memory of the room crowded of teachers, eager to listen
to some hints of how to compensate for their possible
disadvantages, showed me the importance of this subject.
The original paper that gave birth to this presentation
is very long, and impossible to be published in its
full length. However, in order not to leave teachers
that could not attend the presentation without at least
knowing something about this very significant paper,
I have decided to write a summary of it. I hope it
can help you!
One of the complaints non-NESTs(non-native English
speaking teachers) make is the fact that they feel
they are not good teachers. Joan Morley (1999) states
the importance of helping teachers realize they can
be good teachers of English:
One essential thing is to help teachers realize, first
of all that it is a myth that non-native teachers cannot
be good teachers of English. It is wrong. The fact
is that probably 90% of the teaching of English in
the world is done by non-native speakers. So, this
is important and we have to help teachers to reach
the best that they can, so that they are comfortable
and have confidence.
statement has highly motivated me to search and write
about this issue. As most of the teaching of English
in the world is done by non-native speakers, it is
important to raise the awareness of the characteristics
of non-NESTs’ to help them develop and improve
their way of teaching by enhancing the positive aspects,
on one hand, and by trying to reduce the negative ones,
on the other, in order to try to compensate for any
possible existing disadvantages.
In brief, this paper
(1) shows who a native speaker is, (2) points out the
characteristics of non-NESTs according to three areas,
namely (2.1) proficiency and knowledge about the language,
(2.2) psychological attitudes and (2.3) teaching style
and behavior, (3) shows the important characteristics
for a good language teacher from different points of
view, (4) presents the changing role of the teacher
and finally, (5) gives some suggestions to try to compensate
for some of the disadvantages non-NESTs may have, by
enhancing the positive aspects and by minimizing the
can be noticed that non-NESTs are aware of their
condition of non-native
speakers and also of the differences
that may exist between them and NESTs(native English
speaking teachers). Although some of the characteristics
of non-NESTs’ that are pointed out can be considered
not so good if compared to NESTs, it is interesting
to highlight that the positive characteristics of non-NESTs’ outnumber
the negative ones, and many of those positive features
can be found in the important traits for a good language
teacher regardless of nationality. Considering the
constantly changing role of the teacher, teachers need
to be open-minded to face these changes and to choose
which of them are worthwhile in terms of their reality
and, thus, they will be able to bring effectiveness
to their teaching.
a result, regarding the three aspects mentioned as
disadvantages of non-NESTs, namely (1)
non-NESTs’ lower proficiency, (2) their knowledge
and use of L1 and (3) inferiority complex, some suggestions
are given aiming at making non-NESTs take more advantage
of some of their characteristics. Although these suggestions
cannot assure non-NESTs will become better teachers,
they try, as much as possible, to raise non-NESTs’ awareness
of some of their own positive characteristics.
The paper also attempts to make non-NESTs aware of
their condition as non-native speakers and teachers,
their characteristics and their role as teachers. Self-awareness
is very important because it may help non-NESTs become
more conscious of their own strong and weak points
as teachers in order to begin working to build a better
professional self-image and, in this manner, it may
help them see how they can develop their own individual
finish, a quotation from Marcel Proust has enriched
he says, “The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having
new eyes.” This paper could show non-NESTs that
it is possible to have new eyes in order to see how
important they are in ELT, how they can help themselves
to improve and even realize that they do not need to
be NESTs in order to be good language teachers. As
has been seen, non-NESTs already have most of the characteristics
that have been presented for good language teachers
and they may be able to achieve all of them, if they
so wish. The most important thing is not to run away
from the difficulties but to face them and be sure
that a good professional can always do something to
improve his or her career.
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