17.1211, Review: Applied Ling/ESL: Llurda (2005)

Sat Apr 22 00:30:52 UTC 2006

LINGUIST List: Vol-17-1211. Fri Apr 21 2006. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 17.1211, Review: Applied Ling/ESL: Llurda (2005)

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Date: 17-Apr-2006
From: Burcu Ates < burcuates at tamu.edu >
Subject: Non-Native Language Teachers 

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 20:27:33
From: Burcu Ates < burcuates at tamu.edu >
Subject: Non-Native Language Teachers 

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2804.html 

EDITOR: Llurda, Enric
TITLE: Non-Native Language Teachers
SUBTITLE: Perceptions, Challenges and Contributions to the 
SERIES: Educational Linguistics 5
YEAR: 2005

Burcu Ates, doctoral student, Department of Teaching, Learning, & 
Culture, Texas A&M University at College Station

Non-Native Language Teachers: Perceptions, Challenges and 
Contributions to the Profession is the most recent book that focuses 
on non-native language teachers. Previous volumes include books 
such as ''Non-Native Educators in English Language Teaching'' 
(Braine, 1999), and ''Learning and Teaching from Experience: 
Perspectives on Nonnative English-Speaking Professionals'' (Kamhi-
Stein, 2004). 

The editor has collected 15 articles which are all written by prominent 
scholars who are involved in non-native speaker (NNS) of 
English/Native speaker (NS) of English research. As stated in the back 
of the book ''This volume is particularly rich in providing different 
approaches to the study of non-native teachers: NNS teachers as 
seen by students, teachers, graduate supervisors, and by themselves. 
It also contributes little explored perspectives, like classroom 
discourse analysis, or a social-psychological framework to discuss 
conceptions of NNS teachers.'' The book adds a valuable contribution 
to the growing literature on non-native English speaking teachers 

The book is organized in five parts. Part 1: Setting up the Stage: Non-
native teachers in the twenty-first century, Part 2: NNS teachers in the 
classroom, Part 3: Perspectives on NNS teaching-in training, Part 4: 
Students' perceptions of NNS teachers, and Part 5: NNS teachers' self 

One of the biggest strengths of this book is that previously in other 
volumes, the NNS research was mainly conducted in a North 
American (ESL-English as a Second Language) setting. However, in 
this book, a more international perspective (in EFL-English as a 
Foreign Language contexts) is studied, with examples from Sweden, 
Spain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Basque County, Israel, and Brazil. In the 
following, references to the countries covered will be made before 
explaining each chapter. 


In chapter 1, the editor of the book, Enric Llurda, provides an overview 
of the topics covered in the book and of the contributing authors. He 
specifically emphasizes that although non-native researchers are the 
ones who are greatly involved with NNS issues, there are many native 
speakers who are involved in the study of NNS issues as well. The 
native-speaker authors in this volume are an example of this. 

In chapter 2, Braine sets the historical background of the non-native 
English speaking professionals' movement and the establishment of 
the Non-native English Speaker's Caucus in the TESOL organization 
in 1999 (http://nnest.moussu.net). Braine then examines the recent 
studies on NNS English teachers. Objectives, methodologies, and 
findings of the following studies are described: Reves & Medges 
(1994), Samimy & Brutt-Griffler (1999), Inbar-Lourie (2001), Llurda & 
Huguet (2003), Moussou (2002), Liang (2002), Cheung (2002), and 
Mahboob (2003). Five out of eight studies discussed are either 
unpublished master's theses or doctoral dissertations. These studies 
focus on self-perceptions of NNS teachers and/or students' 
perceptions of NNS English teachers.

SWEDEN: In Chapter 3, Modiano talks about how different ELT 
(English Language Teaching) programs and practices can help 
people throughout the world to learn the English language as a lingua 
franca. Then, Modiano provides the example of the country of 
Sweden and how for so long it was under the influence and 
domination of the British, where the educational materials portrayed 
the British lifestyle. Modiano suggests a cultural studies platform which 
promotes the development of non-native speaker identities rather than 
the development of the native speaker supremacy. 

In chapter 4, Cook discusses the L2 (second language) user concept 
and the multicompetence view of second language acquisition, 
treating the mind of the L2 user as a whole rather than as having a 
separate L1 (first language) and interlanguage components (meaning 
having two languages present in the same mind). The important 
argument throughout the chapter is to make students successful L2 
users rather than the 'desired' native speakers. 

