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‘The Native factor’ Silvana’s plenary – IATEFL 2016 Day 2

‘The Native factor’ Silvana’s plenary – IATEFL 2016 Day 2

IATEFL 2016 Plenary Day 2

Silvana  Richardson

Silvana introduced herself: she is not tall, she is not male, not single, not an atheist, not a sport, not fantasy buff, not a native speaker. She was stressing that she is a non-native English speaker?

Why do we still refer to an aspect of the professional identity of over 80% of the teachers of English as a ‘non’?

IMG_20160414_091359

This is the reasoning;

  • The native speaker is the best model, the ideal teacher.
  • I am not the perfect model and not the ideal teacher.

Because;

  • I am a non-native speaker.
  • I can’t be a good English teacher.

Silvana gave us results  of some studies and asked to decide what the findings show.

IMG_20160414_093123

 

Silvana summarised by saying that students generally value professional and personal qualities over nativeness.

Both NEST and NNEST are perceived to be competence each with unique strengths. Preference is inconclusive. Some indicate both, some one, some the other.

 

Next, she discussed Discrimination and Recruitment.

A majority of the advertisements favoured NESTs and rejected NNESTs. This could be seen as a severe discrimination.

The presenter also talked about the issues of confidence and self-esteem.

It is about all teachers whose first language is other than English.

Silvana’s session was for me very special as well as significant.

In my view, this discussion is very educational and should be wildly continued.
I have been questioning all kinds of debates around ” who is a better teacher, native speaker or non-native language teacher?”
I have been teaching Polish as well as English for over 40 years.
As a Native Polish speaker, I have been a lot more stressed out teaching English because I always have felt a bit behind new expressions, phrases, vocabulary, and so on
I agree with James Alvis Carpenter’s thinking:
“ What does it mean to be an English, teaching professional? Is it the ability to speak English? Capacity to teach English? The professional credentials attendant to both? Or a combination of tangible and intangible elements—like the ability to speak English coupled with the ability to think creatively and connect with people from different cultures? ”
I believe that generally speaking, it does not matter if you are a native or not – native speaker.
The most important is to be a good creative teacher, with competence to motivate students to learn a language.
Passion for teaching, friendly attitude towards learners, love of the subject, a readiness to alter, a willingness to give, support and reflect are vital education skills.
Above all, it is essential to be a lifetime learner, so to continually look for the best ways of improving teaching methods. We should take courses to master teaching techniques.

Kiczkowiak, M. (2016). Current supporters. Available: http://teflequityadvocates.com/get-involved/support-us/. Last accessed 7th April 2016.

Here is the slide from presentation;

TEACHERS and SUPPORTERS

Picture1Silvana encourages to remember about;

  • Equal Opportunities policy

–Have one!

–Implement it

–Promote it (Be an EOE- and proud!)

–Use it to challenge customers’ prejudices and to explain your recruitment strategy

  • Recruit staff based on their qualifications, experience, the merits of their teaching abilities and their language proficiency
  • Create opportunities for collaboration
  • Create a working environment that values and promotes equality and diversityA screenshot from our kickoff event at the iTDi Summer School MOOC with Jason Levine and Chuck Sandy (by Leo JC)
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