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Article: The issue of non-native English-speakers vs. native English-speakers as teachers of English as a second language
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 15:38
May 16, 2008

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "The issue of non-native English-speakers vs. native English-speakers as teachers of English as a second language".

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:38
Member (2009)
English to German
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NS vs. NNS of English Nov 15, 2010

Teaching English - or any other language, for that matter - demands that the teacher fully understands the native language of the students in order to convey the meaning of - especially - abstract terms. Sometimes all the mono-lingual explanations cannot "enlighten" the student, so that there's a need for a translation which also takes into consideration the students' environmental and social structures.

The most important tool in teaching English to students is that the teacher has been well educated and possesses the ability to convey the "spirit" of English to the students by being fully aware not only of the correct gramatical translation, but also of the "spirit" of the students' native language.

There is - or shouldn't be - no general judgement as to who is the better teacher, the NS or the NNS. This depends on the teacher her-/himself, his/her education, and their ability to adjust to the "foreign" way of thinking and learning.

Thank you for sharing.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:38
Member (2013)
Russian to English
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I think it depends at which stage, and whether the teacher speaks Oct 30, 2013

the student's language well as well, and knows a lot about the comparative grammar of both languages. It might be better from a phonetical point of view, sometimes, if the it is the teacher's "native language", but not necessarily. It depends what variety the teacher speaks. In the US the teachers may speak any variety they please -- like Texan English, which is fine, if the student wants to learn that variety, and not the New Hampshire type, New York, Maine, or Louisiana English. From the grammatical point of view -- it does not really matter that much who the teacher is, as long as he or she is a good teacher.

I agree with you that the most important thing is that the teacher should be highly qualified and devoted -- love his or her job.

It is very hard to teach your "native language', if you don't have the right preparation as a language teacher of that language. So all the teachers really need language studies degrees, or TSL degrees in the case of English. Also that you can teach one language, does not mean that you would be able to teach another, successfully. If you learned some language 99% naturally, you don't really know why you are saying things that way, and not another, unless of course you have language studies preparation.

I once had a very nice Spanish teacher from Argentina, who did not speak English very well, and although her classes were very interesting, it took me twice as long to earn the Spanish grammar, and I am still struggling sometimes.

[Edited at 2013-10-30 11:51 GMT]

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Article: The issue of non-native English-speakers vs. native English-speakers as teachers of English as a second language

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