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TEFL Equity Advocates

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 raise students’ awareness and tackle native speakerism using these five simple activities

You are probably familiar with the widespread preference for ‘native speakers’ in ELT job ads, especially as far as the private sector is concerned. However, this is just one manifestation of the ideology of native speakerism visible in our profession. And if we are serious about tackling it, we also need to look beyond the …

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I’m no native (English speaker) by Luna Checchini

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t fascinated by languages. My favorite doll scared the hell out of me when I first met her because she spoke, but she eventually became my favorite doll nonetheless. She. Not it. I’m Italian, I treat objects as people, get used to that. I spoke …

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Teaching English as a Lingua Franca: A Journey from EFL to ELF

I’m really excited that a book I’ve cowritten with Robert Lowe Teaching English as a Lingua Franca: A Journey from EFL to ELF has now officially been sent to press for printing and should be published in February 2019 🙂 EDIT: The book is now available here on the publisher’s website and here on Amazon.com). It’s been a …

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Understand and Untangle Native Speakerism to Get Hired as a Non-Native Speaker Teacher

Our usual first contact with native speakerism might be seeing countless ads for ‘native speakers’ only or for ‘native level’ teachers. As ‘non-native speakers’ we might also experience native speakerism when we get turned down for a job, because of our mother tongue (despite having all the right qualifications) Or when we hear that we …

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The ‘native speaker’ myth: vocabulary

The other day when I was scrolling through FB, I came across this post by Hugh Dellar: It reminded me of the assumption that many students, but also teachers and recruiters, hold; namely, that: a) any ‘native speaker’ knows more vocabulary than any ‘non-native speaker’ can ever hope to know b) as a result, any …

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What do students think and feel about Native Speaker English? by Steve McVeagh

Why is this important?  Six years ago, during postgraduate study, I first considered the idea that Native Speaker English (NSE) might not be the one English model to rule them all. I read Bhatt and Pennycook  on Singaporean and Indian English, and others, and Modiano and Jenkins  on universal concepts like EIL. There was support …

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What makes an effective English teacher? A research project

Last weekend I had the pleasure to present at IATEFL Poland annual conference. The program was full of interesting workshops and talks, and I was particularly interested in seeing Jasmina Sazdovska‘s and Zsuzsanna Soproni‘s presentation What Makes an Effective English Language Teacher? There is so much discussion about ‘native’ and ‘non-native speakers’ that we actually often …

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My ELT Voyage as a Non-White Native Speaker by Sulaiman Jenkins

“Finally, it needs to be stressed that if ELT wants to develop into a profession rather than remaining a largely unlegislated industry, then it should aim to eradicate all forms of discrimination. To evolve into a profession, the ELT community needs to challenge and remove from its belief system the notion that ‘some speakers are …

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