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ARE NATIVE SPEAKERS “GOOD” LANGUAGE INSTRUCTORS? A CASE STUDY OF UNTRAINED ESL TUTORS

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Author(s): CHIU-YIN WONG

Journal: Annual Review of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
ISSN 1743-159X

Volume: 6;
Start page: 122;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: ESL | Native Speaking Teachers | Non-Native Speaking Teachers | Training | Teachers’ Perceptions

ABSTRACT
Concerns are increasing in the field of ESL teaching over the growth of inexperienced English native speakers seeking to teach, as evidenced by recent research (Samimy andBrutt-Griffler 1999; Maum 2002). There are misconceptions that one must be a native speaker in order to teach a language. The present case study investigated the teaching performance and concerns of the inexperienced Native English Teachers (NETs). Specifically, the study looks closely into: (a) the teaching behaviors of the untrained NETs; (b) the problems the untrained NETs face in teaching; and (c) the self-perceptions of the untrained NETs towards their teaching. Data was collected through observations, teachers‟ reflective journals, and interviews. The findings revealed: (a) the untrained NETs tended to use authentic materials versus traditional grammar textbooks and that most of them were very creative in lesson plans; (b) the untrained NETs were concerned about the length of the class and being incapable of explaining grammar and vocabulary; and (c) the confidence level of the untrained NETs in teaching gained immensely in a short period of time. These findings are important because it provides valuable insights to ESL trainers about the kinds of training pre-service NETs need. It also shows that NETs can be very effective if they have enough experience and proper training.

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