English for all? Neoliberalism, globalization, and language policy in Taiwan


Journal Article

AbstractThis article examines the nexus of neoliberalism, globalization, and the spread of English, using English-language education (ELE) policies in Taiwan between 2000 and 2008 as a case study. Data from ethnographic work, including interviews with school principals and education managers, is contextualized using recent theoretical innovations in the sociolinguistics of globalization and language and neoliberalism. Neoliberalism venerates the ideals of ‘choice’, ‘competition’, and the ‘free market’. For students and parents, English proficiency is less a ‘choice’ than a necessity for success in education and employment. ‘English for all’ policies are thus imperatives rather than opportunities when individuals, schools, and regions are put into deleterious ‘competition’ with each other in public education, and when public education is pressured by a parallel ‘free’ market private education sector. The structural function of English as a valued capital is examined alongside language ideologies regarding the ‘earlier-the-better’ argument for L2 acquisition and the idealization of the native-speaking teacher. (Taiwan, neoliberalism, globalization, English, sociolinguistics, language policy)*

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Price, G

Published Date

  • November 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 567 - 589

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8013

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-4045

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0047404514000566


  • en