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Native Speaker Privilege and Unprofessionalism within the ESL Industry by Kevin Hodgson 

I think that generally speaking, it does not count if you are a native or non – native English speaker.
The question is how to be a good creative teacher, with the capability to inspire students to absorb a language.

Thank you for the post Kevin Hodgson.

TEFL Equity Advocates

These days, there is a lot of talk about privilege, particularly white male privilege, in English language media.  It is argued that people who fit these racial and gender profiles receive institutional benefits because they “…resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions” (Kendall, 2002, p. 1).  However, others have argued that the term is problematic because the issue of inequity is much more dynamic or overlapping and ignores other important variables such as social and economic class.  A quick perusal of the comments section on any online article dealing with the topic will immediately reveal just how strongly opinionated people are on either side of the debate; it has only helped to create even more divisiveness in societies that are already ideologically separated by an ever growing political schism of conservatism vs. liberalism. 

Seen from a global perspective, however, one wonders why no mention is even…

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After 2016 trust native speakers less – by Wiktor Kostrzewski

I am a passionate non- native English teacher. Teaching is a big part of my life. For that understanding, I am a lifelong scholar.
I believe in using music in English teaching. My approach is that we do not speak the language, but we sing it.
English bears a unique melody, rhythm as well as intonation.

Halina from Poland

TEFL Equity Advocates

1. British English can no longer serve as an optimal, reasonable model of English language use. Not after the Brexit campaign, fuelled by lies, racism, culminating in deaths of a British MP and a Polish migrant. The Leave campaigns used British English to make false promises, mis-represent facts (to the point of possibly risking criminal litigation), and divide British people – and they won. The Remain campaign failed to engage on any level beyond fear – and it lost.

2. American English can no longer serve as an optimal, reasonable model of English language use. Not after Trump. His presidential campaign “took relentless aim at institutions and ideals”, presented a pessimistic, polarising vision of America, steered clear of facts, policies or rational arguments – and it won. The Clinton campaign failed to engage people whose momentum was felt in the Democratic Party with Sanders still in the running – and it lost.

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The long and winding road to success by Tatiana Njegovan

On the 31 October 1991 my ten-year old dream came true – I became an English teacher. I was born in Belgrade, the capital of former Yugoslavia, today Serbia. I successfully passed my State Certific…

Source: The long and winding road to success by Tatiana Njegovan

The Lack of Correlation among University Teaching, Secondary School Teaching and Primary School Teaching

There is a lack of connection between secondary school textbooks and college teaching materials, which is a barrier to English learners. In the teaching material of university, middle-school and primary school in our country, there are many unnecessary repetitive content (Tian, Jiu, Xu, & Wang, 2011). And there are different emphases in different stages of teaching. In primary and secondary schools, English learning is mainly based on a few textbooks, which mainly focuses on the teaching of grammar. Therefore, the students’ vocabulary is relatively poor, and the ability of language application is poor. College English is focused on to grasp the usage of vocabulary and a variety of expression, not to teach grammar systematically. This is detrimental to the cultivation of students’ practical ability, and can lead to negative consequences.

