledge of Chinese culture and Chinese educational philosophy P romotion of the C hinese C ulture for the E nglish S peaking I nstructors The English speaking instructors lack Chinese cultural knowledge and experience; therefore, the curriculum of twenty four solar terms may seem to be abstract and meaningless. In the bilingual program, the Chinese teachers provide first hand resources and v arious materials for the English speaking teachers to promote more effective teaching. The Chinese teachers collect information and do explanations for the English teachers. Sometimes, the English speaking instructors do not fully comprehend the meaning of Chinese traditional cultural and literary traditions. Therefore, i n the Teachers Conference the school provides numerous resource s in English and the senior English instructors explain the meaning again. The Chinese teachers sometimes model the instru ction or even take over the lessons and conduct the activities with About the Drag Boat Festival, the Chinese respect the poet (Qu Yuan 340 BCE 278 BCE) for his royalty and righteousness. However, it is hard to explain to my partner, an English teacher, why the Chinese respect and appreciate a poet from two thousand years ago; a poet who jumped into the river (suicide). In remembering him the Chinese have the Boat Race and eat rice dumplings to honor hi m. I tried my best to explain why and how. But I am not sure if he understood it or not. (06.18 .10) This is a typical example of the different perspectives from Chinese and Western values When the English speaking instructors tell the story about the p oet (Qu Yuan) who committed suicide, they usually change some of the plot of the original story. In the case of the poet, the English teachers thought it was no t appropriate to tell young
139 students about a suicide; meanwhile, they could not understand why the Chinese think Qu Yuan is very important and worth remembering. For instance, Mr. Dan modified the story of Qu Yuan saying that he was very sad so he was careless and fell into the river Mostly, the School approves if English speaking instructors revise the story to meet their values, but not so much so that the story is contradictory to the goals of the School. Chinese culture is imbedded in the curriculum, infusing instruction at every point along the way. The English teachers choose the part they find compatible with their values. When t he English speaking instructors acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese culture through the meaningful experiences surrounding them they also acquir e cultural awareness and the ability to function in a new cultural setting. Thus due to the cultural circumstances, English speaking instructors gradually gain knowledge of Chinese cultural traditions and begin to understand how they are interpreted from t he perspective of native Chinese Learning about the T wo E ducation S ystems The data shows that the bilingual program of the School is based upon two major educational goals. T he school provides an English education which is based on knowledge of second la nguage acquisition On the other hand, Chinese education includes not only language learning, but also Chinese cultural and literary tradition. S ometimes beliefs about Chinese education may conflict with those concerning English education. One Chinese tea cher pointed out that the English speaking instructors usually provided mentally and physically exciting activities to engage children in learning, but Chinese teachers sometimes think differently about learning. The Chinese teacher, Carry, quoted from the book The Great Learning state may be attained. That calmness will succeed a tranquil
140 repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the d esired end to learn calmness and tranquility first; only then can students really learn something. They strongly value this idea and apply it in the bilingual program. Therefore, the Chinese teachers are always re minding the English speaking instructors not to provide activities that overexcite the students too much because they would cause the students to be unfocused. On the other hand, some English speaking instructors have opposite ideas. They believe that teachers should help students feel excited about learning in order to become active learners. They also believe that physical activity is age appropriate for very young children and the simple addition of a competitive factor or an element of mystery or wo nder can transform a meaningless but necessary practice into an interesting activity. Two different teaching methods about learning exist among the Chinese teachers and the English speaking instructors in the School. To avoid conflicts between the teacher s both the Chinese and English speaking Overall, the differences can provide a balanced approach to education. Thus, the Chinese and English speaking instructors are enc ourag ed to be open minded about different approaches and bridge those differences so as to benefit the students. Bilingual Program Assessment Assessment allows us to see the result s of the bilingual program. Usually, bilingual program s measure student pe rformance with standardize d tests (Curtain 1984 ). However, the educational policy of the school doesn t believe language skills are best
141 measured with standardized tests. Rather the ir bilingual educational assessment stresses student self concept and att itudes The s chool also uses assessment to help the students attain goals Assessment of student performance within the communication oriented purpose is used for to provide the students the opportunity to develop cultural sensitivity and use languages in a communicative way These alternative assessments are different from traditional evaluation s such as paper pencil tests, but they are used in an ef fort to match the goals of the S chool. From homework, multi purpose assessment, portfolios, and teacher and parent conferences to the philosophy of the school and the curriculum of the 24 Solar terms, the school emphasizes communicative and cultur al assessment s with in a growth process to help accommodate Chinese/English language and cultural identity learning T he relationship of assessment and culture /language development is similar to the figure ( 5 2 ). Figure 5 2 Alternative Assessment A s the biggest gear turns around, two small er gears also turn. The figure ( 6 2 ) presents assessments for assist ing Chinese cultur al and language development with in Assessment : homework, multi purpose assessment, portfolios, conferences Languages Development Chinese Culture Developmen t
142 context Thus, the purpose of assessment focuses on attitude toward culture oriented communication I n other words, the performance evaluation of t he s tudents is based on their e nthusiasm and motivation while participating in cultural activities and in the Chinese and English language s Teachers monitor, assess, and evaluate student learning progress via project activities classroom part icipation interacting with peers, homework practice, multi purpose evaluation, and performance on written work. From these varied activities there are s everal ways to gather authentic rich source s and meaningful information about student performance Alternative A ssessment for A ssisting L anguage and S ubject L earning Tyler (1949) stress ed that evaluation should involve getting evidence about changes in student behavior, stressing that teachers were not limited purely to giving paper and pencil tests (T anner & Tanner, 1980) By using varied means of assessment teachers can systematically document their entire class and individual progress and the result provides richer data than the s c ores on a worksheet or standardized test. The Natural Way School s ass essment is based on this idea. Young students come to school with different learning abilities and background knowledge so they begin at different places. Additionally, students learn at different rates ; thus, it is vital that the assessment mon itors the students development from time to time This evaluation process inform s teachers what and whether the students are learning and often suggest changes that will result in more effective t eaching. T he evaluations include the students language dev elopment and general learning progress
143 English H omework as a L earning R esource from a C hinese P erspective The c urriculum design of the School is based on Western ideas and philosophy but emphases the Chinese idea of homework for students The Chinese parents believe homework can extend students learning. However, the weekly homework of the s chool is for students to apply what they have been taught in the classroom, and for teacher s to know what the student s have learned Homework is varied, includ in g l istening to songs and stories and games Here is a scanned example: Figure 5 3 Learning Sheet
