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A call to action – Luke Meddings, Hugh Dellar and Scott Thornbury on the NEST vs nNEST debate

meddingsLuke Meddings is an award-winning author, trainer and international speaker. In 2000 he co-founded the Dogme ELT movement with Scott Thornbury, and their book Teaching Unplugged (Delta, 2009) won a British Council ELTon award in 2010. Since then Luke has trained extensively, and in 2011 set up independent e-publishing collective The Round with Lindsay Clandfield. Their own book, 52: a year of subversive activity for the ELT classroom, was published in 2012. (from: http://lukemeddings.com/learning/)

In November, together with Robert McCaul, we gave a talk at TESOL France conference arguing for a more inclusive approach to ELT hiring policies, which would place more emphasis on qualifications and experience, giving both NESTs and nNESTs equal opportunities. You can read Rob’s summary of our talk here.

The talk received quite a positive response from the audience, and while preparing for it, we managed to get some encouraging support from Luke Meddings, Hugh Dellar and Scott Thronbury, who all contributed a short video. In this post I’d like to share these videos with you as they go to show an important and – in my opinion – a reassuring fact: those who know most about teaching English are the least likely to defend or excuse native speaker favouristism in the current ELT hiring policies (visit the Talk to the Expert section for articles and interviews with renown ELT professionals).

Hugh_DellarHugh Dellar is an author, teacher and teacher trainer. He co-authored the Outcomes and Innovations series, and together with Andrew Walkley has recently set up The Lexical Lab. He’s conducted numerous talks and workshops at EFL conferences all around the world. For more information click here. 

For a long time the fact that over 70% of all ELT job ads are for NESTs only has been an accepted status quo, so it is very encouraging to see that many renown ELT professionals are now willing to speak out against it and to advocate giving nNESTs equal employment opportunities. If the recruitement policies in our industry are to change, we will need a combined involvement and effort from all of us: nNESTs, NESTs, recruiters and teaching associations (read more about how you can get involved here and in this article by James Taylor).

thornburyScott Thornbury (born 1950, New Zealand) is an internationally recognized academic and teacher trainer in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). Along with Luke Meddings, Thornbury is credited with developing the Dogme language teaching approach. Thornbury has written over a dozen books on ELT methodology. Two of these, ‘Natural Grammar’ and ‘Teaching Unplugged’, have won the British Council’s “ELTon” Award for Innovation, the top award in the industry (in 2004 and 2010, respectively). Thornbury is also the series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers, and the author of many academic papers on language teaching (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Thornbury).

So, if you agree with Luke, Hugh and Scott, I would like to encourage you to challenge the current ELT recruitment policies by recording a similar short video and sharing it on social networks, challenging three friends involved with ELT to do the same. If possible, tag TEFL Equity Advocates, and with your permission, the video will also be also shared on the FB page and added to this website.

Let’s speak out for a TEFL industry which will – as Hugh put it – ‘judge teachers on how well they teach, and not where they were born’.

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eltnick
Guest

An excellent post! The addition of these 3 short clips really makes it come to life! Well done Marek! 🙂

geoffjordan
Guest

Good stuff! Congrats to all. I know how to record a short video, but can you advise on where & how to upload it, please.

Raja sab
Guest
Raja sab

Awesome post & videos. I say, that all objects & subject are very informative.

Andrew Watson
Guest
Andrew Watson

Totally agree. I would like to add that NESTs should welcome this because we want to be recognized for our experience and qualifications as well, not for our accident of birth.

khaledbelgacem
Guest

Thank you for this campaign. In fact, I can’t thank you enough for raising such a serious issue. Most nNESTs feel that they are at a disadvantage because of this kind of polarization…

khaledbelgacem
Guest

Thank you for this campaign. In fact, I can’t thank you enough for raising such a serious issue. Most nNESTs feel that they are at a disadvantage because of this kind of polarization…

Lexical Leo
Guest

Well… since the title of the post has the word “debate” in it, I expected more of a two-way discussion about NEST vs nNEST (again, as the title suggests!). I think to make it a true debate, we should hear at least one opinion from the other side, say, a recruiter justifying the policy of hiring only NEST because that’s what their students expect or some such. In the meantime, it’s only the voices of three renowned ELT experts and methodologists, who are, ironically, native speakers themselves, and not students, parents, recruiters, policy makers who might think otherwise. Having said… Read more »

michaeljamesedwards
Guest

I agree with the statements in these videos. In addition to Scott’s comments about living in a post-modern era, I think the case could have been made for emergent language as better provoked/facilitated by NNESs.

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[…] those who know most (click on the hyperlinks for opinions of teacher trainers, linguists and ELT professionals) have been saying for decades: that being a NS has nothing to do with being a good teacher. We’re […]

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[…] “ Luke Meddings, Hugh Dellar and Scott Thornbury speak out against ELT hiring policies show favouritism towards native speakers.”  […]

metaphreize
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Reblogged this on meta/phr(eɪ)Ze.com.

Thom
Guest
Thom

LOL “you don’t choose a history teacher just because they are really really old”… Nope. I think the analogy backfires on Luke. Age nothing to do with history. I’d choose a history teacher who has done enough reading to help me understand the issues, contemporary and ancient. In other words, the teacher would have to be what corresponds to being proficient in history.

Joe P
Guest
Joe P

I could listen to Scott speak all day.

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