‘The native speaker teacher and the issue of equality’ by Phil Wade

I have followed the debate on native vs. non-native teachers with some interest. It is great to see and hear people addressing equality and the favouritism, in some sectors, towards natives despite them not always being as qualified as their non-native peers. As blog and Facebook posts on this subject have increased, so too have the comments. These have ranged from complaining about alleged backpacker natives who don’t know how to teach to qualified non-natives losing out to anyone who is labelled a ‘native’. What perhaps isn’t always covered is the perspective of the Native English Speaker Teacher (NEST). This is what I hope to cover her to help readdress the debate and to put forward some truths which I think are worth mentioning.

1) Are all NESTs unqualified backpackers?

Well, this depends where you work, to be honest. I have read numerous complaints about this and it is one reason perhaps some non-natives are angry because of maybe the poor teaching they received from alleged ‘foreign experts’. I’ve been one myself, having been given jobs without an interview solely on my passport.

Photo by Chris Fleming under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5wdeQa

Photo by Chris Fleming under Creative Commons from: https://flic.kr/p/5wdeQa

If you look at the real language schools abroad, and by that I mean the many many that are not run by the British Council or big chains, you will still see schools like Oxbridge school of real English and Brighton British language school etc. These use red phone boxes and buses or the Australian flag and maple syrup for branding and you will still see them advertising native speaker teachers. Unless they are charging students over 70 Euros an hour, they can’t afford to pay more than 20. And as many just teach kids and provide books and handouts, they tend to want young teachers and pay them 10 to 18 Euros an hour. Now, it stands to reason that young 18-25 teachers who work with no contract, are hired locally and who work week to week probably won’t be super qualified but schools often cannot pay and do not want super qualified teachers too. My own response here is that I question the students or clients in that they should ask about the qualifications of teachers instead of just seeing ‘native’ and thinking they will absorb all the English language just by sitting near them.

2) Do all NESTs get amazing jobs in language schools?

I only speak from my own experience on this one but I have worked in quite a few language schools in different countries. I am still to see a single FT permanent contract. In fact, a contract of any description is rare. The reality is often week to week work or varying hours with no promise of pay and no idea if the school will go bust. They will also want your exclusive availability from 8 to 8/9 and at weekends. Some may ask you or tell you to work 6 or even 7 days a week. If you say no to any offered work, you might not get more. No paid holidays too and some schools even just pay cash. You could be told on a Saturday that you are no longer needed or replaced within a day. Worse still, as I have had at least 3 times is not getting paid and having to begin legal proceedings. This is not great and not a career anyone should really aim for so I’m not quite sure why NNESTs who may be able to get in the system in their own country would want it. Many of use TEFLers accept it and make do with 0 hours some months and 2/3 months of no work during holidays but I’m sure that at least 90% of us would jump at the chance of being local and getting in the local system, if that is possible. In theory, a REAL government school job would have a proper contract. In my experience, this has always been true but the pay has not always been better than in the private sector. This highlights the typical ‘the grass is always greener situation’. Getting 300 Euros a month from a uni compared to 1400 from a language school is a big difference.

But do NESTs get priority over these no contract sometimes badly paid and no security jobs? Well, I’d say sometimes they do IF the school is branded as a ‘native school’ type. In fact, many still only advertise for natives or even interview them. Sad but true. If a non-native managed to get it, they might not like what they find, especially the student and parent questions of “where are you from?”. In this respect, I would suggest non-natives and natives to find out which schools accept who. For instance, I never apply to schools that just use non-natives as I know that it will be very hard for me to get it and the work they do is based on the local school syllabus which I don’t know, everything is in the L1 which I’m not fluent at and there are other legal issues that may stop me as I’m not local.

3) Are NESTs taking jobs away from locals and NNESTs?

I really don’t think so. I have heard angry local Non-Native English Speaker Teachers (NNESTs) complain about foreigners getting jobs they want but when say a university only has 1 or 5% foreigners  and those jobs are labelled as for ‘native experts’ or designed for people who have a background and experience in the British/Australian/Canadian style then perhaps we should respect that. After all, the decision for those jobs came from the top and even from a government level. Having some jobs that have relaxed rules to enable non-locals who are not in the system is helpful. I know plenty of NESTs who try and try to get jobs that locals have but fail. I’m not saying that we go back to, now the illegal, ‘for natives only’ style but having a few natives on a team to compliment the skilled and experienced NNESTs, can be useful. A multi-cultural and multi-lingual team can be a real asset.

