國小雙語教學計劃試辦在即,北市與南市交流推動經驗Tainan and Taipei share experiences of implementing bilingual education in public elementary schools

2017-10-23

臺南市政府推動英語為第二官方語言,教育領域以推動「全英語教學」和「雙語教學」為雙主軸,經過近一年的籌備,首批公立雙語實驗小學-安平區西門國小與新營區南梓國小將於今年八月揭牌。雙語實驗小學正式運作之前,第二官方語言專案辦公室(以下簡稱「二官辦」)特別邀請南市教育局英語輔導團與雙語實驗小學代表一同前往台北市東新國小交流,以瞭解該校推動雙語教學之規劃內容與期程,期能藉由彼此經驗分享,讓雙語教學計劃更臻完善。

    二官辦表示,台北市政府今年二月亦宣布推動雙語教學,擇定東新國小與文昌國小106學年度起逐步轉型為雙語國小。因南市與北市為公立小學推動雙語教學計劃之先驅者,未有前例可循,因此有必要互相瞭解與經驗分享。

    該交流會由東新國小鄭盛元校長分享其前往美國雙語學校訪問之經驗,並詳細說明該校規劃歷程、課程安排及師資配置。雙語課程安排上,規劃每週八節課以主題方式將英語帶入生活、體育、藝文等課程,佔學生總上課節數三分之一。第一年於一年級推動,第二年擴增至二年級,以此類推。該校共有五十名教師,其中含八位英語教師,雙語課程由英語教師及一般教師共同規劃備課。鄭校長表示,以生活領域課程為例,較抽象的單元由一般教師授課,較具體、或是可透過肢體動作表達的單元則由英語教師進行,而體育課則以全英語方式進行。

    此外,兩市對推動過程中遭遇之困難與挑戰亦進行交流,發現有許多雷同之處,首要問題為「師資來源」,另外如「教案設計」、「授課安排」、「與家長的溝通」等,也都是轉型為雙語教學的過程中所面臨的挑戰。與會人員皆認為「師資結構」是雙語教學計劃能否落實、擴展的最關鍵因素,因為隨著試辦年級數增加,需要更多英語教師或是具備英語力的一般教師,而以目前編制而言,是不足的。這也是臺南市教師甄試首開先例,體育、美術、音樂科試教過程以英語授課者可額外加分,且鼓勵教師取得英語能力證照之原因。

    二官辦外籍顧問Chris Caputo表示,由於能以流利英語授課的師資有限,兩市公立國小雙語教學目前所規劃的英語授課科目及節數,尚無法達到大多數人對雙語教育的期待。為了落實更紮實成熟的雙語教育,兩市都需要更多英語口說流利的教師。長期聘用外籍教師來推動雙語教育,在財政上難以負擔,這就是為何今年臺南市教甄要加重英語計分的原因,目的是希望招募更多英語口說能力優秀的教師。但Chris強調這還不夠,「大專院校培訓未來的教師(尤其是未來的英語教師)授課,然而目前的師培方式,不易培育雙語教師及增加雙語教師師資。英語教師可通過複雜的教甄考題,在英文文法、句型和字彙上表現傑出,但極少英語教師有信心以英語教授英語科。」期待未來能擴展雙語教學計劃,進一步影響師資培育機構對英語聽說能力的重視及培育,強化教師英語基本能力。

    雖有許多限制與挑戰,然而兩市對於雙語教學計劃仍充滿信心,認為這是一件值得努力的英語教育翻轉工程,唯有國小階段即開始紮根英語聽說能力,下一代的英語力才有向上提升之機會。也期待兩市於106學年度開辦雙語教學後,能持續分享經驗,彼此支持協助,建立公立小學雙語教學的成功模式。

In promoting English as the second official language, the Tainan City Government adopted “english-taught courses” and “bilingual education” as the two main schemes of the education sector. After a year of preparation, Ximen Elementary School in Anping District and Nanxun Elementary School in Xinying District will officially become the first two public bilingual experimental elementary schools in Tainan this August. Before the operation kicks off, Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL) especially invited the English counseling group from Bureau of Education of Tainan City Government and representatives of the bilingual experimental elementary schools to visit Taipei Dongxin Elementary School in order to know how the school organizes the content and schedule of its bilingual education program. Through exchanging information and experiences, OEASOL hoped that the bilingual education plan would be more complete.

        According to OEASOL, this February, Taipei City Government also announced that they will be promoting bilingual education and chose Dongxin Elementary School and Wenchang Elementary School to be the first two bilingual elementary schools starting from the 106th academic year. As Tainan City and Taipei City are still considered pioneers in conducting  bilingual education in elementary schools where there is no precedents or guidelines to follow, the two cities will have to learn from and exchange experiences with each other in the future.

During the conference, Cheng Sheng-yuan, principal of Dongxin Elementary School, shared his experience visiting American bilingual schools and elaborated on what methods those schools applied in planning the courses and allocating the teachers. For the arrangement of bilingual classes, there are eight lessons a week in which topics regarding daily life, physical education, or art and culture are brought into the curriculum in English. The bilingual classes take one-third of students’ weekly class schedule. Materials for the first year will be used on the first grade and those for the second year on the second grade, and so on. Dongxin Elementary School has fifty teachers in total; among them, there are eight English teachers. The bilingual education is planned and prepared by English teachers and other teachers together. Mr. Zheng said that, take the lessons which are related to our daily lives for example, projects that are more abstract are taught by regular teachers while more specific courses or lessons that could be expressed in body languages are taught by English teachers. P.E. class, on the other hand, is taught in full English.

        Representatives of the two cities also discussed with each other on the difficulties and challenges they have encountered through the process of promoting bilingual education. They found out that the source of teachers is the primary issue; other factors such as class designs, lectures arrangement, and communication with parents are also challenges that have been faced throughout the process. People who participated the conference thought that the structure of teachers is the key to the success and expansion of bilingual education. Due to the fact that more and more grades are going to be included in the plan, more English teachers or teachers with basic English proficiency will need to be recruited. This is why in Tainan City, those who teach sports, art, and music on trial can get extra points if they teach in English and that teachers are encouraged to obtain English proficiency certificates.

        Chris Caputo, former consultant of of OEASOL, indicated that, because of the lack of teachers who speak fluent English, the amount of subjects and lessons taught in English at public elementary schools in the two cities still can’t meet most people’s expectation. To reinforce a more mature and solid bilingual education, the two cities need more teachers who speak English fluently. Seeing that constantly hiring foreign teachers to conduct bilingual education in the long term will be a heavy financial burden to bear, Tainan City Government is motivated to put more emphasis on English proficiency as one of the qualifications for earning a teacher certificate in an attempt to recruit more local teachers who speak excellent English. Caputo emphasized that more measures are needed, “Though colleges and vocational schools have been training future teachers (especially future English teachers) to teach, the training methods used are not optimal for creating or increasing bilingual teachers. English teachers may be able to ace teacher assessment exams and perform well on grammatical or verbal questions, but very few are confident in teaching English in English.” We hope that in the future, we can expand the bilingual education program and convince teacher-training institutions to put more emphasis on proficiency in English listening and speaking to strengthen the competency of teachers.

        Though there are many challenges and limitations, the two cities are still full of confidence with bilingual education and consider it a transformative program that is worth investing a huge amount of effort in. It is only when English listening and speaking start taking root in primary school education could the English proficiency level of the next generation be elevated. We look forward to a long-term cooperation between the two cities where they continue to help and share experiences with each other, establishing a successful model of bilingual education.