‘Native speakers’ are better at teaching speaking and should be given conversational and high level classes, right? They can’t tell a verb from a noun, though, so don’t ask them to teach any grammar.
‘Non-native speakers’ know the grammar better and since they know the students’ L1, they should teach lower levels, right? They’re never proficient enough, though, so don’t give them advanced groups.
Stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices about ‘native’ and ‘non-native speaker’ teachers such as the ones above are rife in our profession. If you join any discussion on the topic, you’re bound to see more than one.
When we talk about native speakerism, we also frequently think that it always benefits ‘native speakers’. They get better jobs. They’re paid more. They get to travel around the world. However, this is just one side of the coin.
While native-speakerism has gained much attention in recent years, the complex ways in which it influences the lives and career trajectories of individual teachers has often been overlooked. So in this podcast Marek Kiczkowiak and Robert Lowe from the TEFLology podcast question some of the assumptions about ‘native’ and ‘non-native speakers’, as well as about native speakerism.
The podcast is based on a paper they recently coauthored entitled “Native-speakerism and the complexity of personal experience: A duoethnographic study”, which was published in the journal Cogent Education. In it, they take an innovative dialogic approach where the voices and personal experiences of the two authors come to the fore.
The article is open access which means anyone anywhere can access, download and share it completely for free. You can read the article here, or by copying and pasting this link to your browser: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1264171
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Lowe, R.J. & Kiczkowiak, M. (2016). Native-speakerism and the complexity of personal experience: A duoethnographic study. Cogent Education 3 (1): 1254171. Available on-line: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1264171
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