Life-Related Teaching Method Life-related teaching method refers to integrate English teaching into life, learn English in life, master the basic skills of English in practice. Life-related teaching is an English teaching which is based on life. It is different from the traditional teaching methods in the selection of teaching materials, teaching process and teaching effect. life-related teaching is to let students learn English out of class, and to learn English in practice. Life-related teaching method breaks the traditional English teaching mode, and the students are liberated from the shackles of the traditional English teaching, which makes the students actively integrate into the teaching. Life-related teaching puts forward higher requirements to English teachers’ teaching level and teaching theory (Xu, 2010). In the teaching level, it requires teachers to have a deep understanding of the teaching content, select the appropriate teaching material from life, and introduce the life material into the practical English teaching. In the aspect of teaching theory, the traditional English teaching pays attention to the training of students’ vocabulary, grammar and sentence pattern, and the English teachers only need to master the theoretical knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, sentence patterns and so on. The life-related teaching attaches great importance to cultivate the students’ comprehensive ability in our daily life, which requires the English teachers to master rich English teaching theory. Therefore, in the process of implementing English teaching, the college can refer to the life-related teaching method. 3.3. Task-Based Teaching Method Task-based teaching method is to cultivate students’ confidence in learning English through the gradual accumulation of the task. Task-based English teaching method is based on the task of the basic module, in the process of English teaching, to complete a series of tasks. In this process, English teachers and students can get along very well, and English teachers and students will be able to speak English in a real environment, to improve students’ ability of English communication. Task-based teaching method compares with the traditional English teaching has the following advantages: first, task-based English teaching method has a very clear teaching goal; Second, the task-based teaching method is a kind of student-centered English teaching methods; Third, task-based teaching method is carried out around the students, each student has a certain task, prompting students to actively participate in the teaching of English. Task-based English teaching method not only put forward higher requirements to the English teachers in colleges and universities, but also put forward higher requirements to the students. In the aspect of English teachers, task-based teaching method requires English teachers to have a high comprehensive quality and strong professional knowledge, in the process of task allocation, to pay attention to the difficulty of the task. In the aspect of students, the task-based English teaching method requires that each student has a certain task, and everyone can’t be lazy. Therefore, in the process of implementing English teaching, the college can refer to the task-based teaching method. 3.4. Group-Divided and Cooperative Teaching Method Group-divided and cooperative teaching method is according to the interests and the English levels, divide students into groups. Each group as a small team, English teachers’ teaching according to the actual situation of each team, at the same time, the requirement between team members, learn from each other, communicate with each other. According to the English teachers’ teaching method, choose the appropriate method of learning English. On the one hand, group-divided and cooperative learning can enhance students’ sense of team cooperation. On the other hand, it can improve students’ ability to communicate in English quickly.

Group-divided and cooperative teaching method is based on students’ autonomous learning. In the process of English teaching, through the communication between the team members, stimulate students’ interest in learning English.

In the process of group-divided and cooperative teaching, not only can strengthen students’ team cooperation consciousness and responsibility, but also can achieve a comprehensive and sustainable development of students’ learning English. Therefore, in the process of implementing English teaching, the college can refer to the group-divided and cooperative teaching method.

  Conclusion

With the pace of the globalization and internationalization of the world economy accelerating, English, as a communication tool, is becoming more and more important. The goal of English Teaching in colleges and universities is to cultivate students’ English practical ability and intercultural communicative competence through the use of effective English teaching methods. In order to improve the present situation of the current college English teaching methods, promote the reform of English teaching methods, improve teaching quality, colleges and universities should attach importance to reform of college English teaching, and actively promote the implementation of university teaching methods, to provide a good external environment for the reform of College English teaching.

References

AAMC (2005). Report VII Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Musculoskeletal Medicine Education, Medical School Objectives Project No. VII. Washington DC: Association of American Medical Colleges. Abou-Raya, A., & Abou-Raya, S. (2010). The Inadequacies of Musculoskeletal Education. Clinical Rheumatology, 29, 1121-1126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10067-010-1527-y Akesson, K., Dreinhofer, K. E., & Woolf, A. D. (2003). Improved Education in Musculoskeletal Conditions Is Necessary for All Doctors. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 81, 677-683. Almoallim, H., Bukhari, E., Amasaib, W., & Zaini, R. (2012). How to Avoid Delay in SLE Diagnosis and Management. In H. Almoallim (Ed.), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (pp. 219-242). Croatia: InTech. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/26498 Al-Nammari, S. S., James, B. K., & Ramachandran, M. (2009). The Inadequacy of Musculoskeletal Knowledge after Foundation Training in the United Kingdom. The Bone and Joint Journal, 19, 1413-1418. http://dx.doi.org/10.1302/0301-620x.91b11.22445 Tian, Y., Jiu, W. H., Xu, F. F., & Wang, X. D. (2011). Investigation and Analysis of Female Teachers’ Burnout at Hainan Colleges and Universities. Northwest Medical Education, 19, 378-380. Wang, X. J. (2010). Investigation and Analysis of the Burnout Status of College Female English Teachers. Journal of Jinan Vocational College, 1, 37-38, 41. Xu, H. Y. (2010). A Study of University English Teachers’ Prof

 http://www.scirp.org/journal/ce http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2016.79129

Sexism, racism, ageism and native speakerism – job ads in ELT

There are NNEST with tremendous language proficiency and phonological ability just as there are NEST with pronunciation and grammar that few would identify as native and vice-versa.

