A Language That No Longer Has Native Speakers Is Considered Do EFL English Schools Really Need Native English Speaking Teachers?

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Do EFL English Schools Really Need Native English Speaking Teachers?

Native English speakers needed

As the demand for English language skills continues to grow around the world, the need for more EFL teachers is increasing. But often non-native English teachers find the phrase “native speakers only” in advertisements and English EFL or ESL requirements. But do schools really need native English teachers? On ELT forums like http://www.esl-jobs-forum.com/, blogs and web pages on the internet, comments fly back and forth at a fast and furious pace. Here are some thoughts on native and non-native English speaking EFL/ESL teachers:

A problem for non-natives

When a person who could not be an English teacher posted about not being able to get an ELT level in his country, his error-filled post was answered as follows:

“…I counted about thirty mistakes in your message. If I were a school owner, why would I hire someone with poor written English or someone who writes so sloppily that they don’t seem to care? Some of your mistakes may be because we are used to writing in forums, if “dumb” if you will, but if you want to show people that you have the skills you claim to have, why not show them? At least I’m writing proper English?”

The Whole Package

The following comments give some insight into why schools “clearly” target only native English speakers:

“Unfortunately, most ESL positions in Asia, and especially in China, only hire native speakers, and they want people from certain countries like the UK, Australia, and the US. A non-native speaker’s language and teaching ability may be better than many native speakers. But I doubt it. I don’t think administrators or recruiters would want someone other than blue-eyed, blonde Caucasians to parade in front of prospective parents and their students.”

“As already mentioned, the reason people want native speakers is because they want the ‘whole package’. Someone who can talk about weird English sayings, what Americans have for breakfast, the differences between UK regional accents; things native speakers know instinctively, a non-native speaker things a person can’t do or just the chance to talk to a “native speaker”.

Not everyone agrees that native speakers are “best”.

But not everyone necessarily agrees that a native speaker is always the best choice. Consider this alternative feedback post:

“…having a non-native teacher (provided of course that you can use English as well as a native speaker). It’s not better for the students because you had to learn that language too. Just like your students, you know which tasks will be difficult and you know exactly how to explain them most effectively.”

The need for EFL / ESL Teachers is HUGE

There is currently a great need for ESL/EFL teachers. It would be foolish to think that all the jobs available in the world can be filled only by native speakers. Non-native speakers should seek employment in less discriminatory areas and countries after ensuring that their communication and teaching skills in English are best developed. Non-native speakers often find that their best allies in their quest are native English teachers.

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