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Seven easy steps you need to follow to teach English as a Lingua Franca

A few weeks back I wrote a post about the three reasons why I think we need to rethink our current approach to teaching English (EFL/ESL), suggesting we start teaching English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). To recap, teaching ELF can: provide a more realistic and authentic input, thus better preparing our students to use English …

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Why rebellious stubbornness (sometimes) pays off

Personally, I’m a rather stubborn type sometimes. And just a tiny bit rebellious. Like to go a bit against the current. Or maybe driven. It depends how you look at it sometimes. To give you one example, this whole website is the result of this stubborn rebellious drive to promote professional equality for ‘native’ and …

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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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How to motivate and engage low-level learners using TED talks by Lewis Lansford

All too often, we think of authentic input such as a TED Talk as listening material that happens to have pictures – often just a person speaking. However, as a classroom resource, TED Talks offer so much more: the fact that they have sound and images – often visually rich ones, beyond just the speaker …

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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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Do you have an accent? – a lesson plan

Have you ever had people comment on your accent? Sometimes, these comments can be very positive: oh, you have such a lovely accent. But sometimes, they can also be rather negative. And the truth is that we all have certain subconscious biases towards and against certain accents. We think of some as posh, while others …

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