Would you like to learn English from me?

Don’t forget, I am a non- native English teacher.Picture 18

TEFL Equity Advocates

Earlier this year Marek Kiczkowiak and I gave a talk at TESOL Spain in Vitoria-Gasteiz about native speakerism in teacher training (you can download the ppt here).  In preparation for the talk, I set up a survey on general issues of discrimination in ELT to get an idea of different attitudes about discrimination in general, but predominantly to look at native speakerism; that is, the prejudice against individuals based on their mother tongue or perceived ‘nativeness’.  The survey features a series of ELT job adverts with examples of language which could be interpreted as discriminatory.  Participants were simply asked to judge if the language was discriminatory and if it was, was the discrimination justified in the context provided.  The scenarios were as follows.

  • A women’s college in Saudi Arabia seeking only female teachers.
  • A summer camp for teenagers seeking only teachers aged 18-30.
  • A private language school in Prague…

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Non- Native English Teacher

 

Posted in Conferences, IATEFL 2016


The Native Factor: the discussion continues

FromLet’s be the majority, not the minority. We shake our heads at the unpleasant (often an understatement!) things our ancestors have done in the name of labels and arbitrary categories, but let’s remember that we also need to shake our heads and stand up against what’s happening now. This is the only way to rid our profession of discrimination and ensure that we have qualified teachers teaching English rather than people who have been hired because their first language is a particular variety of English and (in some cases) because they have white skin.

Lizzie Pinard

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IATEFL 2016 I’m a non-native English speaker teacher – hear me roar! (Dita Phillips)

Thank you for this post.
As a non- native English teacher, I am going to join this meaningful discussion.

By Marek Kiczkowiak

There are perceptions that native speakers of English make better English language teachers. Marek Kiczkowiak Opens in a new tab or window., winner of the British Council’s Teaching English blog award, argues that those perceptions need to change.Have you looked for an English teaching job recently? If you’re a Native English Speaker Teacher (NEST) then you’ll have seen an abundance of teaching opportunities out there. But for a non-native English Speaker Teacher (NNEST), it’s a different story.

Up to 70 per cent of all jobs advertised on tefl.com – the biggest job search engine for English teachers – are for NESTs (yes, I have counted). And in some countries such as Korea it’s even worse – almost all recruiters will reject any application Opens in a new tab or window. that doesn’t say English native speaker on it.

If you start questioning these practices, you are likely to hear one or all of the following excuses:

1. Students prefer NESTs
2. Students need NESTs to learn ‘good’ English
3. Students need NESTs to understand ‘the culture’
4. NESTs are better for public relations

While it is beyond the scope of this short article to fully debunk all the above, I would like to briefly outline here why these arguments are flawed.

1: The first argument gets repeated like a mantra and has become so deeply ingrained that few attempt to question its validity. Yet, I have never seen a single study that would give it even the slightest backing. On the other hand, I have seen many which confirm that students value traits Opens in a new tab or window. which have nothing to do with ‘nativeness’, such as being respectful, a good communicator, helpful, well prepared, organised, clear-voiced, and hard working. Other studies Opens in a new tab or window. show that students do not have a clear preference for either group. It seems then that it is the recruiters, not the students, who want native speakers.