144 Homework is assigned not as an evaluation of the students but to provide a review of learning and act as a resource for students. Carol, a Chinese teacher, said: I t is no pressure Weekly homework includes a CD and work sheets. The s tudents listen to the CD and follow the direction s while doing homework. Also s tudent s listen to the songs and stories as many as they want. I t s kind of a learn ing resource for students. T his helps Chinese parents feel more secure because they become more aware of what the teachers teach in the School (05.17.09) A parent from bilingual program, Tina, said: I insist the school gives h omework ; it help s me know wh at they are learn ing in the School and if my child is learn ing or not. M ost importan tly, homework is practice. English is a foreign language. I want my child to continue practicing when he is home. My English is poor; therefore, the CD is really helpful. I can play and repeat it many times until my child is familiar with stories and songs. I am very happy when my child lea rns H e understands English and can communicate with English teachers (06. 11.10 ). Homework is valued in Chinese society. However, the purpose of homework of the school is not to give student s extr a work S uch homework provides information to parents about the curriculum of the school. T he homework is especially important since the school has no textbooks and parent s want to monitor whether their children are learning or not. Homework also becomes a tool for parents to expand children s E nglish learning Multi P urpose A ssessment (B oth in C hinese and E nglish) Since English learning in Taiwan is foreign language learni ng, there are not a lot of chances to speak English when the students are out of the School Multi purpose assessment s reinforce students using English in English contexts. I found the teachers us ing checklists and rating scales to record student achieveme nt An example of a checklist is the can help! a nd includes the following : 1 ) Can recognize color? 2 ) Can understand the names of clothes? 3 ) Can follow direction s ? 4 ) Can finis h work
145 individually ? Teachers complete the checklist w hile the students are involved in an activity. Checklists permit the t eachers to quickly evaluate language competence and abilit ies in the content areas. Additionally assessment s also provide opportunities for the students to practice speak ing English. A Chinese tea cher, Carol said: T hrough five problem solv ing activities the students apply their English skills to solve problems, p rovid ing many opportunities for the students to use English. From the process, I can recognize whether the students are able to use Engl ish to acquire knowledge or develop abilit ies For example, one of listening comprehension problem solving activities I Can Help! is designed by academic administrators. It s about helping mother hang different styles of clothes into a bamboo pole to dry (regular housework in Taiwan). The s tudents listen to the order in English and then choose the clothes in order to help mother. If the students pick the clothes in the correct order and put them on bamboo pole, it means they understand English and can successfully finish this activity (06.23.1 0 ). G ames and activities also can be assessments F ormal paper pencil examinations for children ages 3 to 6 are not stressed. T hese evaluat ions assess students abilit y in language, hands on abilit y understandin g of concepts, and factual knowledge. Multi purpose assessment s indicate student understanding of the role s convention s play and an understanding of these conventions shap es student behavior T hey focus on how people commonly act in Chinese society and in crisis situation s in Chinese culture. For example, the children in the bilingual program should demonstrate an understanding of 24 solar terms. The students learn that people act the way they do because they are using options the Chinese society allows f or satisfying basic physical and cultural needs.
146 Portfolio A ssessment Portfolios may take the form of a learning journal where the students record their learning process in a narrative description. Mr. Z a ng said: children cannot be judged within a number a grade, or one word such as A or B and good or bad. He thinks that both Chinese and English educators should provide a full description of a student s attitude, performance, learning process, reflection, and behavior in the School ( school document). T h us, to access this information, student portfolios are preferred instead of testing and grading Portfolios include students work including artwork, their writing in both Chinese and English, photos of students engaged in activities, communication book s i n English and Chinese, tape record ings of oral evaluation s in English, and written statements of observation s from Chinese teachers for a whole school year. Students in the bilingual program are evaluated from two perspectives, Chinese and English language proficiency However, English speaking instructors comment s can be mis interpreted by the Chinese parents, who are anxious to make their children perfect. F or example English teachers sometimes compliment a student first and then point out the s weakness es. An example is: Eddie is an excellent student. His homework is always well done. I am proud of his performance. The only thing he needs is more practice in oral English. However, the Chinese parents focus on the more practice in ora l English and worry the son needs to improve his spoken English. They tend to overlook compliments like well done, and proud of. C onversely they focus on how t hey can help the son achieve at a higher level Some parents complain the English are too superficial, and provide concrete suggestion s for their children improving their English. O n the other hand, English teachers think learning in pre school and kindergarten should be fun and interesting, but
147 Chinese parents p ush their children to o much and are overly concerned with their children s academic achievement. Chinese parents expect teachers to directly point out their children s weakness es and English teachers want to focus on the children s strength s Consequently, the Chinese teachers usually play the role of find ing a balance between the English teachers and Chinese parents Parent T eacher C onferences Parent teacher c onfer ence s assist students in the bilingual program when they facilitate self evalu ation and lead to a mutual understanding among students, parents and teachers Since written communication causes some misunderstanding face to face communication i s very important and help s to increase mutual understanding. Chinese teachers not only play a role as facilitator s but also as translator s at these conferences Chinese teacher, Carol, said: The p arent teacher conference is very important for helping parents to understand students school learning. In the bilingual program, basically, my co teacher, a foreign teacher, and I go through each portfolio and come to an agreement about each s performance and achievement. At the parent teacher conference, I have to overcome the language barrier a nd cultural difference s in order to help the Chinese parent s understand what the foreign teachers are saying. Although my English is not good enough, most of time I understand my co teacher. I f Chinese parent s do not understand English very well, I will tr anslate it. I am a liaison between the Chinese parents and the foreign teachers. In the beginning of semester, the conference is for parents to hear about the teachers plans, and I also help the English teachers get students information from parents. At the end of the semester, the conference is to let parents know how well the student s performed in school and what the student s need to improve in the future (07.11.10). Teachers explain the philosophy of the school and discuss the curriculum in practical examples to parents; as a result the parents understand the focus of the
148 bilingual program and how the teachers handle the curriculum of the 24 solar terms When parents are fully informed, they are better able to recognize their children s perf ormance and rethink whether their children are fulfilling their learn ing capacity in the bilingual and bi cultur al program. T eachers also benefit as they realize the parents expectations and have the opportunity to reflect upon what they need to do to imp rove their instruction in bilingual and bi cultural program. W ith the absence of textbooks and the 24 Chinese solar terms as the core of the curriculum, integrative and thematic planning depends on a solid understanding of the philosophy of the School and of Chinese culture. As a result effective plan ning dem ands flexible language usage and a strong Chinese and English vocabulary base The teachers are asked to respond to Chinese culture and take advantage of opportunities that arise in the development of theme s since they includ e instruction in math, science, health, social studies, music, art, language arts, and physical education. Since the School has a clear educational philosophy and curriculum to conduct bilingual education, the assessment of the School while comprehensive, may take for granted an emphasis on Chinese language and cultur al identity The Natural Way School develops methods for measuring student achievement within the communication oriented classroom These assessments examine not o nly the learning of the material but also stress giving students the opportunity to use the Chinese and English languages and recognize Chinese culture. T hus, well designed activities such as multi purpose assessment s that reflect on the outcomes of integr ated and thematic lesson s are good for the students in bilingual program Assessments also include records of teacher s observations of individual students in each performance
