Racism in English Language Teaching is widespread

We often like to think of ELT as an open-minded, nice and tolerant profession. But there us unfortunately a much darker side to it. Native speakerism, which positions those perceived as ‘native speakers’ as superior, is very deeply rooted. And so is racism in ELT, unfortunately; whereby those who are not white or Western-looking will […]

Why employing non-native speaker teachers makes perfect sense by James Scholl

I had been working as the Director of Studies (DoS) at a language school in Siberia for over a year when the time came to start the next recruitment drive for international teachers. My first year as DoS had been a steep, stressful learning curve, particularly with respect to various unforeseen challenges in human resource […]

Discrimination in English language teaching job ads: Interview with Lee Mackenzie

Recently, I’ve talked to Lee Mackenzie about discrimination in ELT job ads. Lee has researched different forms of discriminatory hiring practices in ELT and shares some insights into ageism, racism and native speakerism in ELT job ads in Colombia and other parts of the world. Watch the video from our LIVE chat and read the […]

You don’t look like a ‘native speaker’: Racism in ELT

When we talk about native speakerism, we typically emphasise the discrimination those perceived as ‘non-native speakers’ suffer. It’s easy to forget, though, that there is a far more sinister problem lurking in the background.

Racism.

You have an accent!

I was recently tagged in a discussion in a FB group for English teachers that was raging below a video that an English teacher had shared.  The teacher was showing some interesting ways of teaching young learners. My first thought was – this looks really cool. She’s really enthusiastic. I’m sure her students love lessons […]

Why the native vs non-native debate completely misses the point

It’s been a while since I went on a rant on this blog, but I hope I’m not out of shape yet. There is something that has frustrated me for a long time in the whole ‘native’ and ‘non-native speaker’ debate, and it’s probably high time I vented my frustration.  The ‘native’ vs ‘non-native speaker’ […]

How to Tackle Native Speakerism: The Four Levels of Change

I’m sure you’re all aware of the countless job ads for ‘native speakers’ only that just don’t seem to go away, but morph into job ads for ‘native’ level teachers with ‘native-like’ proficiency (especially in the EU, where advertising for ‘native speakers’ only is illegal). But this is just one, albeit perhaps the most visible, […]

Eight Reasons Why We Still Need to Talk About Native Speakerism

From time to time, I still ask myself why bother? TEFL Equity campaign has been going for five years now, and sometimes you do start doubting yourself whether there’s any need to continue. But when I see comments like the one below, which was left below one of my blog posts recently, I forget about any […]