As for the private sector, I’d say there are no jobs to take in away. For business English, clients can really pick who they want. Kid classes depend on the parents. I have heard the very upsetting instance of “we can’t find any natives for this kid class so we’ll have to use a local teacher but tell him to pretend to be English”. Why on earth? I VERY much doubt kids or parents would complain about a great teacher but MAYBE if they spoke the L1 a lot which I know plenty of NESTs do too so it doesn’t really make an issue nowadays.

4) Why do NNESTs do the CELTA?

This confuses me. When I started out, we all knew the CELTA was for natives. Now, it’s open to all which is better, in my opinion. Although some still see it as a British thing. Even as a native, I found it hard and was told I did not have RP. I was quite angry about that. Now, the CELTA is only recognised in the big TEFL schools but very very few other places  only recognised in the UK but nowhere else. Personally, if I could do a free MA or PGCE style course in my own country for free, as some NNESTs have free education, I would. Instead, I had to pay for private course.  Also, you don’t need the CELTA now, really. As few schools even know of it abroad, they take anyone with any kind of certificate or non. So, as I saw in a thread recently, if a NNEST finds a school and does the CELTA, they will, I’m sorry to say, find it hard to get a TEFL job. I saw one guy get really angry about this as he’d been promised lots of work. By who?   The school delivering the CELTA course Why? Because they are for profit and sold a course and persuaded the customer with promises about benefits. Some people seem to forget that the CELTA is ‘for profit’ and schools that do it are generally the same. ANYONE who is thinking of getting into TEFL should REALLY research their future prospects. Native or not. Actually, it’s not just with the CELTA. I did a weekend teacher training course and it was the same thing. We were promised work and actually offered it too. The catch? We had to pay to do ‘voluntary’ work. Yes, really. The organisation made people pay to train and pay to teach.

5) What will a future be like with no NEST teachers abroad ?

This is a tricky one as we all know there are now more non-native English speakers than native and so probably teachers too. The argument of ‘NESTs help students learn the culture’ is a weak one, in my opinion as I have seen teachers milk this and just, as they put it, “teach students about British/Irish/American/Australian culture” instead of teaching. The sad thing is though that not 1 student ever complained about that and some even requested those teachers.

Fast forward 20/30 years and classes all around the world will probably have less natives  given the increased competition from non-natives, the ending of ‘for natives only’ posts and the smaller the ratio of natives to non.   students miss out on funny anecdotes about pubs and soccer? Will the CELTA method disappear in favour of the standard local methodology being applied to TEFL? And also, more importantly, if more and more jobs are removed from the NEST’s grasp, what will they do? The knee jerk reaction by some employers against the ‘equality card’ will be not to hire any. Maybe all us TEFLers abroad will have to return to the UK and then we will go back to the old system where kids were shipped off to the UK for a ‘cultural experience’.

6) Are NESTs a ‘token hire’?

Sometimes yes. A mate was hired as the head of a language school and paraded around at events. He didn’t speak the local language and was used for branding and PR. I’ve also seen natives used on open days, in adverts and become required hires on a quota system. The problem I had with this was when I started teaching. The students at one place just expected me to be ‘fun’ and complained and demanded their 21 year old surfer dude from California back and he had taken them all out drinking the year before. This for me is what REALLY annoys me as a NEST. I, and many many of us, are REAL teachers. I worked my backside off to become as qualified and experienced as possible and I put my heart and soul into all my lessons but still 1) Some NNESTs still see me and others as ‘token hires’ and not real teachers as we have what they call ‘unrecognised qualifications’ 2) A lot of students expect me to be fun fun fun and think of English native classes as a break. One even told me that “we learn English from our real local teachers and then have fun with the natives”. A previous colleague highlighted this when she asked me in a thesis defence “what is your real job?” and then said how lucky I was to get such a job that thousands of locals will kill for. Well, personally, I think I deserved to be there.

7) What do I want?

I firmly believe in equality but it has to be equal. We need to provide it for everyone. If we just stop all NEST hires   If we keep systems that refuse to recognise foreign qualifications, that is neither. Actually, I looked into EU employment law and as the EU law guy said in his email “there is no law that requires any state to accept any qualification”, it is entirely up to them. Therefore, many won’t recognise qualifications, even MAs and BAs. PhDs too. This to me is insane, unless the awarding university is very suspect. In really, many of us know the real level of qualifications and that UK awards are actually higher than some others just as UK ones are lower than others. Unofficially. Fine but we need to set rules and stop building barriers. Free movement of people? Really? One of the pillars of Europe if I remember.

