At the 2007 TESOL Chile Conference the question was asked: Are native speaker teachers automatically the best teachers of a language?
Just because you speak a language naturally, does that mean you can teach it?
Or does the process of learning a language to a high level of fluency make non-native speaker teachers far better equipped to teach that language?
This book shares the global voices of those on both sides of the issue, pro and con, with their realities, perceptions and beliefs.
Some say the Native Speaker is the best teacher. Others voices say the Non-Native Speaker teacher is the best teacher. Some say students and their parents prefer the Native Speaker. Others say the evidence does not support that statement. This is where we begin our journey.
The book takes this point of departure, the never ending controversy of the mythical Native Speaker as the ideal language teacher, privileged, superior, and with a standard of English unattainable for a learner.
Right from the outset, the learner is doomed to ultimate failure, to possess a level of language known as “interlanguage” a linguistic Limbo. In this place, Limbo, the learner has become “fossilized”, not fully developed, at some substandard level of language learning.
Beyond this, the book aims to reach a deeper level of historical understanding by looking at the development of ELT, and then, returning to the present, to ask the question: Native Speaker Needed?
By then, we have come full circle, and now have clear and compelling evidence from which to base a conclusive answer.