Exposing colonial representations: analysis of portrayals of Indigenous culture in Taiwan’s language textbooks

Yann Ru Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Indigenous populations have historically been marginalized in the language curriculum in Taiwan. As education reform in the 1990s ensued, textbooks became democratized and aimed to include more local diverse cultures. However, the portrayal of Indigenous cultures in the new current language textbooks has not been adequately studied in past research and hence warrants examination. Informed by settler colonialism theory and critical discourse analysis (CDA), this study analyzed Taiwan’s secondary school language textbook narratives about Indigenous groups. Analysis results reveal that Indigenous elements are still underrepresented in the textbooks. The dominant textbook discourse also discriminates against Indigenous groups by removing Indigenous voices and misrepresenting Indigenous culture as primitive and backwards. This study is significant in incorporating settler colonial theory and language textbooks for analysis, which are less utilized in previous studies in Taiwan. A critical framework is offered for future curriculum analysis to ensure equity in representing marginalized Indigenous communities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2018

Keywords

  • critical discourse analysis (CDA)
  • Indigenous
  • settler colonialism
  • Taiwan language textbooks

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