Linguistik online 26, 1/06

The native-speaker fever in English language teaching (ELT):
Pitting pedagogical competence against historical origin

Eric A. Anchimbe (Munich)



This paper discusses English language teaching (ELT) around the world, and argues that as a profession, it should emphasise pedagogical competence rather than native-speaker requirement in the recruitment of teachers in English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a second language (ESL) contexts. It establishes that being a native speaker does not make one automatically a competent speaker or, of that matter, a competent teacher of the language. It observes that on many grounds, including physical, sociocultural, technological and economic changes in the world as well as the status of English as official and national language in many post-colonial regions, the distinction between native and non-native speakers is no longer valid.


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