Native and Non-Native English Teachers
Over the years, English has rapidly grown to the extent of outrivaling languages such as French which were previously prestigious. English’s accelerated development arises from the fact that it can be easily learned. Non-native speakers often opt to learn English as their second language. Consequently, this language has emerged as the preferred communication medium in most institutions, organizations and professional circles worldwide. Globally, everyone is striving to improve their competence in English. In their efforts, the majority often opt to enhance their expertise through the assistance of native speakers. Due to the enormous number of English Learners worldwide, it is obvious that most English teachers are non-native English speakers, and should not be looked down upon. According to David John Brining, non-native English teachers are faced by uncertainties when speaking the language they have to teach, and may therefore take on an aggressive attitude towards teaching the language (50). They become obsessed with the grammar and ignore minor but significant elements like linguistic appropriateness. However, he adds that non-native speakers are the best teachers since they can easily communicate with non-native students, as they have been through the process of learning English as a second language. In addition, Enric Llurda disagrees by pointing out that a lot of non-native English speakers have adopted English as their L1, and with the exemption of an accent, there is merely a distinction between them and native English teachers (118). The preference of native English speaking teachers is fuelled by the notion that they are inherently superior to their non-native counterparts. This presumption frames the focus of interest in this examination. The research specifically challenges the notion that native speakers are inherently superior teachers of English, compared to their non-native counterparts, through a detailed review of selected studies and an analysis of primary information collected from surveys. I hope to convince students that professionals who teach English as their second language are equivalently competent as their native colleagues.
Margaret M Strain
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Native and Non-Native English Teachers" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1547.