University Students' Perceptions of Non-Native Speaking Teachers of English: A Step Towards Social Justice
English is the global language taught throughout the world by native speakers; however, it is also increasingly taught by multilingual teachers for whom 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 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 English teacher's class seem to be particularly inflected with potential connections with racism, and how teachers might reduce student bias of American 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 2021 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.
Margaret Strain, Jennifer Haan, Patrick Thomas
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Learning Goals
"University Students' Perceptions of Non-Native Speaking Teachers of English: A Step Towards Social Justice" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 3029.
Presentation: 4:00-4:20 p.m., Kennedy Union 211