Thesis Title

Factors to Consider from US Bilingual Preschool Education as a Model for Planning First and Second Language Learning for Kindergarten Students in Taiwan

Graduation Date

Spring 2008

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne Peters, EdD

Abstract

Parents in Taiwan think that learning English as a second language as early as kindergarten is important. They follow what they see other families doing for their young children. These children do not yet have knowledge their first language, Chinese. Should Taiwanese children learn English before they learn the fundamentals of Chinese?

Research indicates that there is a period of time when children learn languages easily. Other studies indicate that if Taiwanese children learn a second language in kindergarten without a firm foundation in their first language, they might lose both the ability to communicate in both Chinese and the second language. However, the system of bilingual preschool education in Taiwan is not good enough for Taiwanese children to study in the preschool. Therefore, the system of bilingual education in the United States could be a resource and a model. Since a lot of people have immigrated to the United States, the U.S. government has been dealing with bilingual preschool education since 1968.

This review of the literature identifies factors for Taiwanese parents and teachers o consider in planning first and second language learning for kindergarten students in Taiwan by using bilingual preschool education in the U.S.A as a model. If adults want children to have both Chinese and second language ability, they must realize that the learning environment both in the school and within the family is very important.

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