The benefits and drawbacks of native vs non-native speakers of English

Автор: Круг Ирина Тимофеевна

Организация: Языковая Школа «Интерлингва Плюс»

Населенный пункт: г. Сыктывкар

“Your school has native speaker teachers, I presume,” - I hear for what seems like a hundredth time this week. Sigh. We do not, and it feels, peculiarly, as if we were a candidate seeking a job and lacking any relevant experience. How on earth do we survive in this dog-eat-dog world of English-teaching centres and studios if all everyone seems to care for is a proper British gentleman for a teacher, preferably related to the Queen herself?

Undeniably, a native speaker is a language wi-fi hotspot. They ooze their linguistic intelligence effortlessly, sharing not just the tried all-timers like the rules for Present Simple, but rather the ‘feel’ for the language. They show unprecedented expertise in modals, know their articles AND have an in-built ability to spell ‘conscientious’ without so much as a blink of an eye. They are Murphy’s Essential Grammar in Use and Oxford Advanced Dictionary all-in-one - a portable, learner-friendly version… Or so it seems.

For those who have recently started their English journey, it is baffling to hear a native speaker talk. Here stands a person so advanced and natural in their utterances that they often struggle to grade their language to be understood (or understand) – a skill that we, non-native teachers, have perfected. Not only are we eager to comprehend what each student is trying to convey, but we are also able to offer a minimum of five alternatives to their half-cooked sentences in the most palatable way there is. Having learnt the language from scratch, we may be far better prepared for the multinational reality of the English-speaking world outside the classroom. Airports, hotels, pubs, markets – they all speak with their own accents and dialects which rarely sound like RP or GA, but seem to be coming from the same textbook we had.

“Though none of us has graduated Cambridge, we all have Cambridge certificates,” I assure. After all, we do pride ourselves on our high-standard non-nativism which has been tested and acknowledged (though still secretly wishing to have Hugh Dellar’s vocabulary or, if that is unattainable, the fluency of Ellen DeGeneres).


Опубликовано: 24.12.2021