149 and the work in the students portfolios. T his procedure serves not only to dev elop a record of actual performance, but also is a reminder to the teacher of the students about which students need more attention Perceptions of the B ilingual P rogram As discussed in bilingual program, English proficiency is developing all the time; students are not concerned about their English ability or competing with monolingual students who learn English in one to two periods a week. For s tudents in the bilingual program, constantly improving English proficiency is taken for grante d. To understand the perception of the bilingual program, I interviewed former students, parents, and current teachers in public schools. Chinese and E nglish M utually and O rally S upport at B eginning S tages Elementary students like to do code switching more than younger children because they k now more Chinese and English. A n elementary teacher gave me an example of what one of her children was asked in English : What is a grasshopper ? Tell your mother in Chinese T he child said (grass + hopper). Obviously, he translated the meaning word by word The child learned the grasshopper meaning in English but he did not know it in Chinese. B ut he knew grass and hopper meanings in Chinese. Therefore, he used a code switching strat egy to translate the English word s to Chinese meaning It s great experience for children in bilingual program to manipulate languages at young age. The English teacher described this example to explain how she responds to the child s response, how she und erstand s the interference between learning the two languages and how knowledge of language learning gives her power
150 to support the children and allows them to learn by trial and error. A current public elementary teacher gave another example: Students from the bilingual program are so creative. I remember once I taught math about problem solving, the statement saying (one hundred meters race) in Chinese characters one student from the bilingual program of the s chool, ask ed me what does m ean (one hundred meters race) ? And he asked whether one hundred pieces of rice have a race. I could not help but laugh. I thought he really had good imagination but his Chinese vocabulary wa s not good enough. However, after an explanation he underst ood and solved the problem very fast. From my viewpoint, he was a good learner and very creative (6. 14. 10 ). T he students from the bilingual program might have some flaw s when it comes to Chinese proficiency, such as vocabulary phrases, and terms in academic Chinese language which they have not learned from daily conversation i n communication oriented bilingual classrooms. However, on the other hand, t he math teacher did not think it was an important point about how the child w a s thinking about language ; he was considering word order and that affect ed the meaning Interesting, the child had very strong sensitivity of language s which will help h im fully express himself in the future and manipulate languages and words in creative writing when he has time to build up two languag es maturely Knowledge of C hinese L anguage, P inyin, N eeds to B e T aught in the B ilingual P rogram T he students in the bilingual program move to the public monolingual schools. Usually they need time to get familiar with many things such as classroom environment discipline, curriculum, new teacher s, and new friends. Chinese language proficiency does not see m to be a worry One parent from bilingual program, Judy s mother, recalled:
151 I did not worry about her communicat ion in elementary school It was no t a problem for my child. We speak Chinese at home all the time. B ut I was concerned about Chinese p honics, Pinyin, because my child did not have a lot of practice in the bilingual program and the public school teachers always suppose students learned it in kindergarten A ctually the School follow ed the MOE s requirement to teach Pinyin and taught it for six weeks instead of the required three Nevertheless, I was concern ed about it Anyway, I was happy that my daughter could catch up after one semester (07.10. 10 ). John s mom said: John s first test of Pinyin was horrible. I thought he was learning Pinyin in kindergarten but he did not know how to take examination s in his elementary school. T he Natural Way School never taught how to take exams. However, John quickly improved once he was familiar with examinations (7.10. 10 ). Although the Chinese teachers in the bilingual program teach the 40 M andarin phonetic symbols to children as they prepare to go to elementary school, the S chool insists Pinyin is taught for fun and does not use any pressure. T he school s purpose of teaching the 40 sym bols is to prepar e the students for studying in elementary and facilitate the children who read Chinese books before learning the Chinese character s. Thus, the Chinese teachers teach the 40 M andarin phonetic symbols 2 3 times a week ; they instruct using pronunciation recognition spelling, reading, and writing and through games and activities. However, these instructional methods do not satisfy parents who only care about testing scores. Nevertheless after many practice opportunities most of the student s in the bilingual program learn P inyin and in elementary school they overcome the ir fear of Pinyin testing after a couple of weeks
152 Chinese P hrases and P oems from the C urriculum of the 24 S olar T erms H elp F amiliarize the S tudents with Ch inese R ecitation of classical L iterature A ctivities of E lementary S chools In Taiwan, some public elementary schools advocate recitation from Chinese classical literature T hey require their students to recite some Chinese classic al books, like The Analects Mencious 3 Words Classics ( San Zi Jing ) Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Po em s . Traditionally, familiarity with classic al books is very important for Chinese intellectuals. T hus, many public elementary schools encourage the students to recite and memorize portions of classical literature even if the students do not understand the meaning of the books completely A former student s mom, Kate said: recite (Xin Jing) because the teacher complained the class was too noisy. She wanted her students recite (Xin Jing) for pacification. As I heard it, I thought (Xin Jing) is too difficult for them. However, my daughter told me she had learned some Chinese p hrases when she was in the bilingual program of the s chool and this was not first time she had to do recitation. Thus, she memorized it very fast and this kind of practice dramatically influenced her writing. She won second place in the Chinese writing co mpetition of the last semester of elementary school. I think her Chinese writing is pretty good because she memorized a lot of good words in her mind. I was very proud of her (7.10. 10 ). The above comment indicate s that recitation is very commo n and import ant to the Chinese. T he curriculum at the Natural Way S chool naturally and meaningfully provided chances to read aloud and this practice lay s the groundwork for th e Chinese language skills needed to continue learning in elementary school. S tudents L earn C hinese I dioms Chinese language instruction in the bilingual program of the s chool is a supplement al tool and is not presented in isolation. The Chinese language is used to express meaning important to the students and to the contents being learned. It is a
153 communicat ion based approach and differ s from Chinese subject learning in elementary school where knowledge of the Chinese language is stressed and practice d I t is true that the curriculum at the Natural Way School may help children become more familiar with Chinese cultural tradition s because they are embedded in the themes whereas other students attended a school where language skills were taught in isolation. Children at the School learn the stories in Chinese 24 solar terms curriculum which can help them to use the idiom s in real contexts. Christine, a 13 years old girl, said: Although memorizing Chinese idioms is annoying, Chinese idioms are so interesting because every idiom has a story about Chinese wisdom and morals. F or instance, the idiom (When drinking water think of its source) tells us about appreciation. I learned this idiom in the story of Tomb Sweeping when I was very young at the Natural Way School, I remember (06.10. 10 ) The bilingual curriculum of the school is based on Chinese cu ltur e and Chinese literary tradition which really help s child ren become familiar with the concept s and meaning s found in classic Chinese books and this facilitate s the children remember ing the idioms and us ing them naturally T he C urriculum of the C hinese 24 S olar T erms R elates to M any A spects of C hinese C ulture, which C an F acilitate C hinese L iteracy D evelopment in M iddle S chool Although Chinese language development in the bilingual program focuses on oral language for communicati on purpose s the curriculum provides numerous Chinese stories about eating, living, dressing, planting which lend layers of meaning to Chinese literature Nancy Hansen Krening (1982) asserts that when the language experience approach is used the read ing material match es the content of the oral language enabling the student to draw on personal experience ; thus the learner s task is made simple r Hensen Krening claims that oral langu age can provide experience
