Monday, March 14, 2011

Non-Native English Teacher and Native English Teacher, which one is better to teach English as Foreign Language (EFL)?

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In Indonesia, English is neither the mother tongue nor the second language. It is one of foreign language which is also a compulsory subject listed in the curriculum of national education of Indonesia. As a result, students should study English, especially for the transactional and interpersonal skills. 

The students of school graduate are demanded to master at least the basic skill of English. Almost of Indonesian schools employ the local teachers to teach English. It means that the teachers are non-native English teacher. 

Meanwhile, people may only find the native English teacher in several schools; it may be the ‘expensive’ private schools using international curriculum. However, the high demands of Native English teacher is constantly raising in Japan and China. Does it mean Native English teacher is better than Non Native English teacher?
Native Teacher Vs Non-Native English Teacher

Research findings indicate that the first language may contribute to student target-language comprehension, use and learning. Moreover, and contrary to the popular belief supported by the hegemony of the virtual position, small amounts of first language use may indeed lead to more comprehensible input and target-language production (Turnbull and Dailey-o’cain, 2009: 5). 

Regarding to this point, Non-native English teacher can be better to teach English. The non-native English teacher can use the first language properly to convey the lesson. Besides, they can understand more about the characteristic of the students because the teacher already has the experience of learning English as Foreign Language. 

However, Non-native English teacher, somehow, has some problems with their English mastery. The non-native English teacher may not speak with English accent and style, and they may not master enormous vocabularies as the native teacher. It can be said that the English proficiency of non-native English teacher is not as perfect as the native English teacher. 

In conclusion, both non–native and native English teacher are good to teach English as Foreign language. In my opinion, we just need to adjust to which EFL class they are better. In the beginner EFL class, I think the non-native English teacher is better than native English class. I think it is impossible to conduct an EFL class using English in a beginner level. 

Skinner in Turnbull and Dailey-o’cain (2009: 06) argues that some first language use can facilitate connections between the target language and prior knowledge and ideas already developed in the first language. Regarding to this opinion, I can conclude that the use of first language in EFL class is very important, especially for the EFL beginner class, and non-native English teacher has the ability to facilitate this kind of EFL class. 

Meanwhile, the native English teacher is more appropriate teaching the advance ESL class, which consists of advance English learners. Therefore, the learners can focus to study English for the advance skill, for example speaking using native accent and style. 

Reading : 

Turnbull, Miles and Dailey-O’Cain, Jennifer. 2009. First Language Use in 
              Second and Foreign Language Learning. New York: Multilingual


English Courses in London March 14, 2011 at 5:55 PM  

I think non-native english teacher is better than others

The Sun Shine March 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM  

In my opinion, both of them are good teachers. However, we just only need to place the right place for both of them. I think Non-native English teacher will be better to teach novice EFL students and Native teacher must be better to teach the advance learner. :)..thanks for visiting

Anonymous,  April 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM  

After seeing all the grammar mistakes in this article, I don't really see any need to make any further comments. Best of luck to you.

The Sun Shine May 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM  

Okay, thanks for the critique. I think teaching language isn't merely about the use of grammar. Grammar is important as the science of language, but the focus of language learning of Foreign language learning is the communication skills. Thanks for reading. :) (sorry if it isn't a good article)

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