Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Language arts--Taiwan; Language and languages--Study and teaching--Law and legislation--Taiwan; Language policy--Taiwan;


This case study of Taiwan's language curriculum and policy is a rhetorical analysis of the claims-making regarding changes with Taiwan's native languages and Chinese education.

To answer the research question of whether or not the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government claims support its language curriculum and policy changes, this study applied (a) Social problems research, and (b) Burke's dramatisim to analyze the claims. Two statements by the Taiwanese government about its educational policy, during the 2000-2008 presidencies, were analyzed along with the actual curriculum guidelines. Also, the opponents' opinions regarding the government's actions, which were represented in the newspapers, were examined to provide the context needed for an effective social problems research analysis.

The DPP government provided claims to persuade people that there was a need to shift the China-centered education to Taiwan-centered education to ensure the equality of different native language rights among the ethnic groups by implementing curriculum and policy changes in Taiwan. This study looked at the speech of the Minister of Education, the proposed Language Equality Act, and the Guidelines of 98 Chinese Language Curriculum to understand the claims the DPP government made to support their language curriculum and policy changes. The rhetorical analysis for these documents also provide an example of how the political power could influence education and society through claims-making as well as planning curriculum and policy in the sense of building Taiwanese identity instead of Chinese identity.

Based on the analysis of the DPP government's claims regarding language equality, the findings showed that Ho-lo, a common native language, is not at risk and has a more favorable position in education. It surpasses Mandarin Chinese as the national language but does not demonstrate language equality or Taiwan-centered education. The DPP government cannot prove that studying native languages, especially Ho-lo, has a correlation to Taiwanese identity or helps Taiwanese consciousness. However, the DPP government's suggestions regarding language education could create a split among the different ethnic groups about their Taiwanese identification. The new language curriculum and policy could become a controversy, because it increases the influence of Ho-lo as native Taiwanese and displaces Mandarin Chinese as the national language. The connection between Ho-lo as the Taiwanese language and national identity might threaten people who are not native Ho-lo speakers. In addition, it raises a concern about the DPP using Ho-lo to replace Mandarin Chinese as the national language to further Taiwan's independence.

The importance of this study is that it examines the claims regarding the Taiwan-centered education and language equality, within a political and historical context, to understand the reasons and effects for making the language curriculum and policy changes. This is a rhetorical analysis that applies the findings of a real situation to meet practical needs in politics and education. This study helps to apply the use of rhetorical analysis to policy in order to understand the government's claim making and the educational decisions within the political context.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Robert Boody, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 160 pages)



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