154 which promotes student s reading and writing abilities I n other words, although t he curriculum of the 24 solar terms involves using the English language to learn about Chinese lifestyle and Chinese values, it still provides students with varied Chinese experience s Additionally, in language experience the vi sual symbols/Chinese characters are connected to oral language Thus the meaning of the Chinese experiences is readily understood and has immediate relevance. Emma a former student, 16 years old, stated her opinion about her Chinese learning in middle school: Chinese study includes Chinese history, historical allusion and stories. I think that a lot of knowledge and wisdom come s from Chinese historical events and stories even when the y become idioms we use in every day life. I f I learn about them by rote, I soon will forget them. But if I learn about the Chinese from Chinese stories I remember. I have enjoy ed listening to the stories since I was preschooler. Stories dr e w my attention and assist ed me in remember ing t he words. Thus, the more Chinese historical events and stories I know, the more Chinese knowledge I learn. Various stories I lea rned when I was young in the Natural Way School, help ed me understand the more classic al Chinese reading in middle school. Altho ugh I came from the bilingual program, I never thought my Chinese wa s behind t hat of other students ( 06.15 10 ) She strongly expressed her idea about Chinese study, which parallels the theory of the language experience Listening to stories through oral language (English) still can develop knowledge of Chinese literacy. In other words, the curriculum of the Chinese 24 solar terms emphasize s Chinese culture. Since Chinese language is an integral component of cu ltur al learning the curriculum provide s importan t concepts and knowledge and facilitates students in their develop ment of Chinese literacy. T he C urriculum of the C hinese 24 S olar T erms I ncrease s S tudents S ensitivity T o C ultur al L earning Two essential e lements in the curriculum of the Chinese 24 solar terms are nature and humanity. Bilingual education of the S chool not only highlights language learning, but also includes learning about humanity from a Chinese perspective ; this learning
155 includes culture, values, ideas, religion holidays, and philosophy Additionally Western cultures are integrated into it as well Students become more sensitive to the world around them. A 16 year old former student Jasmine, stated how she loved Chines e Valentine Day: My favorite Chinese festival is (The Seventh of July in the Lunar calendar Chinese V alentine Day because the festival has a romantic love story and the story of cowherd and weaver girl really touches my heart. I n this day, there are m any folk customs such as preparing se s a me oil chicken and worship ing Lady God for the good skills of needlecraft. It is better to say I love the festival rather than I love the romantic stories. However, I do not like the Dragon Boat Festival because I do not like the story of Qu Yuan who was so stupid (He jumped into the river because his Emperor did n ot want to listen to him) ( 06.15 10 ). S he also talked about her favorite Western festival: My favorite Western festival is Thanksgiving Day. When I was young, I was very impress ed because we had a feast for appreciation I thought the Chinese do not have this kind of festival for appreciation We have Tomb Sweeping Day which is preparing sacrifices of food and spirit money to worship our deceased ancestor s. However, Thanksgiving Day seems to appreciate everything and everybody. I t s different from Tomb Sweeping Day which only shows appreciation to our own ancestors ( 06.15 10 ). Her response impressed me. The c ulture comparison show s she i s aware of the cu ltur al differen ce s betw een Chinese and Western cultures. Another former student, Christine also compared Eastern and Western culture. She said: If you would like me to do a comparison between Eastern culture and Western culture, I can use a metaphor to ex press the difference. I think Easter n culture is like great mountains with cloud s and mist. Y ou cannot see through it clearly but it still is treasure d. O n the other hand, Western culture is like a vast and limitless ocean. You can see through it but it is too deep to be pred ictable ( 06.25 .10). Cultural identity occurs when individual s feel they share common characteristics with groups such as ancestors territori es institution s values, norms, and language s
156 (Sumaryone and Wilma 2004). T h e a bove student responses illustrate they are not confused with cultural identity. T hey could see the difference between themselves and others ( the world), recognize ancestry, and appreciate the varied costume s. I n other words, they understand their relations hip to the world (West 1992), and they construct and visualize themselves in the social process (Norton, 1997). T he S tudents in t he B ilingual P rogram C ould H ave M ore A ppreciation o f T heir E nglish P roficiency and T heir O wn C ulture I asked interviewees the question: Can you see the differen ces i n Chinese and English learning between you and your classmates who did not go to the bilingual program of the S chool? The following is what they said: Christina said: I am glad that my Engli sh is excellent I do not need to put out a big effort and I still have a good grade. Also I have enjoyed a lot of different Western experience s which many Taiwanese children do not have. Chinese subject s do not bother me at all, but they take time to study and memorize for good scores. Although a lot of Chinese recitation is involved, I really appreciate Chinese classic poetry ( 06.25 .10). John said: In English, I always receive full points. My listening and vocabulary are much better t han other students. In Chinese, I also g o t full points o n the High S c hool Entrance exam. I put in a lot of effort to get a good grade. However, Chinese is much more difficult than English. I spend more time studying Chinese than English. My Chinese scores are above the level of my class. I think my Chinese performance is still better tha n others who are monolingual because my parents care about my school work scores. I work hard for them (07.11.10). Jasmine said: My classmates consider English a difficult subject to learn. They read assigned English novels very slowly. I read them fast. I do not need to check the dictionary very often. Meanwhile, I also like to read Chinese novels, which give me a lot of pleasure. Of course, I do not need to stop to check t he dictionary when I read Chinese novels. My English is much better
157 than other student s; therefore, I can devote my effort s to other subjects such as math and science. Chinese for me and my classmates is not easy to get good scores. We have to study hard; then we can get a good grade (06.16.10). Sara said: There is no difference between me and classmates, but my English is much better than other students who were not in the bilingual program of the Natural Way School. I think English writing is much easier than Chinese writing, but my classmates believe Chinese and English writing are both difficult ( 06.10 .10). Emma said: My some classmates really suffer when trying to learn English. T herefore, to them, Chinese is easy compared with English. Although I think English is much easier than Chinese, my Chinese performance is still above the level of my class because I put a lot of effort to get good scores (17.06.10). Yen said: I enjoy watching movies in English I never depend on the Chinese subtitles bu t my classmates have to read Chinese subtitle s to understand the plot of the movie. My parents are proud of my English ability because they can not speak English. My Chinese is okay I t is not so good not so bad. I study hard then I get good scores. Oppos itely if I do not study it then I get bad scores. However, when learning Chinese I enjoy learn ing Chinese characters which are so creative and beautiful. I enjoy Chinese handwriting. I t is much more interesting than the English a lphabet I am learning Ch inese calligraphy now (06.07.10). According to the above responses, I found that all students I interviewed had an outstanding performance in the subject of English in elementary and middle schools. Their proficiency in English gives t hem a lot of confidence On the other hand, the Chinese language learning in middle school is difficult and students need to put forth a lot of effort for a good grade. There are not many difference s between students from the Natural Way School and those who did not at tend The Chinese language need s to be studied hard; then one will have good scores. The differences are a testing matter not a concern about language development. However, I found the students from the
158 bilingual program greatly appreciate Chinese litera ry tradition s; for example : Yen likes Chinese characters and Chinese calligraphy ; Jasmine enjoys reading Chinese novels ; and Christina loves Chinese classic poems. In addition, I found John studies hard for his parents ; h e wants to please and honor his par ents. His behavior in Taiwan society is deemed filial obedience John is guided by the value system of Chinese culture and holds positive attitudes toward the culture (Landry & Allard, 1992). His behavior and attitude are typical of a Taiwanese child to ward his parents. Overall, the data shows the students from the bilingual program of the S chool do not have difficulties in school in terms of either cultural identity or Chinese language development Chinese H olidays and F estivals in the C urriculum A re R einf orced at H ome in C hinese T he curriculum of the Chinese 24 solar terms is about Chinese lifestyle holidays and festivals and also can be learned at home or outside of the school. In other words, the curriculum is conducted in Englis h at the S chool the n reinforced in Chinese at home or outside of the school. Universal festivals: New Years, Christmas, and Mother s Day, and Chinese festivals: Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Moon Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival are all instructed in English by Engli sh speaking instructor s and later this instruction may be reviewed at home by parents in Chinese. Although children may not exactly understand what is said in English, they have other opportunities to learn and this learning may come from home in the Chine se language. This varied repetition can assist children in acquir ing knowledge. A parent, May, said: I am not worried about Chinese learning because we speak Chinese home all the time. Also, I like that the S chool utilize s the Chinese 24 solar terms as its main curriculum. My son learned about the Dragon Boat Festival in English from the S chool. When he came home, he use d some English words to share his school experience about the Dragon Boat Festival; usually I also retold the stories and shared my expe rience about the
