Are ‘native speakers’ better pronunciation models for our students?

This is an important question. Not only because the answer will determine how we teach pronunciation, but also because it lies at the very core of the ‘native speaker’ fallacy, or the belief that a ‘native speaker’ is always a better teacher, which is so rampant in our profession. Our gut feeling might suggest that […]

NS and NNS identity: issues of self-confidence, language ownership and authority.

Two days after Silvana Richardson’s brilliant plenary: The Native factor (read more about it here), there was an equally fascinating Q&A session. However, since it was impossible to address all the questions posed by the audience then and there, Silvana and I decided we would continue the discussion on this blog. We gathered all the […]

Proficiency: is there a minimum level for a language teacher?

Two days after Silvana Richardson’s brilliant plenary: The Native factor (read more about it here), there was an equally fascinating Q&A session. However, since it was impossible to address all the questions posed by the audience then and there, Silvana and I decided we would continue the discussion on this blog. We gathered all the […]

'English with an accent' a reading lesson by Anes Mohamed

This is the third lesson plan to appear on TEA aimed at raising awareness of different issues surrounding native speakerism in ELT. This time designed for EFL/ESL students. Pop back to the Activities and Lesson Plans section every now and again as it will be regularly updated with lesson plans both for ESL/EFL classes and for teacher training . […]

English as a Lingua Franca – interview with Jennifer Jenkins

In this post from the Talk to the Expert series, TEA had the pleasure to talk to prof. Jennifer Jenkins about English as a Lingua Franca and its influence on ELT and the status of non-native English speaking teachers. Prof. Jenkins is one of the most prominent figures in ELF scholarship, and has published numerous […]

'Not That Prestigious' by Marc Jones

Sit comfortably, the recording will start, relax. You have the premium service, provided to you by the dulcet tones of a North American man or a South Eastern Englishman. This recording will last approximately one minute thirty seconds and will be paced at approximately two and a half words per second, slower than standard speech […]

'Cheeky Postcards: Lessons learned from being a trainer on TEFL courses' by Daniel Baines

A teacher trainer, Daniel Baines, sheds light on the alleged advantages of native English speakers as language teachers from his experience on intensive initial teaching training courses. Daniel’s bio can be found below the article. Intensive teaching certificate courses, or TEFL courses, flourish throughout Europe and a cross-section of a TEFL school at any given […]

'The strengths of Non-Native English Speaking Teachers' an infographic by Adam Simpson

This infographic presents the strengths most Non-Native English Speaking Teachers (NNESTs) have. It has been prepared by Adam Simpson (see Adam’s bio at the bottom of the page) with invaluable help from Michael Griffin (see his post “Equity without myths or stereotypes” here), Eszter Hajdics (her talk on NNEST strengths can be viewed here), Chio Rojas and Peter Lahiff, […]

'Sounding out ELT hiring policies in South Korea' by Martin Sketchley

I started my English language teaching career soon after completing my undergraduate degree in 2005. South Korea appeared to be a wonderful opportunity, as all you needed to qualify as an English language teacher was to be a Native English Speaker (NS), hold a degree in any subject from an English-speaking country and be willing […]