Native and non-native speaker language teachers

Sihong Chen (Blog post 2)

In China, English native speakers seem to have overwhelming advantage over Chinese ESL teachers. When I interned in New Oriental (an English Institution in China), there were some foreign teachers whose teaching experience and teaching methodology are not as good as Chinese English teachers, but they were more welcome by students and parents. When I was an undergraduate, there were also many foreign teachers in my university’s English department. However, there is a phenomenon and that is that most foreign teachers do not have much teaching experience and what they teach is just the language itself. Conversely, these Chinese professors not only have enough teaching experience but also have deeper understanding of language construct and better research background. After I came to Montreal, I wanted to learn some French so I began to think about the question again. Native or non-native FSL teachers, who is better? Finally I choose the non-native speakers because I think they are more familiar with my cultural background and are easier for me to understand. In different contexts, we may have different opinions about native and nonnative language teachers. My experience in Educational institutions, in both my university and in Montreal, makes me rethink about the identity and ethnicity of native and non-native speaker teachers.

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