Discrimination? Against Non-Native English Speaking Teachers? There Are Only 2 Million Native Speaker TEFL Teachers For 4 Billion Students!

Non-Native English Speaking Teacher Interest Section (TESOL)

Jason West

Jason West
Founder and Managing Director,
Languages Out There

London, United Kingdom
Founder and Managing Director at Languages Out There Ltd

Jason West • I owned and ran year round English schools in London for years. I have always employed NNS teachers when I can for some of the reasons outlined above and often simply because they were just better candidates.

One teacher I employed, a French national, told me she had applied to all 50 or so accredited English schools in London. She received one rejection letter and one invitation to an interview, which she passed.

There are 2 Billion English learners on the planet and just 4 Million Native Speaker TEFL teachers.

The industry, at a high level, seems to attach more value to native speaker English teachers and even produces materials that appear to be designed for their use.

The ‘trade’ in shipping native speaker teachers around the world for private students to pay a large percentage of their monthly income on classes with them is also something that the perceived prestige of native speaker teachers perpetuates. However, these teachers, trained over four weeks, maybe not even trained, receive fairly small salaries and often quite poor working conditions.

Who are the winners and who are the losers?

There has to be a better, fairer and more effective way to help people learn English.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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1 Response to Discrimination? Against Non-Native English Speaking Teachers? There Are Only 2 Million Native Speaker TEFL Teachers For 4 Billion Students!

  1. Dear Professor Baker,

    My name is Alejandra Escudero and I am currently writing my Master’s thesis at The UNiversity of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. I am writing because I am looking for any academic article or information about prejudice or discrimination against non native speakers (of any language) by native speakers. Do you know of any articles or books that deal with this topic?

    I would greatly appreciate any information you can give me.

    Thanks a lot and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best regards,

    Alejandra Escudero
    The University of British Columbia
    Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies


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