Here you can find an alphabetical list (by last name) of some of the individuals and organisations who already support TEFL Equity Advocates. If you would like to become a part of the movement, get in touch here. Your name will be added to the list together – if you wish – with a short statement of support for the campaign, a photo and a link to your website or blog. You can also add a supporter’s badge to your website. Find out more here. Finally, you can also support the cause by becoming a donor – read more about how you can donate here.
David Crystal: “It’s remarkable how long this old prejudice is taking to die. The facts are perfectly clear: for every one native speaker of English in the world there are now around five non-native speakers. The centre of gravity has shifted, and is not going to return. And because of the nature of their previous language-learning experience, fluent and linguistically aware NNSs bring to the table an analytical and comparative perspective that adds immense value to the teaching situation. If I were in charge of a language-teaching institution, I would want to know four things about applicants: are they fluent? are they intelligible? do they know how to analyse language? are they good teachers? I would not be interested in where they were born, what their first language was, or whether they had a regional accent. There are absolutely no grounds for discrimination these days.”
Joel Josephson: “I fully support fighting the snobbery and discrimination against Non-native Teachers of English. In the European projects that I work in, all the language specialists of the projects are NNESTs or NN pedagogic experts. The concept of discriminating against their expertise is abhorrent and so it should be across the world.”
Jeremy Harmer: “I wholeheartedly support the aims of this blog – the ending of discrimination against more than 96% of the teachers of English in the world. Or maybe 98%…..or more…”
Christina Latham-Koenig: “I totally agree with and support this campaign, and congratulate those who have set it up.”
Divya Madhavan: “I’m deeply impressed with this campaign because it doesn’t simply make bold statements or pass passionate judgement- it actually provides an intelligent and culturally-sensitive roadmap towards making changes that will have ripples in policy and practice alike. This is the stuff of an authentic critical lens on how we tick in this industry. Critical, in all it’s elegance and complexity. I feel very proud to know Marek and to support this campaign.“
Peter Medgyes: “Blogmasters are a dangerous lot, provoking innocent people to open up on the web. Marek is a welcome exception. He faithfully relays your opinion even if he should disagree and delivers what he promises. I feel honoured to be a supporter of his blog.”
Luke Meddings: “I’m delighted to support Marek’s campaign, which addresses an issue close to my heart. I like the way in which the ‘hard’ aims of this campaign – such as targeting discriminatory job ads – are reinforced by ‘soft’ ones: sensitisation, dialogue and empowerment. I actually believe it’s realising these aims that will lead to change.“
Willy Renandya: “We should say no to any kind of discrimination in the workplace. TEFL job seekers should be hired based solely on skills and abilities, and not on national origin, race, skin colour or any other irrelevant factors. NNESTs deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.”
Silvana Richardson – Head of Teacher Development, Bell. “For too long the field of ELT has been uninterested and unperturbed by discriminatory practices disguised as the only possible alternative to what the market demands. The TEFL Equity Advocates campaign is absolutely necessary. We need more and more voices in our industry to speak out against discrimination and inequality, to support the cause of equality in diversity and to promote professionalism and collaboration among teachers of diverse backgrounds.”
Tyson Seburn: “Living in a very multicultural city as I do (Toronto), the issues of equitable employment are omnipresent in our local industry. Support and advocacy for equal opportunity for anyone qualified and experienced is essential. I wholeheartedly support this blog’s initiative and aims.”
Scott Thornbury: “There are many well-rehearsed reasons why NNESTs should have equal access to professional opportunities in ELT, not least the fact that any form of discrimination on purely biological, geographical, or biographical grounds is invidious. Add to this the fact that the very notion of the NEST vs NNEST distinction has become extremely slippery in an increasingly mobile, multilingual and globalized world. But, from a purely personal point of view, I have to say that many of the best teachers I have observed, or the best conference presenters I have witnessed, or the most inspiring colleagues I’ve had the pleasure to work with, just happen to have started life speaking a language other than English. Rather than construing this as a handicap, they have used their multilingualism to enviable effect. They are – and will continue to be – the real movers and shakers in this field, and this fact should not only be acknowledged but celebrated.”
Varinder Unlu – Academic Director at IH London: “I think this is a brilliant cause and it’s about time something was done to raise awareness and bring equality and balance to our profession. As a non-native teacher myself I have had to overcome quite a few prejudices over the years and people’s preconceived ideas of what an English teacher should look like and be.”
Schools and Teaching Associations
ALTA English Publishers: We are publishers of classroom-informed materials for English language teachers, worldwide. We believe that the English teaching profession can only improve when ALL teachers, regardless of their country of origin or first language are given the same opportunities as those whose first language is English. We promote inclusiveness, and share the passion for teaching students who want to learn English so that they can access opportunities and improve their lives. The work that you do in support of Non-native Teachers of English is outstanding, and we want to congratulate and thank you for doing it.
British Council Teaching English: You have my whole-hearted support for this timely campaign and all of the British Council TeachingEnglish team is behind you.