159 Festival in Chinese. T herefore, there is no interference between Chinese and English learning. I n addition, I think using two language s to acquire the same knowledge must strongly and powerfully reinforce the learning (07.02. 10 ). May had a positive attitude to ward the curriculum of the school. She emphasize d knowledge and learning and appreciated using two language s to acquire knowledge Another parent, Shang, wa s more concerned about English learning. He said: We speak Chinese at hom e. I am not worried about Chinese language development ; on the other hand, I am a little worried about her English. My brother s son is in other bilingual school in which he is trained to speak English all the time. I n the English learning part, I think th at school seems better than the Natural Way School. My daughter does not speak English at home; therefore, compared with my brother s son, my daughter s English seems a little behind him. However, I see my daughter is very happy and she is willing to share things she learns from the school. Of course we are familiar with those themes and festivals. T hus, we share and discuss them. It is really good for us. I think she is learn ing And I do not want to let my daughter to show off (02.07. 10 ). Obvio usly, from some parents viewpoint, they were not worried about Chinese language development and cultural identity. T hey are concerned about knowledge /skills and English learning They believe since Chinese is the major language used in Taiwanese society t he students can learn Chinese more easily English learning only happen s in the classroom of the bilingual program. Therefore, they may push their children to speak English with English speaking instructors. Moreover, some of them evaluate a bilingual s chool based on one English ability. Conclusion Unlike other bilingual schools which emphasize on ly English education and ignore Chinese language development and cultur al identity, the bilingual program of the Natural Way School seeks a balance of Chinese and English learning to advance the
160 Chinese language development and cultural identity of Taiwanese students in the bilingual program. T he curriculum of the bilingual program of the S chool is based upon Chinese culture which is based on the Chinese 24 solar terms. The Chinese 24 solar terms are grounded on Chinese culture which includes natu re and humanity from a Chinese perspective Thus t he principle s of curriculum design and teaching practice s have a foundation of Chinese philosophy Chin ese culture, and Chinese literary tradition. Also, I interview ed former students elementary teachers, and former parents to determine the outcomes of the bilingual program. F ormer students were in bilingual program at least for three years. Currently, th ey are elementary, middle, or high school students. T hey strongly expressed their positive attitude toward the bilingual program and state d how they appreciate d the chance to be in a program where the children not only acquire d English ability, but also th eir Chinese language development improved and their cultural identity wa s strengthened Parents also discuss ed how the y overc ame their concern s and how their children ke pt improving their Chinese language usage and developing their cultural identity through the S chool s activities.
161 CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION O verview This study was designed to explore a bilingual/bicultural pre school/kindergarten program in Taiwan. I investigated the philosophy, curricu lu m, and teaching practices of a pre k bilingual program. This study was conducted from a constructivist perspective and provides a description and an interpretive explanatory account of a bilingual /bicultural Pre K school program Discussion Taiwan is s ensitive about any discussion of its existence in the world. From the colon ial period to present its language and cultural identity has been interrupted and confused time and again With its highly developed econom y, Engli sh is crucial if Taiwan is to raise its visib ility worldwide facilitating international recognition of its economic g rowth and political power Many Taiwanese people want the ir children to learn English at a young age so they can become proficient in English and compete in the future f or high paying jobs both nationally and internationally Yielding to this demand, m any early childhood English/Chinese bilingual school s have been established nationwide However, t he bilingual preschools/kindergartens in Taiwan are criticized because th ey teach English at such a young age. Scholars and educators in Taiwan are concerned that bilingual education in early childhood will cause children to lose their first language competence and cultur al identity. Therefore, many school s face obstacles resul ting from their English education curriculum duri ng early childhood and have received low evaluations from educators and scholars ( Chang X J., Chang, J L. and Lin, Y. Zh. 2002 ) Some take the stance that it is inappropriate for
162 young children learning English in isolation and that learning which is unrelated to a meaningful context will damage Taiwanese children s English language On the other hand learning English in a meaningful context with Western Values is also deemed inappropriate in that it wil l damage young children s Chinese language acquisition and cultural identity. Thus English education in early childhood bilingual program s is a dilemma in Taiwan ese society, but the Taiwanese all seem to agree --English is inevitably important There is agreement that bilingual education cannot be a bilingual curriculum in which students lose their native language and cultural identity. In other words, b ilingual education must develop two languages and cultures simultaneously to satisfy Tai wan ese society However, in reality, i n Taiwan, English development in early childhood bilingual schools is consider ed the first priority. Although they are called Chinese/English bilingual program s they focus on English language development ; moreover Chinese usage is generally believed to interfere with English development. English education overwhelm s Chinese education and English hegemony results Figure 7 1 could demonstrate the typical bilingual education in Taiwan. Figure 6 1 Typical Bilingual Education in Taiwan Chinese Learning English Learning
163 Children in most bilingual programs learn all subjects in English ; teachers speak English ; the children read books written in English; the y are expected to participate in all activities in English even though they speak their native language outside of school and at home. In an attempt to address Taiwanese concerns, some researchers also believe that there is little benefit and probable damage in learning a second language at a very young age unless parents are careful to maint ain both language s and values as equally important (McLaughlin, 1984). T he Natural Way School struggled to design a balance d bilingual program in the form of enrichment bilingualism In other words, the balanced bilingual pr ogram at the S chool is meant to foster additive bilingualism in that th e second language and culture are acquired with little or no pressure to replace or reduce the first language. The Natural Way S chool acknowledges that the children in the bilingual program live in two worlds where two language s and two cultures come together. As figure 7 2 illustrate s t hey realize that a balanced bilingual education, in a non English speaking country like Taiwan could not simply mean the existence of two equal halves one Chinese and the other English or a split ting of the bilingual program into two separate parts. Figure 6 2 Not Balanced Bilingual Education Native Language Target language English Western Culture Chinese Native culture
164 Therefore, the School chose to employ Chinese culture, Chinese educational philosophy and Chinese language to balance the English hegemony and set it apart from the ordinary early childhood bilingua l curriculum. Figure 7 3 depicts their concept of an additive bilingual curriculum Figure 6 3 Bilingual Education of the Natural Way School Philip Riley (2007) quotes that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society The Natural Way School recognizes that a Ch inese cultur al emphasis align s with the children s personal experience and cultural awareness Chinese educational philosophy places a great emphasis on humanity and culture education The curriculum design robustly connects Chinese people and their lifest yle and attitude; in other words, it connects Chinese students with their Chinese culture. The school saw the importance of Chinese educational philosophy, Chinese culture, and Chinese language development for the promotion of children s English and Chine se language acquisition and cultural identity. As a result English education in Chinese Learning English Learning
