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Resilience is the key: my journey as a non-native speaker teacher by Eleni Symeonidu

I am going to share my journey and lessons learnt as a non-native in the ELT industry in the hope that others will feel that they are not alone if they have had unpleasant experiences, and empowered about their teaching identity. I come from Greece where I did my BA in English Language and Literature …

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How to Teach Pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca Use

Previously on this blog I wrote about the fact that despite the fact that standard ‘native speaker’ pronunciation still remains the default standard in teaching and course book writing, there’s no evidence that it is more intelligible in international contexts (read the post here). Now this is hugely surprising! After all, our gut feeling would …

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[LAUNCHING TODAY] How to Teach With TED Talks: A Practical Course for English Teachers

My love of using authentic video in the classroom started thirty years ago, when I was doing my MA. And the past five years have been all about TED Talks – developing materials, writing course books and giving presentations to help English teachers like you use TED talks in class. This has given me the …

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Seven easy steps you need to follow to teach English as a Lingua Franca

A few weeks back I wrote a post about the three reasons why I think we need to rethink our current approach to teaching English (EFL/ESL), suggesting we start teaching English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). To recap, teaching ELF can: provide a more realistic and authentic input, thus better preparing our students to use …

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Three Secrets to Help You Engage Your Students Using TED Talks

I personally love using TED talks and videos in class with my students. Above all, for me: they can be great examples of authentic English as a Lingua Franca language use in action they help bring in examples of successful users of English, many of whom are ‘non-native speakers’ (just like our students) they allow …

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Why rebellious stubbornness (sometimes) pays off

Personally, I’m a rather stubborn type sometimes. And just a tiny bit rebellious. Like to go a bit against the current. Or maybe driven. It depends how you look at it sometimes. To give you one example, this whole website is the result of this stubborn rebellious drive to promote professional equality for ‘native’ and …

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FECEI issues a statement against native speakerism

In February this year I had the pleasure to attend FECEI’s (The National Federation of Private Language Schools in Spain) annual conference in Madrid. For a while I’ve been really amazed with all the great work FECEI has been doing to promote equal opportunities in ELT, especially as far as ‘native’ and ‘non-native speakers’ are …

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Do you prefer a ‘native’ or a ‘non-native speaker’ teacher? – the wrong question to ask

When we ask people in ELT, in particular the recruiters, why so many schools hire ‘native speakers’ only, one of the most common answers you will get is: market demand. In other words, the clients demand ‘native speakers’, and thus if the schools want to stay in business, they need to offer classes with ‘native …

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How to get a job in Japan as a non-native speaker teacher following these three easy steps

You might have heard that Japan is a bit of a difficult market for ‘non-native speaker’ teachers. In fact, many of the jobs are explicitly advertised for ‘native speakers’ only. You shouldn’t get discouraged, though. Meet Nicholas… Nicholas Susatyo is originally from Indonesia, but he’s been working as an English teacher in Japan for several …

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