In chapter 5, Macaro talks about codeswitching and argues that a 
teacher's codeswitching in class is not as negative as it seems. 
Macaro states it is the dominant culture's idea that codeswitching is a 
bad practice in the ELT classroom. He also explains how L2 users can 
benefit from their bilingual teachers' codeswitching in language 

CATALONIA (SPAIN): In chapter 6, Cots & Diaz focus on NNS EFL 
teachers' talk in the construction of social relationships and linguistic 
knowledge in the classroom. The participants in the study were EFL 
teachers (6 different teachers with different genders and different 
teaching levels) in Catalonia. One of the findings was that teacher talk 
moves between a discourse of power and a discourse of solidarity. 
The linguistic knowledge was distinguished between categorical and 
non-categorical knowledge and explained in details. 

HONG-KONG: In chapter 7, McNeill focuses on NS and NNS teachers' 
sensitivity to language difficulty from a learner's perspective. In order 
to test this, McNeill included four groups (1 group expert NNS, 1 
novice NNS teachers, 1 expert NS, and 1 novice NS teachers) of 
English teachers and 200 Cantonese-speaking secondary school 
students in Hong Kong in his study.  The teachers were asked to 
make predictions about difficult vocabulary in a reading text and 
explain their decisions. The students were tested on the 
understanding of the lexical content. Then, the teachers' guesses 
were compared with students' answers. The study revealed that NNS 
teachers, as a group, were more successful in making predictions 
about students and their vocabulary difficulties in reading text for 
various reasons. 

U.S.A & CANADA: In chapter 8, Llurda looked into the issues of 
TESOL practicum supervisors (in North America) and their 
experiences in observing the skills and performances of both NNS and 
NS student teachers during the practicum process. The supervisors 
from different universities were surveyed was asked both closed and 
open-ended questions. 

U.S.A.: In chapter 9, Lui did a study about NNS of English Chinese 
graduate teaching assistants (CGTAs) teaching freshman composition 
to NS in the U.S. The teaching experiences of the CGTAs and their 
students' attitudes and teacher evaluations are provided. Challenges 
and celebrations of being a CGTA are also provided by different 
narrative examples. 

CANADA: In chapter 10, Derwing & Munro examined the adult ESL 
teacher training programs in two Canadian Cities: Vancouver and 
Edmonton. The chapter also provided some information about the 
practicum requirements in different TESOL programs in these cities. 
When ESL students were asked about NS and NNS teachers they 
explained strengths and weaknesses of both groups. 

HUNGARY: In chapter 11, Benke & Medgyes did a study in Hungary 
where 422 NNS English language learners (intermediate level of 
English proficiency) who were secondary school, college/university, or 
private language school students, filled out a survey about their 
perceptions of the differences between NS and NNS teachers. 
Advantages and disadvantages were found for both teachers such as; 
NNS would often give a lot of homework, plan lessons thoroughly and 
consistently check for errors.  They were also found to be good at 
teaching grammar. On the other hand, NS teachers would focus on 
speaking skills and would provide extensive information about their 
own culture. 

BASQUE COUNTRY: In chapter 12, Lasagabaster & Sierra's study 
wanted to examine if students preferred NS over to NNS as teachers 
in general, or vice versa. Also examined were what skills of NS or NNS 
teachers they preferred and if the preference changed according to 
the age/grade level of the learners (common notion: the earlier the 
better (primary education), therefore NS exposure at that level will be 
helpful). Seventy six university students in different Philology or 
Language Education programs participated in the study. 60.6% 
preferred the NS teacher; however 71.6% preferred to have both NS 
and NNS teachers. One interesting result was participants' preferred 
NS teacher at the university level not the primary education level.

ENGLAND: In Chapter 13, Pacek did a study at a British university 
with two different groups of students; one group enrolled in free 
vocabulary classes on campus (open to everyone) and the other 
group enrolled in a program specifically for Japanese secondary 
school teachers of English funded by the Japanese Ministry of 
Education for 11 months. The focus was to compare students' 
comments on most/least important characteristics of the foreign 
language teacher (first questionnaire) and students' initial reactions of 
having a NNS teacher. Each group was taught by the same NNS 
instructor. The results of the study differed for each group. Cultural 
and educational background played an important role in their 
perceptions; for example, the Japanese teachers had better insights 
compared to the other group when reflecting on having a NNS teacher.

