| In this paper we report some difficulties encountered in the processes
of implementing the whole language approach in a third grade classroom and a
fifth grade classroom in Taiwan, where literacy education has long established a
strong tradition in behaviorist beliefs and practices. Qualitative methods such
as participant observation, video and audio taping interview, document analysis
were used in data collection. Analysis of data was mainly descriptive.
Some major difficulties we encountered include: lack of experiences and
resources, time pressure, conflicts between whole language beliefs and practices
and traditional beliefs and practices, superficiality in conducting whole language
activities, and in some cases, lack of friendly and efficient group interaction
structures. Measures for dealing with these problems are suggested and discussed
in the paper.
For educational practices we have the following suggestions: 1)In implementing
whole language, the emphasis should be put on the realization of the whole language
beliefs and principles, not on the form of instructional activities or the
availability of certain facilities. 2)It is necessary to try to change the
traditional beliefs and values about teaching and learning in the society so as
to create a more friendly environment for whole language. 3)It is important to
establish clear and supportive interaction structures in a classroom and to develop
students' motivation to learn and sense of responsibility.
For further research, we suggest that further research should be conducted
to investigate the processes in which a teacher using traditional method changes
into a whole language practitioner, to look into students' writing development,
and to identify ways to efficiently implement whole language in Taiwan's elementary