The Native Speaker Fallacy is unwilling to be laid to rest. This fallacy, or myth, wants to live forever.
It seduces language learners, it entices school owners, it promises global travel, fun, and adventure.
There is something for everyone in this myth.
Its useful to all of us, in one way or another.
So we tolerate it, occasionally get indignant about it, but never do we take active steps to kill it, have its wake, dig a grave, have a funeral for the myth, and then, actually bury it.
The voices of a million teachers of English, calling for change. Share this video if you are calling for change also. Share this video if you believe it’s time to bury the Native Speaker Myth.
Share this video if you believe it’s time for the Death of A Fallacy: The Native Speaker Myth…
When I first began my blog, “Profesorbaker’s Blog: A Bit of Everything” www.profesorbaker.com I ran across a powerful piece of writing by Karenne Joy Sylvester, called “NNEST’s Can’t Do DOGME: Explode the Myths.
It raised my level of consciousness about this issue, the Native Speaker Myth, from which I have been a beneficiary. Even today, this issue rarely sees daylight, rarely is the subject of discussion when ELT teachers meet and talk shop, rarely gets any attention.
It’s the “black sheep” of the ELT profession.
In my subsequent writings and discussions in a variety of professional forums, it became clear that opinions are varied. Believe it or not, it has negative consequences for both native and non-native English-speaking teachers. Within the pages of this book, that fact will be amply evident.
Does this book offer any new insights?
I believe it does…
And even if I’m wrong, I repay my enduring debt to Karenne Joy Sylvester for having raised my consciousness, if all this book does, is raise your consciousness, dear Reader(s).
However, I am convinced it will do much more than that. I hope you enjoy your story, for I have written this as a story for your enjoyment…
This book is dedicated to all the teachers I work with, have worked with, and ever will work with. Beyond that, this bok is for all the teachers in the ELT profession, world-wide.
Regardless of our status as native or non-native speakers, we all share one common characteristic that transcends everything: our love of teaching, and in particular, teaching English.
This love, this passion, is what truly defines us, as individuals, and as teachers. It is my great privilege to share my true love and passion with you in the reflections contained in this book.
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…