University Students' Perceptions of Non-Native Speaking Teachers of Department of English

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Margaret Strain


Department of English is the global language taught throughout the world by native speakers; however, it is also increasingly taught by multilingual teachers for whom Department of English is not their first language. Problems can arise in TESOL classrooms when students question an international instructor's qualifications; some evenly prefer native-speaking Department of English teachers despite the knowledge and expertise of their international TESOL instructors. TESOL teachers also encounter other kinds of bias related to their race, ethnicity, or different religious practices. These forms of prejudice can be overtly expressed in the classroom but can also be evidenced in teaching evaluations. Such experiences can lead an instructor to question whether their pedagogies are out of alignment, or if the source of students' negative perceptions might create an overwhelming and unhealthy environment. Therefore, it is worth knowing whether the attitudes or behaviors students display in a non-native Department of English teacher's class seem to be particularly inflected with potential connections with racism, and how teachers might reduce student bias of American Department of English speakers and the "native" identity as a marker of professional excellence. The author collected data from her personal vignettes and Students Evaluation of Teachers (SET) of her two composition classes in the 2022 Fall semester. The data were examined using an autoethnographic methodology, and they demonstrate the existence of both explicit and implicit bias toward the teacher. The project concludes with some recommendations for ways to offer support and resources to TESOL faculty in higher education.


Education, Department of English As A Second Language, students' perceptions, native speakers (NS), non-native speakers (NNS), discrimination, students' behaviors, microaggression

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2023, author