Sunday 8 January 2012

Hot Topic: Non Native Speakers as English Teachers

You've seen the job adverts. They usually start by asking for a native speaker of English. Does this mean that native speakers teach English better?  Not necessarily. There are a couple of disadvantages to having native speakers.

1. They don't know what it's like to study English.
2. They may not speak the students language.
3. They may not know the rules.

There are other issues as well, but these seem to be the main ones.  In places where I've worked I've found that the most qualified teacher may not get the highest salary. Non native speakers (NNS) are often given lower salaries. However, they may have more experience and more qualifications and this  leads to bad feelings towards native English speakers.

When I studied Spanish at school, I only had one native Spanish speaker, the rest were native English speakers and one was a native German speaker. It was never an issue then, so I don't see why it should be now.

What do you think?
Do non native speakers make good English teachers?  Would you rather learn a foreign language from a native speaker or a non native speaker? Why?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
Email me with your hot topic, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.


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