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Breaking the Misconceptions About Non-Native English Teachers

30th November 2020

In today’s global dynamics and changing world, a lot of organizations still believe the falsehood that a native speaker is the best teacher to teach English. There is also a lack of proper information about the fact that the non-native teachers are not experienced or competent enough to teach English in a foreign country! This misbelieve has influenced many organizations over the past several decades and as a consequence, the prospective qualified enough non-native speakers’ teachers are often facing problems by different job posts only addressed to a native English-speaking teacher.

Well, by discussing and decoding these frequently understood myths as well as misconceptions about the non-native teachers, the blog unfolds a number of significant issues and throws light into the earlier period, present, and the future of the ESL market.

How To Define a Native Speaker?

In simple words, a native speaker is someone who has learned to speak a specific language (here the language is English) as part of his or her childhood development. As per the Merriam-Webster, the definition of a native speaker is a person who learned to speak the language of the place where he or she was born as a child rather than learning it as a foreign language!

Let’s dive in!

There are numerous reasons that non-native English teachers can also be just as competitive and accomplished as native teachers but regrettably, not everyone distinguishes this up till now. Not only that, most of the non-native speakers are also still uncertain about their knack to teach English in a foreign country.

Popular Myths about Native and Non-native English Teachers

Job advertisements always have a preference for the native teachers! Although it’s correct that schools frequently do look for native teachers, the truth is that for several schools this is, for the most part, an advertising procedure. Do you know at the end of the day, many schools employ the most experienced along with qualified ESL teachers out there, despite of where they’re from. On the other hand, while searching for a job, you will see that many schools ask for “native-like” glibness, try using these search terms on job positions.

Only the native speakers can give good quality language representation! Flourishing ESL teaching is so much more than just being native. Rather, being “native” to English does not mean that the language aptitude is great essentially, however, the truth is that the competent non-native ESL educators can teach English perceptions just as well, if not superior, than native educators. The major reason is that non-native educators truly appreciate what it’s like to learn English! Therefore, apart from just teaching, they also create a bond with their students.

Native English speakers know more English! While an English speaker might know grammar rules intrinsically, the non-native teachers have also studied grammar as well as the mechanics of the English language usually in a more determined way than the native speakers. Unlike a native English speaker, you’ll know well what divisions of English culture are totally confusing. Together with, a non-native English speaker might have an even broader perceptive of English-speaking backgrounds (we are not comparing, we are just saying about the possibility). Don’t you think this is indeed helpful for students who might not have any idea what to expect in their English class?

Well, these misbeliefs have been sold as well as marketed hugely around the globe. This is leading to a position where the huge preponderance of ESL jobs in the world is for ‘native speakers’ only. The modern day web based learning is creating an opportunity for the potential people whose first language is not English. Only the catch is the non-native speakers have to enrol for the 21st century framework based TEFL certification course in order to get an ESL job. The reason being is the TEFL certification proves that the person (here, non-native) qualified and trained enough for teaching English as a foreign language.


Written By : Sudeshna Guha Thakurta


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In academic collaboration with:

Fort Hays State University  London School Of Teaching and Training All India Council of Education Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India City College of Birmingham AAHEA AAHEA TQ TQ