165 early childhood at the New Way School is based firmly upon Chinese language and cultural identity development and thereby reduce s the hegemony of English Some researchers suc h as Fishman (1996) and Kramsch (1998) provide evidence that language and culture cannot be separated under any circumstances. The theory of culture bound language and language bound culture (Kramsch 1998 ) supports the idea that using Chinese philosophy and Chinese culture in the bilingual program can provide Chinese language and cultural identity development. Culture is considered the progress of the individual or development of the group throughout human h istory and contexts; mo re specifically learning a first culture is simply a specific type of human learning related to patterns of human communication and identification (Damen 1987). Basically, learning a first culture is a process of indoctrination (D amen, 1987, p.140). En culturation constructs a sense of cultural or social identity. This means that people who have grown up with the first language and the first culture naturally develop language and cult ure in close relationship and know to change and adapt their language p atterns to meet their needs in the social contexts. Noting the importance of culture learning, both bilingual first culture and second culture learning are process es which include the nature of stages of enculturation and acculturation. Thus, bilingual cul ture learning needs a specialized context in which the environment should be made as open as possible for intercultural communication. In other words, Chinese culture based learning can help children find themselves in and understand the importan ce of Chin ese language in Taiwan society
166 T he children in the bilingual progra m were given lots of opportunit ies to interact positively with Chinese culture which represent s Chinese s values, beliefs and patterned ways of living and to expand their understandi ng of it. Eventually, cultural competen ce which influence s children s motivation, attitudes, and learning style in both learners and instructors, impacts the way they learn both languages. Bilingual first culture learning could increase children s awaren ess of the importan ce of first language learning which can help to fully develop the first language. T his is important because the first language plays a positive role in L2 learning Cumming (1989) and Fu (2009). T he first language provides a way for English learners to express their thoughts, vent their emotions, forge new identities and understand their new positions and relationships to others around them ( Fu, 2009, p.31) as the second language develops. C hildren in the beginning stage of biling ual education cannot avoid mixed language (Fu, 2009) .First language learning also help s students cope with the cognitive demand s of second language acquisition (Cumming, 1989) Hence, the bilingual program at the Natural Way School allow s students to use t heir native language to communicate. Students persistently de pend upon their Chinese language knowledge to clarify meaning, to recall prior knowledge, and to mak e sense of new knowledge learning Chinese language not only bridge s unfamiliar information with familiar knowledge, but also supports English language learning. Perez and Torres Guzman (1996) support it: Children who develop proficiency in using their native language to communicate, to gain information, to solve problem s and to think can easil y learn to use a second language in similar ways (p.96). More significantly, t he c hildren who attend the bilingual program at the School learn English through a Chinese perspective which include s Chinese values,
167 philosophy, culture, custom s, and ideas. The familiar cultural activities of the curriculum allow students to connect t he ir life experience s T he cultural curriculum of the s chool based on Chinese culture not only facilitates cognitive development and knowledge acquisition in different subject ar eas but also provides the children the opportunity to develop cultural identity. Although children do not learn about Chinese culture in the Chinese language, the cultural i deas and knowledge can expressed by both the English language and the Chinese language Vygotsky (1986) show s how thought is transformed into l anguage He points out that language begins as ego central speech that is economical in words and hardly understood by othe rs As egocentral speech develops as an inner speech, an internaliz ed speech, and finally become the closest form to thought. This is the form of pure meaning, or the most abbreviated form of language. Eventually, thought is transformed into the communicative language --thought in the conventional form. If we agree that culture and language are closed (Damen, 1987; McLaughin,1984; Brown 1994 ; M 1999 ; Schumann, 1978), c hildren learn ing about Chinese culture in English are strongly support ed. Ch ildren must have English language and Chinese language learning at the same time because thought is not just expressed by language s, but it exists through l anguages Thought, meaning, and language s are interrelated and interwoven together (Vygotsky, 1986) Investig ation of the philosophy of the S choo l found the emphasis of Chinese educational values and the integrat ion of some Western education al philosophy mesh es well with Chinese philosophy and beliefs The Natural Way S chool embraces significant Chinese education al philo sophy and concepts that have a foundation in traditional
168 Ch inese attitudes and the ideas of Confucianism and apply to education in the modern bilingual classroom. Although Western educational philosophy provide s empirical ideas and theories, ilingual curriculum is also support ed by classic Chinese education al philosophy from Chinese culture or Chinese literary tradition including the concepts of Confucius, Lao Zi, Meng Zi, Zhuang Zi, and Wang, Shou rin, and Chinese classic books such as Three Hundred Tang Poems Character Classic and I Ching Thus, overall, the educational philosophy of the S chool and its curriculum design is derive d from Chinese culture, Chinese values, Chinese belief s and Chinese idea s Cummins Range of Contextual Support and Degree of Cognitive Involvement in Communicative Activities uses four quadrants for proper tasks and strategies to help ELLs at varying proficiency levels from social language to academic language. Cummins suggests that bil ingual children must use context embedded language in order to avoid cognitive deficits (lower level threshold) and to show advantages in cognitive development (higher level threshold). Early stages of language learning unavoidably cope with concrete and highly contextualized material. Although the students at the s chool learned a second language in the classroom, they were provided in a rich experiential base which includes cultural hands on activities based on Chinese educational philosophy. Thus the y oung children appeared to be better second language learners because the culture and philosophy learning is less cognitively demanding (Cummins, 1981). They learned to function very well in their second language and first language. With appropriate attach ments such as knowledge, beliefs, art and customs of society, c ultural identity is socially constructed As Berger (1970) said: O ne identifies
169 oneself, as one is identified by others, by b eing located in a common world (p. 378). The interviewees in this study strongly supported this viewpoint and perspective As the concepts and aims of Chinese culture and Chinese literary tradition are formulated in to the curriculum, the 24 solar terms are the concrete contents of the curriculum ; the solar terms embody a set of abstract ideas and concepts within the designed curriculum and make the ideas and concepts become tangible and doable practice s T he 24 solar t erms thematic curriculum integrates Chinese culture into the content areas of mathematics, scienc e, health social studies, music, art, and physical education and the learning of these content areas takes place in social contexts and involve s natural phenomenon connected to Chinese ideas. This is to say that nature and humanity are learned and integr ated into the curriculum from a Chinese perspective which includes knowledge of fa r ming, planting, the four seasons, insects, animals, relationship s family, holidays/festivals, and custom s. As children of the s chool perceive the world from a Chinese persp ective, naturally they identif y themselves with that perspective As Singer (1982) described, identity groups are formed by aggregations of persons sharing similar perceptions of the world. Lum (1982) say s that identity is a social process in which one ba lances what s/he thinks oneself to be and what other believes that one to be (p. 386). In other words, children in bilingual program go through a social process in the S chool, which shares the same cultural activities as people in the society ; naturally, they develop their cultural identity. In the bilingual program of the Natural Way School, native culture has a respected role in the second language classrooms; therefore children become more comfortable with all that it implies than they are (D amen, 1987).
