London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Constructing a citizenship community: identity, inclusion or exclusion

Author(s) Huan, M-L.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2014  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Innovative Practice and Research Trends in Identity, Citizenship and Education  
Age group -  
This study is an analysis of the issues of language education and identity in Taiwan. The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between the ideology of identity and language education with respect to the histories of interethnic relations in Taiwan. Qualitative data has been collected from (1) the first-hand accounts of seven key informants’ in-depth interviews and (2) documentary data from primary and secondary sources. Findings demonstrate that the politics of language education ideology has deep roots in the institutional homogeneous structure of society, which results in the dilemma of language problems in Taiwan: inclusion (multilingualism) or exclusion (monolingualism). In spite of this, in the context of the evolution of Taiwanese linguistic identity, the theorist’s paradigmatic case of (nation-state model) one language per country and one linguistic identity is challenged. So, the case of Taiwan stands both for and against the nation-state theory. In general, the study ends by outlining some conclusions, and some implications. That is, the historical case of postcolonial Taiwan can serve as a good heuristic model for examining the histories of interethnic relation in nation identity formation (construction), and language education. Additionally, some suggestions and reflections for possible future research are presented. That is, the study’s focus on the community of intercultural citizenship or multilingualism would be worth being explored in order to yield more insight into the interactive connection between language education and national identity.

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