Native versus Non-Native Teachers of English
by Zainab Albulushy
Furthermore, Ellis (1985: 5) presents a similar view stating "The teacher who has made a comparison of the foreign language with the native language of the students will know better what the real problems are and can provide for teaching them". This however does not indicate that native speakers cannot make good teachers provided that they have the techniques and the strategies of teaching. In so many cases also native speakers become sensitive to learners' problems while learning a foreign language because teachers themselves could be learners of another language.
There are some tips that a native speaking teacher could consider while teaching students learning English as a foreign language:
• Get a general idea about the students' native language and how similar or different it is from English in aspects such as pronunciation, grammar rules, spelling and terminology.
• Do check with the students on the difficulties they encounter while learning the foreign language and try to investigate those and find minimal solutions or suggestions for the students.
• Think of yourself as a learner of a foreign language and the areas of difficulty that you might come across and discuss them with the students.
• Show the learners that you do sympathise with them and that you are willing to help getting over the obstacles they face.
Adhering to the previous tips could assist the native speakers and the non-native speakers alike. The strategies and methods that teachers use in their teaching create a huge impact on the students' learning and acceptance to learn the foreign language. Students themselves of course play a significant role in the success of their learning and the attitudes they have about either the native or the non-native speaking teachers do make a difference.
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