CA Institute of Languages, Brno: “Being the Founding Director of CA Institute of Languages in Brno since 1997, I have been a part of so many trends and changes in the field of language teaching and teacher training. I am a California native, but my father is Czech. So when I started teaching English in Brno in 1997, being able to communicate in both languages was a valuable asset in the classroom. It simply saved time in the monolingual classrooms that we had of the time. However, times have changed and we are now a global institute with students coming here from all around the world. At CA Institute of Languages our clients understand what it means to be accredited by EAQUALS. All of our teachers are not only highly fluent in the language that they teach, but also know how to teach it and are bilingual, trilingual and more. Even as part of our CPD it is necessary to learn other languages. Hence, we have all been in the shoes of the language learner. It all boils down to the efficacy by which a teacher can assist their students to move from one level to the next. Any teacher who has the tools, skills and personality to do so, always has a spot on our team” Erik Dostal, the Founding Director.
ELTABB position statement against discrimination: “In accordance with European Union law and Article 21 of the Charter for Fundamental Rights of the EU, ELTABB does not accept job postings which expressly seek English “native speakers.” We believe in creating a non-discriminatory working environment in ELT. Labels such as “native speaker” minimize “the formal education, linguistic expertise, teaching experience, and professional preparation of teachers” (TESOL). As an alternative to “native speaker” we suggest “highly proficient speaker” or a clause such as the following, recommended by TESOL: “An assessment of the candidate’s English language proficiency may be required as part of the hiring process.”
ELTjam wholeheartedly support the work this campaign is doing to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in ELT. As great believers in the power of grassroots activism, we’re delighted to see the effect that it’s having on spotlighting the issue and holding those to account who discriminate.
ELT Teacher 2 Writer: Up to 70% of all job ads around the world advertised on-line are for NESTs only. It’s a shocking statistic, but I wonder what the percentage of NEST writers is in the area of published course book writers – similar or even more? It makes no sense that NS favouritism should still be prevalent in the creation of ELT materials, especially when you consider the ‘analytical and comparative perspective’ that according to David Crystal NNS bring to the table.
Londosa (London Director of Studies Association) member schools support the TEFL Equity Advocates Campaign. We believe that the best EFL teachers are not defined by their mother tongue, but rather that they have the ability to understand and identify student learning needs, and possess the language and pedagogical skills to plan and deliver lessons which meet those needs. We are committed to following best practice in the fair recruitment of teachers. We are committed to recruiting qualified teachers irrespective of their native tongue, age, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity to best meet the needs of our learners.
Nile TESOL: Any ELT professional needs to acquire a range of linguistic and pedagogical knowledge and skills appropriate to his/her context; being a native speaker of English or not should not be a determining factor in recruiting ESL/EFL instructors. Therefore, as an international ELT organization, NileTESOL professionally and academically supports the cause of TEFL Equity Advocates.
Pilgrims has always employed NEST and NNEST trainers in fact 70% of our trainers are NNEST and 40% of our full time staff. We should go in your hall of fame. Also why don’t you write an article for HLT Magazine – this would give you instant outreach to 35,000 Teachers worlwide and also I would be happy to carry a banner for you in each issue. My own experience – we get non-native potential customers from one or two northen European countries who see a non-native trainers name as the trainer on our courses and say I will only come on the course if I get a native trainer. I say would you rather have a trainer who’s been through the experience of learning the language as a second language and gone through all the training and can empathize with where people get stuck from first hand experience or a native speaker who’s read a book about it. So 100% behind your blog.
Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona: We at Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona are fully behind your campaign at TEFL Equity Advocates. In addressing the prejudices against NNEST, you are highlighting a very real, important issue that is not often talked about seriously. Encouraging awareness of this among teachers, administrators, and institutions is a great first step on the road to change. [Read the full statement here.]
Spainwise, the body which organises the National TEFL Job Fairs in Spain, fully supports the campaign to bring an end to discrimination of non-native English speaking teachers. We aim to increase opportunities for ALL language teachers, whatever their first language, among employers in Spain.
TEFL Worldwide Prague fully supports TEFL Equity Advocates in their goal of ending discrimination in the ESL profession.
TESOL France: [We] would like to express its 100% support of this campaign. In 2013, TESOL France teamed up with TESOL International to launch an awareness campaign to defend the skills and qualifications of non-native speaker teachers of English. Employers who use our Jobs List to send out job announcements were recently strongly encouraged to no longer use the words “Native Speaker” in their job ads. TESOL France feels that both native and non-native speakers are fully capable of becoming qualified and excellent English trainers. We now include the following statement in all of our job announcements: “TESOL is opposed to discrimination that affects the employment and professional lives of the TESOL members (TESOL Forward Plan, revised 1999) on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, language background, disability, health/medical condition, including HIV/AIDS, age, religion, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Approved by the Board of Directors, October 2001″
TESOL Toronto wholly supports the present campaign to end discrimination of non-native English speaking teachers and aims to raise awareness of the virtues of internationally trained and experienced language teachers among employers in our industry.
The Disabled Access Friendly campaign uses ELT to stimulate students to think about issues related to preconceptions, prejudices, stereotyping and inclusion of people with a mobility disability. It seems that these very same issues are equally relevant to the TEFL Equity Advocates campaign. We ask “Do you see the disability or the person?” This campaign asks “Do you see the teacher or just listen to the accent?” It’s a question of valuing what should be valued. We wish this campaign every success in its efforts to stop discrimination against NNESTs.
Wondering why this campaign is important or why you should support it? Read more here. If you’d like to further support the campaign, please consider adding a Supporter’s Badge to your site or Donating some money to help fund TEFL Equity Advocates projects.