Educational Studies 32 (3):265-283 (2006)

Abstract
Due in large part to the trends towards economic globalization, English has become the most widely disseminated and ubiquitous international language. The purpose of the study was to investigate what Taiwan?s EFL teachers at the elementary level believe about the policy of English as a compulsory subject and how they perceive the benefits and obstacles of the policy?s implementation. Ten elementary English teachers in Tainan City and its suburban areas participated in this study. Data were collected through teachers? interviews, classroom observation and document analysis. Results found that all ten teachers agreed with the policy for English as a compulsory subject at the elementary level. They observed both positive and negative sides of this top?down policy. Classroom observation and interview data revealed that EFL teachers had to plan their English classes with the constraints on a large class of students with mixed levels of proficiency, limited teaching hours and resources. Parents? expectations of and attitudes towards English learning also became an obstacle
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DOI 10.1080/03055690600631218
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