Another point is regarding levels. We all know native and non-natives who are not C2. On most days, I don’t feel it 😉 On some, I don’t even feel B2. We need to set a very high standard for ALL teachers. It makes sense. I don’t care what your passport says, you should be proficient in the language to be able to teach it. This, of course, means IELTS 9 or CPE A. I have tested natives and not always given 9. Teachers should be the best of the best. If we allow B2 teachers, native or not, then that will slip and eventually they will be B1 or A2. I’ve seen it. If we just hire natives based on being native, they may actually have poor English. Standards slip so a B2 teachers may produce B1 students who will then teach at B1 level and so on. For me, education has to be the best at all   .

Last thoughts

Maybe some of you remember that infamous Guardian article ridiculing the TEFL industry that riled people but quite a few others agreed with it. Online schools that now pay teachers 5 to 10 dollars are making our image worse and only attracting people who will take that money i.e. unqualified and experienced people with poor levels. Students have to pay for quality. Natives or non-natives with good qualifications, English level and style charge a higher rate and deserve it but not everyone can afford that. Sadly, many won’t pay it and go for the cheaper option then complain. Well, I don’t think that’s fair. You get what you pay for and I really stress to clients that you have to research who the teacher is and their experience. A native relying on the typical ‘I’m from London’ and only mentioning highschool on his CV won’t be able to deliver and really isn’t a teacher at all. A non-native with a degree in English is automatically more qualified, if they have an MA or a teaching qualification then it’s even better. What does annoy me is that not everyone compare like for like on this issue. You cannot say a native with an A level in History is better at teaching than a non-native with a degree in teaching.

Design: @Teflninja

Design: @Teflninja

We also must talk to the students and clients and policy makers. We need to know if organisations want teachers or ‘token hires’ and what the positive or negative perceptions of native teachers are. I believe that the more of us native and non-native who study and become the best we can and welcome and embrace native and non-native teams and colleagues, the better we are making ELT. Picking fights and throwing stones is not.

2 things that are worth considering now are 1) what does ‘native’ mean? 2) what qualifications and experience does someone need to be called a teacher?

Phil Wade is an English teacher, trainer and coach. He has a PGCE, the MA TESOL, the CELTA and DELTA module 3 as well as certificates in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. He has been a language school teacher and course coordinator, a university teacher, a corporate English trainer and coach, an online teacher, examiner, teacher trainer, materials writer, elearning author, app content creator and ebook writer. He has written for numerous ELT magazines, blogs and publishers. Phil is currently interested in policy and decision making in education and is studying a PhD.

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19 thoughts on “‘The native speaker teacher and the issue of equality’ by Phil Wade

  1. paulwalsh says:

    Interesting post Phil, my reactions:

    1) “Unless they are charging students over 70 Euros an hour, they can’t afford to pay more than 20.” I want to take issue with the uncritical acceptance of ‘they can’t pay’. Lots of schools COULD pay – they just choose not to. No one is holding a gun to the head of the big chains saying ‘Thou must not pay more than 10 euros an hour’. It’s a choice!

    They build their business models – and the conventional wisdom is that spending money on teachers’ wages is a cost, not an investment. Whereas marketing is an investment. That’s not a fact, but conventional or ideology. This is simply proven by the fact that there are market actors, e.g. cooperatives, who operate by different rules – i.e. teaching, teacher training is seen as an investment.

    I know that someone will come on and say ‘you know nothing about business’ – but businessmen often know little about society and refuse to allow their basic assumptions to be examined or questioned. It’s just ‘the way things are’. Not a good argument in my book, as it removes the possibility of change from social life – which is clearly untenable.

    2) “Now, it stands to reason that young 18-25 teachers who work with no contract, are hired locally and who work week to week probably won’t be super qualified but schools often cannot pay and do not want super qualified teachers too. ”

    Again, see above point. Cannot is a choice. The big universities in Berlin pay their freelance teachers on average 50% less than their full-time colleagues – who do the same work. When they claim that they ‘cannot’ pay more – what they mean is that money is locked into their spending plans and allocated for something else: a new library or something. Obviously, with private schools the situation is somewhat different, but they have spending plans which involve keeping the ‘cost’ of teaching as low as possible.

