Why is the term ‘non-native speaker’ so problematic? by Sulaiman Jenkins

I’ve had a lot of fruitful discussions with Marek Kiczkowiak and Andy Hockley as of late, and it was from our dialogue that I was encouraged to inject another perspective into this international conversation on native speakerism. As a Black American, a ‘native speaker’ of the language, and a graduate of some of the US’s […]

Students prefer ‘native speakers’

Whenever I get into discussions with people in ELT about job ads for ‘native speakers’ only, one of the most common replies I get is that it’s all driven by market demand, so until we change students’ perceptions, there’s little that we can do to persuade schools to hire teachers based on merit rather than […]

A closed-minded school in an open-minded country by Laura Brass

Friday, August 25, 2017: A bad interview and a bad haircut. In that order and equally frustrating. While I can get over the latter, telling myself that hair grows back, I cannot come to terms with the former. I keep thinking that closed-up people who do whatever they please in a free democratic country like […]

On H2O, Bella and the courage to be yourself by Katarzyna Komorek

I just can’t get rid of that thought recently that the native vs non-native speaker teacher dilemma is oddly similar to the one concerning drinking water (be forgiving please, as I’m zero-waste lifestyle obsessed at the moment). Why? Because we reached for bottled water (natives) thinking that it’s better for us than tap (non natives). […]

Per Aspera ad Astra by Lina Gordyshevskaya

I did not really plan to be an English teacher. As most things in my life, it happened by accident rather than according to some plan. I was fresh out of the university (Edinburgh) holding an MA in Scandinavian Studies, and I had no idea what to do with my life. There was an offer […]

Who is qualified to teach English? by Amy Thompson

The answer, of course, is someone who is a competent user of English with specific training in the field of language pedagogy. Why, then, do we still see job advertisements requesting that the applicants be native speakers of English? Is this a lack of understanding on the part of the employer?