Native and Non-Native English Teachers: Does It Matter?

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When Amnah and I recorded the episode titled “Native and Non-Native English Teachers,” we consciously avoided using the term ‘versus’ in the title.

The word ‘versus’ suggests a dual divide, where one side is pitted against the other. 

It is never our intention to draw a negative comparison of either side.

Being bilingual ourselves, we‘ve had the pleasure of being taught by teachers, lecturers, online coaches, and trainers, both native and non-native! We know that both sides possess unique strengths and benefits.

We discuss this further in this episode below.

You can also listen to this episode on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Here are the questions that were asked in the episode: 

Q1: What is a native teacher and a non-native English teacher?

Q2. What are the advantages of learning from a native English teacher?

Q3. What are the advantages of learning from a non-native English teacher? 

Q4. Which teacher would you choose: a non-native or a native?


Here are the definitions to some of the words and phrases mentioned in the episode:  

  1. Native-like fluency: Refers to the level of proficiency in a language that matches that of a native speaker.

  2. Accent: The distinct way in which a person or group pronounces words, indicating their regional or linguistic background.

  3. Emulate: To imitate or replicate the actions, behaviours, or qualities of someone or something.

  4. Informal and everyday use of the language: Pertains to the casual and common usage of a language in day-to-day communication.

  5. Colloquialism: An informal word or phrase that is commonly used in everyday speech but may not be considered formal language.

  6. Slang and slang expressions: Non-standard words or phrases used within specific social groups or communities to convey informal and often temporary meanings.

  7. “Put some elbow grease into it”: To apply physical effort, often involving hard work or manual labor, to accomplish a task.

  8. Articles – a, an, and the: Grammatical elements used in English to specify whether a noun refers to a general or specific item.

  9. Bilingual: An individual who is proficient in two languages.

  10. Multilingual: An individual who is proficient in multiple languages.

  11. English as an evolving and dynamic language: Signifies that English is subject to constant change, growth, and adaptation over time.

  12. Set in their ways: Refers to people who are resistant to change and prefer to stick to established habits or routines.

So what kind of teacher do you prefer? 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide for yourself, provided you take into account your learning goals, preferred experience in the classroom, preferred teaching style, and of course, the teachers’ experience, creativity and knowledge.

Just in case you do prefer experienced bilingual instructors (hint, hint), why not explore the option of joining Members Monthly? Our monthly subscription programme is designed to provide comprehensive speaking and grammar lessons, covering diverse topics each month

Until next time!

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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