    3) FT contracts – In ‘undesirable’ locations it is still possible to find FT contracts. Small towns in Eastern Europe (now Central Europe – I don’t want to offend anyone!) often still offer FT contracts for native speakers – whether this is right or wrong as regards NNEST teachers is a good question!

    4) CELTA – Not sure I agree with you here. You can’t get a job in many countries without it in my experience, and most (admittedly crappy) jobs advertised on the main job sites ask for it too.

    My question is: with floods of new CELTA-grads coming onto the market – there will always be low wages. Why would employers pay more when they use boiler-plate textbooks and they have another 18-year-old straight off a CELTA?

    5) “we learn English from our real local teachers and then have fun with the natives” – definitely yes, in my experience. NESTs provide froth, games and fun; it’s hard to combat this as a NEST.

    6) “there is no law that requires any state to accept any qualification” – I don’t think this is entirely accurate. Policy is usually what guides institutions to do something positive. Law is what prevents people from doing something negative i.e. breaking the law. I mean, there is a whole body of EU law which prevents discrimination – this can definitely be applied to the NEST/ NNEST situation. I also think there is an ongoing debate on countries accepting qualifications from different countries, especially in terms of key workers like doctors, nurses.

  2. ELTebooks says:

    Hi Paul.

    Could you propose some financial numbers that will enable higher teacher pay when clients pay 70 Euros? Don’t forget rent, cleaners, admin staff, tax, bills and loan repayments and franchise ones? And sthg that is profitable for a school that might only have 10 adult learners. Copying and book costs too. If you can, sell it.

    • paulwalsh says:

      You’re begging the question here ELTEBOOKS. My point was that if you look at the situation through a limited, economic framework – you’re going to arrive at limited solutions.

      There are schools out there who work by different business models, yet still offer value to customers such as SLB in Spain: http://www.slb.coop/?lang=en

  3. Phil Wade says:

    Here are some quick replies to your other points. I know we differ on some.

    1) “Unless they are charging students over 70 Euros an hour, they can’t afford to pay more than 20.” I want to take issue with the uncritical acceptance of ‘they can’t pay’. Lots of schools COULD pay – they just choose not to. No one is holding a gun to the head of the big chains saying ‘Thou must not pay more than 10 euros an hour’. It’s a choice!

    I worked at one ‘big chain’ and visited their sales department and met 6 full-time local staff and then about 10 more international people from finance departents, HQ etc all on good salaries. They got paid because of the profits from students. This and the expensive marketing budgets probably account for 40% of the tuition fee of each student.

    I have some experience of freelancing and I’ll give you an average breakdown.

    Student pays 50 Euros for a 1 hour inhouse class.
    I prepare for an hour and travel for 90 minutes there and back=2.5 hours
    I do some copies and buy a new app=3 Euros
    I take the bus=2 Euros
    I pay 20% taxes straight away and then maybe more at the end of the year.

    So, I make 50-20% and 5 Euros=35 Euros for 3.5 hours.

    I also have rent, bilss, phone charges, student loan payments etc.

    I think 50 is fair and undercuts the schools but it is not going to make me millions and compared to maybe 25 I can get from a school with no travel, it work out better.

    I helped one school set up their premises a few years back. TVs, iPads, furniture, painting, refurbishng, plumbing, equipment etc cost a lot. It took them at least 3 years to pay all that off. There are always costs but I agree that we should get a fair pay but so should school owners. They are 100% for profit and if they don’t make enough, the school will close. We are VERY expendable. I’ve seen teachers dropped on a Friday or called on a Saturday and then I’ve never seen them again. Once, I was asked to drop off my keys and never got a new schedule. I got the hint.

    Change is possible but perhaps not in the way you want which seems to be little school owners suddenly paying more. Those people probably won’t so a better option is to set up alternatives like co-ops. It is the same for the ‘anti-association’ argument too. Some things are set and times change. We need new solutions and one of those, for me, is more co-ops and the like. IF you can get great freelancers together, you can ensure quality and good pay. Just set up in a co-working place and done. You already have an online Community of Practice.

    2) “Now, it stands to reason that young 18-25 teachers who work with no contract, are hired locally and who work week to week probably won’t be super qualified but schools often cannot pay and do not want super qualified teachers too. ”

    Again, see above point. Cannot is a choice. The big universities in Berlin pay their freelance teachers on average 50% less than their full-time colleagues – who do the same work. When they claim that they ‘cannot’ pay more – what they mean is that money is locked into their spending plans and allocated for something else: a new library or something. Obviously, with private schools the situation is somewhat different, but they have spending plans which involve keeping the ‘cost’ of teaching as low as possible.

