The Acquisition of Mandarin by Migrant Workers in Taiwan: Diversity, Pedagogy, and Community


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships


Modern Languages


The past few decades have resulted in an influx of Southeast-Asian migrant workers into Taiwan. These migrant workers often undertake domestic service jobs to support families in their respective home nations. They take on traditionally gendered responsibilities, such as housekeeping, babysitting, and taking care of the elderly. Much of their language acquisition also occurs during this domestic interaction, providing fertile ground for second language studies. The project unpacks the linguistic and social processes of how migrant workers acquire Mandarin in Taiwan. This project explores this relationship through the lens of three unique components of the acquisition system: the migrant worker, the language instructor, and Taiwanese society. The goal of this project is to advance our understanding of gender-driven language acquisition and the long-overlooked migrant worker community.