TEFL for non-native English speaking teachers ITTT offers a variety of 78 article


ITTT offers a variety of 78 article options and quite many of these are of interest to me. Yet, somehow I feel drawn to the topic of non-natives teaching English which is probably, well, because I am a non-native English speaker. And here is the rub - I did British Studies at university and was afterwards admitted to do the TEFL course, but I expect I will experience some problems when entering the job world as I am no native English speaking person.

Funnily enough, it was one of my native English speaking teachers at university who suggested enrolling for a TEFL or TESOL course if I want to pursue a career in teaching English. And that is what I did. I have been working on the course for a couple of weeks now and feel really comfortable with it. I have not had any difficulties concerning understanding the materials or completing the worksheets. And now that I am almost done with the course, I feel eager to start working as an English teacher. It can be problematic, though, to get a job because a future employer might rather take a native than me. But why' Even the course units comment on negative aspects in relation to native speakers. '[Even] as native speakers of the English language (') we often are unaware of what we are actually using or why we are using it.' Added to this, Unit 13 uses the following words: '(') many native English speakers find it difficult to hear certain features, such as the fall or rise of speech, (').' I think I as a non-native speaker will be at an advantage here. Both at school and university, I have constantly been instructed in parts of speech and to pay attention to language features in pronunciation. This is, I suppose, something that not every native English teacher has methodically been trained in.

Certainly, what I must admit is that my pronunciation skills are not of the superb quality as those of British and American people, just as I can read it in Unit 13 of the course materials: '(') (students) will never speak English with the same pronunciation as a native speaker, (').' True, yet here I am doing my best, trying even harder to be good at it. The same energy, motivation and enthusiasm which I invest in improving myself to come close to native speakers am I going to employ when teaching a class of English language learners. Is not that in my favour' Added to my own convincement of being capable of taking a TEFL course as well as teaching English to students worldwide though not being a native English speaker myself, there are quite a number of other people who believe non-natives can make it work. Unfortunately, I have not read her book myself, but Lia D. Kamhi-Stein wrote a book called Learning and Teaching from Experience: Perspectives on Nonnative English Speaking Professionals. She clearly takes sides with non-native English teachers who are successful in their teaching and can be as professional as any teacher whose mother tongue is English. Similarly positive is the Englishclub.com website, which states that non-native teachers are perfectly competent to teach English. I picked out only some of them merely to let them speak as examples. Many more can be found online.

So, as a result, what I would like to say is that there are aspects in favour of and against both native and non-native speakers of English which should be taken into consideration. I and all the others who are trying to become English teachers although English is not our first language are not necessarily worse or incompetent when compared to a native speaker. After all, we were taken on the TEFL course because we have the potential to teach English so when the ITTT organisation gives us a chance, I hope future employers will do the same. 1. International TEFL Teacher Training, Unit 2, Introduction to Grammar - Parts of Speech, p. 1.

2. International TEFL Teacher Training, Unit 13, Teaching Pronunciation & Phonology, p. 1.

3. Ibid., p. 22.

4. http://edrev.asu.edu/reviews/rev415.htm, 03.11.2006.

5. http://www.englishclub.com/tefl-training/tefl-faq.htm, 02.11.2006.