    Here I will give the local examples of 3 language/after-school schools I have worked at. Kids pay between 10 and 20 Euros an hour. Classes range between 3 and 8 kids. 30 Euros for 3 kids is not great money. 80 or 160 is and that is why, locally, kids classes always work but they only take young backpackers as 1) They often have no degrees 2) Are young and cool 3) Refuse to give older people the jobs, especially men. A bit rude but perhaps I understand what some mums and dads think.

    3) FT contracts – In ‘undesirable’ locations it is still possible to find FT contracts. Small towns in Eastern Europe (now Central Europe – I don’t want to offend anyone!) often still offer FT contracts for native speakers – whether this is right or wrong as regards NNEST teachers is a good question!

    I did say ‘permanent’. I’ve never seen one in any country I’ve been to except in the governmenet system. Yes, I was offered FT jobs in Poland just working in small schools. Some mates took them wjust after their degrees.

    4) CELTA – Not sure I agree with you here. You can’t get a job in many countries without it in my experience, and most (admittedly crappy) jobs advertised on the main job sites ask for it too.

    My question is: with floods of new CELTA-grads coming onto the market – there will always be low wages. Why would employers pay more when they use boiler-plate textbooks and they have another 18-year-old straight off a CELTA?

    You’d be surprised by the number of people without the CELTA and some with no degrees. I worked in China for several years and they wanted a degree and an MA. I was offered jobs in Thailand after uni too. MAYBE they have all got stricter but you will find a lot of smaller unaccredited places that take anything. When I was a British Council examiner, I was one of only 2 in the interview with the CELTA, the rest had other things from smaller places.

    I’ve not been asked by any uni in France for the CELTA or DELTA and I also worked in the UK at a couple of schools with just a weekend cert. I was also hired to be an online TEFL cert tutor years back and they had been running onlne unaccredited TEFL certs for 10 years and still do. I asked about the CELTA and they said most of their teachers got jobs.

    We need some stats on this, perhaps.

    5) “we learn English from our real local teachers and then have fun with the natives” – definitely yes, in my experience. NESTs provide froth, games and fun; it’s hard to combat this as a NEST.

    This makes me very angry. I know introduce myself in adult and uni classes with a PPT of rules and state my qualifications to prove I deserve to be there.

    6) “there is no law that requires any state to accept any qualification” – I don’t think this is entirely accurate. Policy is usually what guides institutions to do something positive. Law is what prevents people from doing something negative i.e. breaking the law. I mean, there is a whole body of EU law which prevents discrimination – this can definitely be applied to the NEST/ NNEST situation. I also think there is an ongoing debate on countries accepting qualifications from different countries, especially in terms of key workers like doctors, nurses.

    I emailed the EU and got several replies about international recogition. I also went to the local offices. There was some agreement but I recall France did not do it but the EU guy said there is no official rule. Here there is some governmental rule that says we should recognise but they don’t. I’ve heard of people taking the government to the EU courts to get recognition. I think one won. It is ridiculous. I have students with BAs that are not recognised. France gets around it by having Ming Dynasty style royal court entrance tests that no longer exist, a bit like their love of cheques.

    Anyhow, I hope this covers the points. I’m off to teach now.

  4. TeamBritanniaHu says:

    I support the gist of these remarks, but sometimes feel that we can be obsessed with a quest for the holy grail of ‘equality’. The fact is that bilingual teachers of English, fluent in the learners’ L1 as well as the target language, have a different set of linguistic competences than NESTs, though they can intersect in terms of communicative methodology. By definition, most NESTs are direct method teachers, whereas most bilingual teachers use a bilingual method, sometimes more G & T than communicative. The main issue is how comprehensible teacher input is, related to learner output, not whether the teacher is a ‘native’ or not. Within a good communicative curriculum, there should be room for both in working with learners with the same L1 background. In the multilingual classroom, although the qualified ‘bilingual’ teacher may not speak a majority or minority L1, their value as target language learner models needs to be set alongside the model of the language provided by qualified native speakers.

