Liu, Tzu-Hsuan (PhD alumnus)

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Hi, my name is Tzu-Husan Liu. I began my PhD study in 2004 and finished in September 2009. My study can be regarded as my exploratory journey into the Foreign English Recruitment Project (i.e. the FETR Project) in Taiwan.

In order to ease the shortage of qualified English language teachers in the rural areas, the Taiwanese government initiated this Project in 2003 to recruit native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) to conduct English language lessons in rural primary and secondary schools. My study aimed at exploring this newly-established NEST recruitment scheme to generate insights which could contribute to the existing understanding of such schemes. In particular, I sought to learn more about the FETR Project at the primary level through the insiders’ experiences, i.e. through the participating teachers’ project experiences.

To achieve this objective, I invited nine FETR teachers (four NESTs and five local English language teachers) from five primary schools to tell me – mostly in face-to-face meetings – their stories of participating in this project throughout the 2006 school year. Their narratives, which comprised the main data for this study, provided me with rich insights into their perceptions and understanding of the FETR Project.

I looked into these teachers’ accounts from two perspectives: holistic and categorical. I presented my holistic understandings of each teacher’s project experiences through nine three dimension portraits, in each which I included what I considered as the main features of the individual teacher’s project experiences. I also scrutinised all the teachers’ narratives from a collective, categorical viewpoint, focusing on four areas: i) their positive and challenging experiences; ii) their perceptions of their roles in the Project; iii) their TESOL perspectives; and iv) the implementation of the Project.

Based on the insights I gained into the teachers’ narratives, I felt that the coordination of the FETR Project was not yet fully effective at this initial stage of implementation (i.e. when I undertook this study). I identified a number of issues which I believed might have limited the development and success of the Project. I concluded my thesis by putting forward some suggestions in the hope of facilitating the efforts of all parties involved in this Project.

To date, I have given the following collaborative paper:

Fay, R., Zhou, X. and Liu, T-H. (May, 2010). Undertaking narrative inquiry bilingually against a monolingual backdrop. Paper presented at “Narrative Matters 2010 – Exploring the narrative landscape: Issues, investigations, and interventions” hosted by the CIRN in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, May 20th – 22nd 2010.