Not being native English..is it an issue?

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Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby szabadszellem » 06 Jan 2010, 19:11

Hello!

My name is Eszter living in the UK but originally from Hungary.Since I am small planning to teach children and live in a far-away hot country and with this opportunity I could make my dreams came truth...but as agencies asking for native english speaker.

My question is what are my chances? as so far all my applications been denied as not being native speaker. i understand to point why they need "real" English teachers but then where are all the other people who have the willingness and knowledge, but never get the opportunity.

Would approciate all your help, advices and thoughts.

Have a great day!

regards,

Eszter :D
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby DavidB » 16 Jan 2010, 06:44

You would have to live in an English speaking country for a while to perfect your English.

The most important thing is not that you are a native speaker, but that you know the language perfectly, and you don't have a strong accent.

Of course, I am thinking about teaching in Canada where my school is. One thing I think about when hiring teachers is that no student wants to travel across the world to an English speaking country to learn English from someone who doesn't speak perfectly.

Good luck with your search...
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby sourwine » 25 Feb 2010, 11:41

Hi there Eszter,

I am no native speaker either and was very interested in the answers you would receive on that question.

As I have checked some job ads but haven't applied on anything yet all I can say is that most official schools would rather look for a native speaker, just to make sure they provide a certain standard. But in other areas, say companies or private classes, you might have good chances to find a job. I know non-native speakers who are successfully teaching in their home country Germany after they came back from abroad.

@DavidB: thanks for pointing out that the most important thing is good knowledge and no accent. It is very encouraging to hear that, because that's something we can influence and change. We can't change where we come from and that English is not our native language. But our knowledge we can change.

I believe we have to make a lot of effort to come to the same quality level as a native speaker but it's definitely worth it.

Best of luck to you Eszter, maybe you come back here to post your experiences.
Regards,
Diana
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby Lucas » 25 Feb 2010, 20:53

Hello,
More schools are hiring non-native speakers who have the qualifications, experience, and a reduced accent. There is a positive side to being a non-native speaker, and it's that they usually know more grammar than native speakers because they've been studying English for years.

Most non-natives end up teaching in their home country. Non-natives who completed a degree in an English-speaking country or who have more than 2 years of teaching experience have higher chances of getting hired in a country other than their own.
Ontesol - Online TESOL/TEFL courses. http://www.ontesol.com
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby Peter Easton » 02 Mar 2010, 22:47

Lucas wrote:There is a positive side to being a non-native speaker, and it's that they usually know more grammar than native speakers because they've been studying English for years.


Does that include the errors they make?

I think you'll find, Pete, that an educated native who has been teaching his/her own language for years has a better understanding of the workings of it than a non-native who has been studying it for years.
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby Lucas » 03 Mar 2010, 02:40

Yes, that's true. Experienced and well-qualified native teachers are preferred. Non-native speakers have to prove themselves, but they can be very good teachers.
Ontesol - Online TESOL/TEFL courses. http://www.ontesol.com
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby DavidB » 03 Mar 2010, 03:37

I think the issue regarding the different grammar skills comes with native speakers with no ESL teaching experience or education.

It is definitely common to find native teachers who were hired simply because they are native speakers. This is more common in countries that don't have such a focus on teaching English. The problem is that native speakers with no knowledge of the language can be hired just because they look like a native speaker (Blue eyes, blonde normally does the trick).

I think in general, not many people know the grammar rules associated with ESL. I know my intermediate students would beat my friends on a grammar test.

My concern with hiring non-native teachers is not their grammar skills, but the small mistakes they make that are echoed by the students.
As an example:
"I'm worried to write my test tomorrow."
NOT
"I'm worried about writing my test tomorrow."

These little differences get picked up by the students, which is unfortunate.
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby YaoKB » 19 May 2010, 07:45

Hello, Eszter

As far as I know, native language refers to the language a human being learns from birth or for the language that the speaker speaks best. To me, this amounts to the same really: know the language perfectly or very, very well, and try not to have a strong foreign accent.

So, to answer your question: for employers it is an issue; for us as teachers, it "shouldn't" be.

For your information, I am not native of an English-speaking country; but from French-speaking Africa. However, I spent over half of my childhood living in England.

Good luck! Persevere!
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby Mariann » 13 Jul 2010, 15:44

Hi Eszter!!
I am hungarian too!!! It's only fair with the other users if I reply in english though :) I don't know how long you have been living in the UK, but maybe you can apply for british citizenship. And with a british passport nobody should question your knowledge of the english language. Although I would recommend that we "polish up" our english big time before we apply to any jobs :) Have you actually got a TEFL certificate?
Hoping all the best for you and good luck in finding a job
Mariann
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby amrifa » 03 Mar 2011, 15:41

Not being a native English speaker will not necessarily hinder your job search. As long as you are qualified for the job of teaching, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Finding a job is always easier if you have a proper degree to back it up. Also, living in an English speaking country/environment will develop your English-speaking ear even more and will have an effect on any accent that you may or may not have. If it is really what you want to do with your life, then perseverance is important. Do all you can to get what you want.
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby stremblay » 03 Mar 2011, 15:51

I personnally don't think that not being a native speaker of English is a big issue to teach English as a foreign language. I am not a native speaker myself and I think that I can still help my students progress effectively in their learning. However, I also think that immersing yourself in an English environment would help you perfect your English and that this is a good element to add on your resume as well. For the rest, if you love your job enough and you have the appropriate knowledge to teach the subject you want to teach, it will come out as natural as it would have with a native speaker.

Sam
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby renbra » 03 Mar 2011, 15:52

Hello,
My impression on being a native speaker or not to teach the language is that it does not really matter whether you are native or not. What matters is your teaching skills and your knowledge for the language you are teaching. I think there are benefits for both native and non-native teachers. For students, I think it is important that a have at least one model of a non-native teacher. It demonstrates to the students that they too can become fluent in a second language. On the other hand, a native speaker will give them authentic input. They key thing for both native and non-native teachers is to respond to the needs of the students, their learning pace, and their level.
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Re: Not being native English..is it an issue?

Unread postby culture » 04 Mar 2011, 03:25

I have an experience of having native speaker teachers and a non-native speaker teachers. I must admit that the advantage of having permanent authentic input is very important. However, I find some advantages to learn ESL with a non-native speaker that I really appreciate.

1. The grammar rules. Non-native speaker goes through the whole process of learning ESL him/herself. So, he/she can explicitly explain grammar patterns. More over if a non-native teacher’s FL is the same as yours, he/she can predict potential difficulty of the text and attract your attention to the points of particular interest for a non-native speaker. Whereas the favorite answer of the native teachers is that they “feel” that the answer should be like this, but they cannot provide you with explicit explanation.

2. The cultural component of the foreign language is more explored and better used during the lessons with a non-native speaker. We understand and explore foreign culture in the light of our own culture. So, the non-native teacher had this chance to compare two cultures and is able to emphasize the importance of cultural components to increase your cultural awareness.
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