170 A school should provide an environment for intercultural communication and learning and this is the only way in which cultural contact can be made ( Damen, 1987, p 7). The Natural Way S chool s bilingual program highlights Chinese cultural le arning in order to make the cultural connection and enhance cultural identity while promoting intercultural communication. The Natural Way School appears to have been successful in aiding children in the direction of cultural learning Chinese cultur al asp ects of the curriculum are emphasized as much as possible and embedded in order to overcome the emphasis of English education. Children grow to understand the relationship between themselves and society I ntercultural communication is also developed as the children grow their bilingual and bicultural competences Implica tion s of the study C ultur e a s a F ocus C an B e T aught in an E arly C hildhood B ilingual P rogram to A void the T ilt T oward L anguage H egemony The Natural Way S chool has designed a bilingual program for English education in which Chinese educational philosophy and Chinese culture are emphasized. An understand ing of the philosophy of the School together with an understanding of the principles of English teaching, enables English t eachers to prepare lesson plans that join languages and culture and increase concepts of cultural difference. Moreover, since Chinese culture is reinforced in bilingual education, the hegemony of English is decreased. An U nderstanding of the T ar get C ulture in the B ilingual E ducation C an A lso H elp S tudents U nderstand N ative C ulture Bilingual first culture learning takes place in a conscious and purposeful process. T herefore, bilingual learners develop self awareness and consciously invoke the att itudes required to learn about another culture. Pre K c hildren are in the process of
171 moving from egocentricity to reciprocity. Thus, exposure to a f oreign language can help the community can be enhanced when children have the opportunity to experience 1994, p .4). Obviously yo unger children may not understand the many d ifferences and similarities between Chinese and Western cultures. However, as they encounter cultural events and feel interested, happy, excit ed, curious, or surprised, they learn about and acquire a better under standing of these values and ideas. F or example, children in the Natural Way School celebrate d Western New Year s and Chinese New Year or Halloween (Western ghost s) and the Chinese Ghost Festival (Eastern ghosts). Children are able to perceive the Chinese N ew Year and to reflect upon the Western New Year as seen from their perspective and to compare themselves to others. Mo reover, g raduated students from the bilingual program could explain and compare the terms of t he two cultures accepting that conflicting perceptions are not always reconcilable. Cultural C urriculum C an I ntegrate A ll the S ubjects of the E arly C hildhood B ilingual P rogram I n early childhood bilingual education language s, science, math, social studies, and fine arts are integrated into a cultural curriculum. I f ound that the cultural curriculum of the School the Chinese 24 solar terms curriculum invite s students in to meaningful context s that facilitate learn ing all subjects. Actually a variety of cultural experiences not only help st udents learn the subject of social studies, but also other subjects, such as science, math, music, fine arts, drama, and physical education. For example, m aking l antern s and yuan xiao (sticky rice balls/ dumpling ) for the Chinese Lantern Festival are cultu ral a ctivit ies w hi ch integrat e a variety of lessons such
172 as science, math, social studies, music, languages and fine arts. Students learn the legends of Lantern Festival the process of making lanterns and yuan xiao the way of celebrating the Lantern Festival, and the meaning of playing lanterns and eating yuan xiao Thus, well prepared cultural lesson plans can include all subjects in one cultural activity T he lessons provide the students experience and explor ation of meaningful and cultural contexts Cultural C urriculum is C ontext E mbedded L earning which S imultaneously R einforces the C hildren A cqui sition of C ulture and K nowledge of S ubjects. Like children in a monolingual program, young children in the bilingual program learn all the subjects r equired at these ages. These preschoolers are in a language developmental stage but the school cannot wait for learning until their language usage becomes proficient. Thus, cultural activities can provide a meaningful environment for performance which can simulate children to develop language proficiency. T he cultural ( Cummins 1981) learning is supported by a wide range of clues and can encourage children to enthusiastically communicate The curriculum provides concrete and highly contextualized knowledge. Teachers can make their instruction even more cognitively engaging by providing students with hands on opportunities to do more difficult processes within logical activities that have a simple structure. Y early curriculum planning shares the same themes from one year to another, the repeated theme studies go deeper during the second and third years in Pre K During these years learning about habitual and real life experiences gradually go es deeper and becomes more extensive. Through repetition of the solar terms, meaningful context, the use of concrete materials, and daily hands on activities, the students not only continue to develop their knowledge of all subject s in early childhood
173 educ ation but also develop a deeper understanding about their culture, language and knowledge of subject development. Native C ultural L earning A llows the U se of the N ative L anguage to F acilit ate the L earning of a S econd L anguage and C ultur al D evelopment Th e ideal goals of a native cultural curriculum in addition to the mastery of subjects are that the students become functionally proficient in bilingual education and tha t, through the subject learning the students become functionally proficient in culture, while continuing to develop skills and become more proficient in their native language. The School has been successful in this implementation. In addition, early childhood bilingual second language learning does not pay attention to the learning grammar, sentence pattern s and vocabulary; instead, their focus is on communication of meaning and interaction, that process of acquisition parallels first language acquisition. Thus, using t he first language can directly increase comprehension of cultural learni ng, and L1 and L2 language s have the opportunity to develop. Abundant research reports ( Cummins, 1981; Curtain & Pesola, 1994; Fu, 2009 ) on L1 and L2 acquisition have described the positive effect of L1usage in L2 learning. This is a real phenomenon that g raduated students from the bilingual program not only demonstrate an awareness of cultural events at an appropriate level of intellectual development and make comparison s between the two cultures, but also they develop appropriate attitude s toward the learning of two languages Limitations of the S tudy The research was conducted for two years and involved a pilot study and the parents and did observat ions for two months in both 2009 and 2010 Several questions
174 and doubts arose duri ng the data collection. Therefore some limitations of this study occurred to me and need to be discussed. First, I previously worked for the School for almost nine years from 1997 2006. B ecause of my personal affection, preferences and familiar ity with the school, some school s events are taken for granted by me. I might not seriously consider some events important Second ly observation should be consistent over a long period of time ; however, my four months of observation was separated into two year s limit ing my data collection and observation s The d ata from my observation d oes not have the longevity needed to thorough ly answer my questions. Recommendation for Future R esearch Th is study focuses on the early childhood bilingual program of the Natural Way School and does not track and analyze the achievement tests of Chinese and English language proficiency of former students who studied in the School for several years nor does it influence of early childhood bilingual education. Therefor e, future study can focus on a more formal assess ment of the bilingual program Further a program such as this one can be directly compared with an early childhood bilingual program which does not employ Chinese culture as the essential curriculum Such an i nvestigation c ould provide more evidence to prove whether Chinese culture is an essen tial influence for Chinese language proficiency and cultur al identity development. A lso, s ome issues remain unclear here, for instance: cultural conflicts between Chinese and English instructors, a comprehensive assessment of former early childhood studen ts, a well structured training program for the English and Chinese teachers, the emotional problems in early childhood education resulting from mutual
