This study, mainly via adopting the methods of questionnaire survey, as well as literature review and document analysis, aims to explore the implementation of native language teaching and to analyze problems faced in elementary schools of New Taipei City (NTC, for short). The main purposes can be summarized as follows:
1. To review the development and reforms of policies concerning the teaching of native languages in elementary schools in Taiwan.
2. To explore the implementation of native language education in NTC.
3. To explore the actual practices of native language teaching and problems faced in NTC elementary schools.
4. Based on the research findings, to propose suggestions for the reference of improvement of related policies in the future.
A self-designed questionnaire, in which questions concerning the problems of native language teaching were divided into six dimensions, was used as the research tool, 219 questionnaires were sent to the native language teachers in elementary schools in NTC, via stratified random sampling. 174 valid questionnaires, with a valid response rate of 79.45% were obtained. The six dimensions of questions were: curriculum, assessment, resources, teachers, teaching practice, and teaching material.
The major conclusions of this study concerning the native language education in NTC elementary schools include:
1. Native language education has been put into practice in all elementary schools in NTC, and Taiwanese was the most popular native language taught in elementary schools.
2. The majority of textbooks for the teaching of native languages, chosen by the textbook evaluating group of each school, were edited mostly by private publishers.
3. Teachers of Taiwanese language courses are mainly existing faculty members of each school, while the teaching of other native languages, such as Hakka and aboriginal languages, was mainly offered by supporting specialists.
4. The teaching of Taiwanese mainly offered for all students in the existing classes.
5. The teaching of Hakka or aboriginal languages was arranged in accordance of the special needs of students. So, students in the same gra de were re-grouped for the teaching of specific languages, respectively. Difficulties for students to attend classes of other schools have made cross-school teaching scarcely happened.
6. The teaching of native language was arranged and designed as partial program of formal courses in most schools while taking the right of students into account.
7. The lack of qualified professional teachers for native language teaching was the most common problem faced by NTC elementary schools, and the support of professional native language teachers was regarded as the assistance mostly needed by elementary schools.
8. A number of teachers were aware of problems of native language teaching. On the whole, the degrees of awareness of problems in the dimensions of curriculum, assessment, resource were was at intermediate level, while that of the dimensions of teacher, teaching practice, and teaching material were at lower level, and the deepest dimension was the dimension of curriculum.
9. As to the awareness of problems of native language teaching, there was no significant difference among teachers in schools located in different areas, but there were mild difference among teachers in schools of different sizes.
10. As to the awareness of problems of native language teaching, there was no significant difference among teachers in terms of gender, ethnic origins, years of teaching, but the degree of awareness of problems of native language teaching, varied with teachers in terms of professional qualifications, and years of native language teaching.
11. Problems in different dimensions were correlated to each others, but in different degrees.
Based on the findings of the study, suggestions to the education administrative bodies, elementary schools, native language teachers, parents, and future studies were proposed correspondingly for the reference of the reform of policies in the future.