    • Phil Wade says:

      Wonderful! Yes, I am worried about the hunt for equality sometimes as I see reserve discrimination like jobs that say ‘due to…this job is only for…’ or token hires to fit disability or racial or sex quotas. The old joke of black, female… fits here I guess. That was just an example, btw. The problem is that there is often to much bias atm but the same in some respect about men and women. I’ve seen many events on FB with many many women. I’m not sure if men would complain but I did read that some women voiced concerns about not being represented. If we have to profile everyone to ensure representation then it isn’t going to be fun. X conference had only 2 cat owners,3 people with hay fever and one who is balding 😉

  5. Marc says:

    The whole notion of difference is off. I work with Russian, Filipino and Japanese teachers of English. Crap is crap and good is good but the NESTs who are rubbish can often coast and not need to develop as long as they smile in the posters.

    • ELTebooks says:

      Love it, Marc! Crap is crap full stop! I don’t care what your passport states your nationality is, your height is or what you have for lunch, there is no excuse for crap.

      I REALLY hate the coasting native thing BUT it is accepted. A NNEST wouldn’t be, I don’t think. This coasting can be blamed on the students though too. They should complain. I’ve seen teachers sleep in class, ones turn up hungover, one who slept in and told the student to talk, another who had his feet up on the desk and did a TOEFL prep course with no materials or exam knowledge, another kid who taught government directors with no preparation and literally taught them nothing. He just chatted. Yet in every case, the students were happy as these teachers matched their stereotype. And in several, when I took over, they didn’t like my style because I taught.

      • Marc says:

        “And in several, when I took over, they didn’t like my style because I taught.” Nail on the head. When I hear ‘My old teacher played a lot of games’ I flinch.

        • ELTebooks says:

          Marc, I feel for you. I’ve heard it all, from “he just chatted to us” to “we never did any work or used the book” and the worst was probably where a teacher just spoke the L1 and sat on the table for 2 hours every class or maybe the guy who took students out every weekend and just let them text in class. I don’t know if that is what they expect and so people deliver it or if that is what they had and so expect it again. I often get told “you’re not like our last teacher” and if I hear they were jokers, I explain that I’m a teacher like in their other subjects.

  6. Phil Wade says:

    Sounds great to me, Marc. Personalised and relevant as well as physically and mentally active. As I see it, there will always be problems for NESTs teaching abroad but that is the challenge.

  7. aiyshah2014 says:

    Very interesting questions you posed here. I have much to say about each however I would like to only comment on a few, and this is solely based on my experience owning and running a language centre in Malaysia.

    In Malaysia the whole NEST vs NNEST is deeply controversial. Malaysia firstly being an ex-British colony and being a very multicultural country has a real range of ‘English as a first language’ speakers – notice I don’t say `native’ English speaker. However I will tell you that from my point of view as owner and operator of our school, if a teacher applies for a job with us – no matter what ethnic background, if they hold all the attributes of a NEST they are equivalent to a NEST in my eyes no matter what passport they hold. However I do think everyone needs to be clear about one thing. To me a NEST is not just about the accent, it is about the history of their educational experience. If their experience is from childhood is one of learning in an open dynamic classroom, where all children are considered equal and the focus is on getting children/students to learn to be creative and dynamic themselves…and of course they speak perfect English, this person is more likely than not to be a suitable NEST. However one of the problems I have encountered is that a lot of NNESTs do not come from this background, and even though they can learn to be creative and dynamic and all good to them, the students we have in our school prefer NESTS for this one and only reason. So for me if a person sounds like a NEST and operates in a creative way like a NEST, they are a NEST – forget about the passport – period!

    All our NESTs have CELTA as a mandatory qualification and hold full time contracts and are some of the most professional people in this country who have chosen TEFL as their career. No packpackers…

    Lastly…we must never forget too that ESL is a business, and in Malaysia if students want a NEST they have to pay often double to have them. Perfectly capable NNESTs are teaching here as well, and a lot of students are very satisfied with what they get for their money…so I think that answers a lot of questions for many schools.

  8. ELTebooks says:

    Hi Aiyshah,

    Double for a NEST? I doubt they get double the quality though. A good teacher is a good teacher. I hear the accent issue used a lot to justify discrimination, even in the UK. I have also heard students complain about strong accents.

    If I ran a school, I would ethically try to do the right thing but it would have to be profitable too. Thus, I would want students with clear achievable goals and not ones who just want to chat and pubs with a NEST. I didn!t study my behind off to do that for an hour a week. They just want a language pqrtner.

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