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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
TEFL for non native
english speakers The reason why I chose this subject is that I wonder how I as a non native english speaker newly certificated as a TEFL teacher will do as a teacher. Do nonnative english speaking teachers (NNEST) have a drawback compared with native english speaking teachers (NEST). I’ll first say some words about my experience about this course. Then I will convey some general experiences the NNEST have had in the teaching field. Then I will discuss what advantages and disadvantage there are with NNEST’s based on research I have found on the net.
The TEFL course
The TEFL course has been a good experience for me. It has provided me with a methodology for teaching english and a lot of resources that together with the experiences I already have with teaching Norwegian as a foreign language gives me a security to go ahead. Completing this course also makes me confidence that my english language skills are sufficient for teaching english, though I will not lean back and be satisfied, rather I’ll have the inspiration to strengthen my language skills.
Experience by NNEST’s
From my research on internet on the experiences of NNEST’s it seems to be a general assumption that NEST’s make a better english teacher. NNEST’s are met with prejudices and suspicions and are underestimated. When NNEST’s get a job it may be because english teachers are in demand rather than because of their good qualifications and sometimes native speakers without teaching qualifications are preferred before qualified and experienced NNEST’s:
Native english speakers without teaching qualifications are more likely to be hired as ESL teachers than qualified and experienced NNESTs, especially outside the united states
(Amin, 2000; Braine, 1999; Canagarajah, 1999; Rampton, 1996)
Still, experience and research shows that NNEST’s can make as good english teacher as NEST’s and that they even have some advantages as english teachers. Teachers and researchers in this field points out that NNEST’s have themselves gone through a process of learning english as a second language and that this experience can give them some advantage as english teacher.
Phillipson (1996) considers NNESTs to be potentially the ideal ESL teachers because they have gone through the process of acquiring english as an additional language. They have first-hand experience in learning and using a second language, and their personal experience has sensitized them to the linguistic and cultural needs of their students. Many NNESTs, especially those who have the same first language as their students, have developed a keen awareness of the differences between english and their students' mother tongue. This sensitivity gives them the ability to anticipate their students' linguistic problems.
Gülsüm Özk?l?nç,who is an english teacher in turkey
‘I can definitely understand how my students feel right now. Because I’ve been there before - that's why I’m trying to help them, give little tips, trying to make things easier.’
Disadvantages or challenges
The disadvantage or challenges, if you may, have to do with their language skills and with how they are considered by their students and others. There is also a challenge related to the prospects for qualified NNEST’s to get a job.
It is obvious a NNEST needs to have a certain level of english language skills to be a good teacher, so the question is how high. There is certainly a danger that if you are not able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in english there that the student may realize. So in order to be a good teacher one should also be a good learner and try to practice and perfect one’s language skills. One way to do this is to go to study and/or live in an english speaking country
So all in all there should be great possibilities for a NNEST to be at a good english teacher and the TEFL course provides a good basis, still the one should do the best to perfect the language skills more and more.
With these 725 words I have touched the surface of this topic. I hope others will continue to pay attention to it as it is both in my own interest and also because it’s a shame if qualified and experienced teacher are disregarded as english teachers because of assumptions and prejudices people have about NNEST’s