2: On the second point, I believe it’s a myth Opens in a new tab or window. that only NESTs can provide a good language model. What I find troubling is that many in the profession assume language proficiency to be tantamount to being a good teacher, trivialising many other important factors such as experience, qualifications and personality. While proficiency might be a necessity – and schools should ensure that both the prospective native and non–native teachers can provide a clear and intelligible language model – proficiency by itself should not be treated as the deciding factor that makes or breaks a teacher. Successful teaching is so much more! As David Crystal put it in an interview for TEFL Equity Advocates Opens in a new tab or window.: ‘All sorts of people are fluent, but only a tiny proportion of them are sufficiently aware of the structure of the language that they know how to teach it.’ So if recruiters care about students’ progress, I suggest taking an objective and balanced view when hiring teachers, and rejecting the notion that nativeness is equal to teaching ability.

3: As for the third argument, most people will agree that language and culture are inextricably connected. But does a ‘native English speaker culture’ exist? I dare say it doesn’t. After all, English is an official language in more than 60 sovereign states. English is not owned by the English or the Americans, even if it’s convenient to think so. But as Hugh Dellar notes Opens in a new tab or window., even if we look at one country in particular, ‘there is very clearly no such thing as “British culture” in any monolithic sense’. As native speakers, we should have the humility to acknowledge that ‘no native speakers have experience, or understand all aspects of the culture to which they belong’ (David Crystal Opens in a new tab or window.).

4: Finally, the almighty and ‘untouchable’ market demand. Show me the evidence, I say. Until then, I maintain that a much better marketing strategy is to hire the best teachers, chosen carefully based on qualifications, experience and demonstrable language proficiency, rather than on their mother tongue. We are not slaves of the market. We can influence and shape it. As Henry Ford once said: ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have told me: faster horses’.

Perhaps most significant of all, being a NNEST might actually give you certain advantages as a teacher. For example, you can better anticipate students’ problems, serve as a successful learning model or understand how the learners feel. Actually, in a recent post James Taylor went as far as wishing he were a non–native speaker Opens in a new tab or window..

However, I feel that the question Peter Medgyes asks is his article Opens in a new tab or window.: ‘Native or non–native: who’s worth more?’ misses the point slightly. As Michael Griffin has shown Opens in a new tab or window., the answer is neither. Both groups can make equally good or bad teachers. It’s all down to the factors I’ve been talking about here: personal traits, qualifications, experience and demonstrable language proficiency. Your mother tongue, place of birth, sexual orientation, height, gender or skin colour are all equally irrelevant.

So why does this obsession with ‘nativeness’ refuse to go away? Because for years the English language teaching (ELT) industry told students that only NESTs could teach them ‘good’ English, that NESTs were the panacea for all their language ills. But let’s be blunt and have the courage to acknowledge that the industry encouraged a falsehood which many of us chose to turn a blind eye to while others assumed they could do nothing. I feel this needs to change.

The good news is that positive changes are already taking place. TESOL France has issued a public letter condemning the discrimination of NNESTs. Some of the most renowned ELT professionals such as Jeremy Harmer and Scott Thornbury, as well as organisations such as the British Council Teaching English team have already expressed their strong support for the TEFL Equity Advocates Opens in a new tab or window. campaign I started, which fights for equal professional opportunities for native and non–native teachers.

And you can help bring about the change too in numerous ways that were outlined here. So stand up, speak out and join the movement.

IATEFL 2016 I’m a non-native English speaker teacher – hear me roar! (Dita Phillips)

Lizzie Pinard

Dita starts by telling us what her talk is NOT about – statistics, definitions, discrimination etc.

Then she tells us about Martina who was incredulous that it was possible to be Czech and teach English in Oxford.

Dita started learning English when she was 6 years old. She did her CELTA in Czech Republic, with British and Polish tutors. It was great for the NNS to have Polish tutors but it was never discussed, which was a real missed opportunity. Would have been good to talk about teachers as role models. She was one of the first NNS teachers in the first school that hired her, as it was new for them to recruit NNS. When she got to Oxford, applying for jobs, a number of schools told her yes your qualifications and experiences are good but we don’t hire NNS but finally she did get a job at a…

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