Interrogating the general English proficiency requirements for prospective Taiwanese bilingual teachers

Keith M. Graham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prospective bilingual content teachers in Taiwan must submit proof of upper-intermediate (CEFR B2) English proficiency in the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) before qualifying for interviews. This article investigates whether this is justified by examining the relationship of general English proficiency with one of the main mechanisms for teacher selection: the interview teaching demonstration (microteaching). The article first presents scholarship on bilingual teacher competences. Then, the findings of an empirical study examining the relationship between English proficiency scores and microteaching demonstrations are presented. The study utilised data collected from 74 prospective secondary bilingual content teachers from 13 subject areas in northern Taiwan. Microteaching demonstrations were scored by bilingual education and subject experts using a locally developed rubric. The Cambridge B2 First exam was used to measure English proficiency. The results showed that speaking and listening had a small relationship with microteaching performance, but reading and writing scores did not. It was also found that those with a lower-intermediate (CEFR B1) proficiency level performed equally with those at a CEFR B2 level or higher in the microteaching. Based on these findings, the use of general English proficiency exams for bilingual teacher recruitment is challenged and alternatives are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Bilingual education; English proficiency
  • Taiwan
  • secondary education
  • teacher recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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