ISRAEL: In Chapter 14, Inbar-Lourie examines the identity of the NNS 
teacher, both perceived and self-identified in the context of Israel. In 
order to investigate this she surveyed 102 EFL teachers in the Israeli 
school system. The EFL teachers were from 17 different countries; 
some were NS of English and some NNS. A self reported 
questionnaire was given to the EFL teachers about how they 
perceived themselves and how others perceived them. Their students 
were also asked how they perceived their NS/NNS teachers. 
According to the results of the study, a gap was found between self 
and perceived identity of EFL teachers. NNS teachers were perceived 
as NS by NNS and their students. On the other hand, NS were 
perceived as NS. 

BRAZIL: In Chapter 15, Rajagopalan takes a critical pedagogy stand 
and talks about how NNSTs became marginalized. He then talks 
about the action plan that leads to empowerment of NNS. A change 
will not happen overnight, but it will happen. He discusses some of the 
challenges specifically experienced by EFL NNS teachers that ESL 
NNS teachers do not experience. He also shares the project he is 
involved with in Brazil to empower a group of EFL teachers to 
overcome the lack of self-confidence they may have which is quite 
common among EFL NNS teachers.


As can be read above, this book covers a great variety of topics 
related to the NS/NNS teacher's issues from different places around 
the world. The editor and the contributors of the book have done an 
excellent job presenting the topic. Although people interested in either 
ESL/EFL education or NS/NNS teachers may use the book, the topics 
studied are common and appealing to all language learners in 
general. The book shares not only examples of the challenges NNS 
teachers face, but celebrations too. In EFL settings evidence is 
provided by students' input; often NS teachers are preferred over 
NNS teachers, however there are examples of how NNS teachers can 
be helpful to language learners in a way NS cannot (see chapter 7 for 
details). The authors also show evidence for 'linguistic imperialism' 
(see chapter 3 for details: through educational materials, media, 
computers; the use of world literature translated into English over the 
Anglo vision promoted traditional English and American literature is 
suggested). Even in codeswitching scenario, codeswitching has 
always been portrayed as a negative behavior in EFL classroom 
settings (see chapter 5 for details) due to trying to establish native 
speaker dominance in every way. All the authors in the book take a 
critical position in discussing the native speaker supremacy and then 
directly or indirectly provide a message to take an 
against 'Monopolized English' domination by 'World English'.


Braine, G. (Ed.). (1999). Non-native educators in English language 
teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Cheung, Y.L. (2002). The attitude of  university students in Hong 
Kong towards native and non-native teachers of English. Unpublished 
M. Phil. thesis. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. 

Inbar-Lourie, O. (1999). The native speaker construct: Investigation by 
perceptions. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Tel-Aviv University, 
Tel Aviv, Israel.

Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (Ed.) (2004). Learning and teaching from 
experience: perspectives on nonnative English-speaking 
professionals. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Liang, K. Y. (2002). English as a second language (ESL) students' 
attitudes toward non-native English-speaking teachers' accentedness. 
Unpublished master's thesis. California State University, Los Angeles, 

Llurda, E. & A. Huguet (2003) Self-awareness in NNS EFL primary 
and se condary school teachers. Language Awareness, 12, 220-235.

Mahboob, A. (2003). Status of non-native English speaking teachers 
in the United States. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana 
University, Bloomington, IN.

Moussu, L. (2002). English as a second language students' reactions 
to non-native English-speaking teachers. Unpublished master's thesis. 
Brigham Young University at Provo, UT. 

Reves, T., & Medgyes, P.  (1994). The non-native English speaking 
ESL/EFL teacher's self-image:  An international survey. System, 22(3), 

Samimy, K., & Brutt-Griffler, J. (1999). To be a native or non-native 
speaker: Perceptions of 'non-native' students in graduate TESOL 
program. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English 
language teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 127-144. 


Burcu Ates is a doctoral student at the Department of Teaching, 
Learning, & Culture (specializing in ESL Education), Texas A&M 
University, College Station. She teaches ESL methodology and 
assessment courses to preservice teachers as a Teaching Assistant. 
Her current research focuses on NS/NNS issues. She is especially 
interested in empowerment of NNS teacher educators.

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