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A historical study of global education in English curriculum standards/frameworks in the last seven decades in Taiwan

I-Chung Ke
Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan, Taiwan


Due to rising inequality by the growth of global capitalism, populism has recently gained ground in many wealthy nations. Additionally, the epidemic forced individuals to remain in their communities and stoked anti-global nationalism. While English has continued to spread globally, the popularity of English education in non-English speaking countries does not imply that cosmopolitanism and global education also thrive alongside English. This study focuses on the cosmopolitan identity construction in English curriculum standards/frameworks in Taiwan. The research question is: What are the changes and trends related to cosmopolitanism and nationalism in the English curriculum standards/frameworks from 1962 to 2019? The learning goals, particularly those involving cultures and worldviews, as well as suggested pedagogies and cultural materials in the curriculum standards/frameworks were qualitatively investigated via discourse analysis to identify the hidden ideologies and assumptions with reference to the four main types of global education by Pike (2015). A total of 13 English curriculum standards or frameworks, including 5 junior high school curriculum standards from 1962 to 1994, 6 high school curriculum standards from 1962 to 2009, the nine-year comprehensive curriculum framework (NCCF), and the latest curriculum guidelines of 12-year basic education, were analyzed. The findings reveal four stages of development in terms of the roles of English education to promote cosmopolitanism and global education: (1) before the 1980s, English was positioned as a foreign language belonging to its native speakers as students were expected to learn about native English cultures; (2) in the 1980s, students should learn international affairs and scientific/technological knowledge via English; (3) during the 1990s, expressing local cultures in English was added to the goals while ‘national culture’ disappeared; (4) after the 2000s, global sustainable development (GSD) and innovative logical thinking. This suggests a gradual change from sustained elitism to building a global community.


Textbook studies, Curriculum standards, Global education, Cosmopolitanism, Historical study

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023