175 interferences that occur between L1 and L2 acquisition, and a two way bilingual program of literacy devel opment in kindergarten. More study of these issues will help educators and language teachers have greater success in early childhood bilingual education in the future. Conclusion The Taiwanese face the dilemma of deciding whether they do or do not suppo rt English education in early ages. Moreover, some researchers Bialystok and Hakuta (1994) had some thought that if children grow to learn a second language at very young age, they might los e some of their first l anguage or even replace the first language with the second language. Thus, one must ask, should a b alanced bilingual program support true bilingualism? In the United States, a transitional program only supports the native language until children have learned English However, in Taiwan, the biling ual person is still a member of the society whose way of thinking and acting and whose values are familiar to others. Thus how to prevent the loss of ability in native language and culture identity becomes the primary question that one must ask. M y resea rch describes how one school answered those questions in order to solve the problems that concern and worry all Taiwanese. T he school provided a balanced and true bilingual program in which two languages and two cultures were developed in balance. T he Natural Way School s curriculum supports the native language and emphasizes the native culture. Based on the Chinese educational philosophical ideas and the Chinese cultu ral curriculum the Natural Way School attempts to prevent Chinese language and cultur al identity loss. My research indicates that the school demonstrates that Chinese culture and Chinese educational philosophy can be integrated into English education and
176 naturally cultivate children s positive attitudes toward the Chinese language and cult ure identity. This integration of Chinese culture and Chinese educational philosophy reduces English hegemony (Tsao, 1998) by balancing two languages and learning about two cultures in early childhood bilingual education. Additionally the use of Chinese culture Chinese education al philosophy, and Chinese traditional litera ture is not only awareness but also in meeting the knowledge objectives of Taiwanese early childhood education. B esides cultur al learning and knowledge of the subjects learned in early childhood education the Chinese language was reinforced and value d for conducting the activities of cultural activities T he school address es the concerns of Taiwanese educators and research scholars via a curric ulum which help s students inc rease their sensitivity to and understanding of language, values, customs and traditions of the Chinese. T he curriculum not only illustrates a focus on Chinese culture but also facilitates the children in meeting the knowledge objectives of early childhood education T his is a significant and inspiring curriculum for parents and students and students who studied in the School. Such a curriculum can contribute to early childhood bilingual programs and of fer ideas and solutions for educators who are concerned that English education native language development and cultural identity. Overall, the Natur al Way School s curriculum demonstrate s how early childhood bilingual education based on native cultur al learning for second language learners can result in tru ly balanced bilingual ism. In Taiwan English language learning often is not balanced between the two languages and cultures. However, provision of an
177 envi ronment where children understand their culture and how view their native language as essential within the culture is very important because it aids children in learning to believe their language and culture is valuable A balanced bilingual education supp orts native language and cultur e and enhances cultural identity development.
178 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR TEACHERS 1. What are some major reasons that made you decide to enroll your child in a Pre K bilingual program? 2. Why did you choose the Natural Way School? 3. Are you satisfied with the Pre K bilingual program at the Natural Way Children s school? Why? 4. Are you worried about your child being confused about his/her cultural identity because he/she learned English at a very young age? Why? 5. How do you b alance Chinese and English learning at home? Do you have any concern that he/she learnt two languages at the same time? 6. Do you think there is any conflict between Chinese learning and English learning? Why? Please give examples. 7. You sent your child to a Pr e k bilingual program at very young age. What expectation s do you have of your child and of the program ? 8. If you had to decide all over again would you enroll your children in bilingual program s at very young ages? 9. Please describe the English/ Chinese activ ities that affect your child the most? 10. Compare your attitudes of bilingual education with those of other parents whose children are not in bilingual education program s What is the difference? Please give some examples. 11. Describe the characteristics of what you believe to be a bilingual child ? 12. What kind of practice would enable your child to become bilingual?
179 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATORS 1. H ow long have you worked for the school? 2. Do you have experience working with bilingual students ? s your education al background? 3. W hat are your beliefs about bilingual education? 4. What s your major responsibility in the school? 5. Can you use your own words to describe what the Natural Way School is? 6. How do you work with teachers? Please give me some examples. 7. How do you carry out the school s mission? P lease give some examples. 8. What are differences/ similarities between the Natural Way School and other bilingual schools?
180 APPENDIX C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR FOUNDER 1. When did you found the Natural Way School? Why did you want to found the Natural Way School? 2. What s ? H ow d id you develop it ? Who or what educational philosophy influenced you? 3. What are the major influences that made you decide to build up the school this way? 4. W hat do you think are characteristics of a good bilingual school? Do you think your school has been a quali fied bilingual school? Why or why not ? 5. How do you recruit your teachers? Describe the qualities of what you believe to be a good teacher in your bilingua l program? 6. How does the school design bilingual curriculum? (Whose responsibility is it ?) 7. How do you train your teachers to ? 8. How do you evaluate your teachers and administrators ? 9. What is your major job in this school?
181 APPENDIX D INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS 1. Tell me about your English/ Chinese learning experience? 2. Please describe the activities that affect your English/ Chinese learning? 3. Compare your English learning attitudes with your peers. Do you see any differences? Please give some examples. 4. In your opinion how does learning English influence learning Chinese ? Positive or negative. 5. What English/Chinese holidays (festivals) do you like the best? Why? 6. In your opin ion, what are the differences between Western culture and Chinese culture? 7. If you have a choice, what language would you like to learn? Why? 8. What do you think about the benefit of learning English/Chinese?
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195 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Shih Fen Yeh was born in Taiwan. She earned her Bachelor of Chinese Literature at Fu Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan, in July 1985. S he completed her m aster d egree in the ESOL program at University of Florida in December 1995. She taught Freshmen English at Tun Ghai Uni versity and English Teaching Methods at National Taichung University of Education in Taichung from 1999 to 2006. Meanwhile, she was an assistant principal at a private children s school from 1998 to 2006. While studying for her Ph D she was a teachin g assistant for four years in the Curriculum and Instruction D epartment College of Education She taught c hildren s l iterature and l anguage a rts to pre service teachers. Also, she taught advanced students Chinese a cademic w riting in the Chinese Language D epartment for one semester and taught the Chinese language at Lincoln Middle School in Gainesville, Florida for two year s Shih Fen s research interests include b ilingual e ducati on, s econd l anguage w riting, c hildren l iterature, l iteracy, and c ulture l earning. She has made ten research presentations at international, national, and state education conferences. In addition, she co author ed a book about games for language evaluation published by the UrBEST publisher s in Taiwan.