Native English speaking teacher vs non-native English speaking teacher

Native English speaking teacher vs non-native English speaking teacher

Whether you are looking for PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) English tuition, O level English tuition or trying to enroll your child in an IELTS course in Singapore, it is pretty sure that this thought may have crossed your mind: Can the non-native English speaker teacher be as good or even better than the native English speaking teachers?

Now it is understandable that parents want the best for their kids in learning English, and they also would want to ensure that their children’s tutors can deliver on the job. In common perception, native English speakers should be able to teach a more accurate pronunciation and possess a higher fluency in English. But the following two paragraphs will tell you about how non-native English speaking teachers can be as good, or not even a more suitable candidate to teach your kids.

Non-native English speakers understand the difficulties that your child is currently facing better

What better way to empathise with one’s condition than to have been there and experienced it yourself? This would then be a strong plus point for those teachers who are non-native English speakers. Native English speakers of course, if well trained to teach students who speak other languages, will also be able to understand students difficulties. It is just that this comes more naturally for teachers who also speak other languages as their mother tongue.

Non-native English speakers might not have a British/American accent, but they can still teach correct pronunciation, grammar and choice of words

Well, fellow Singaporeans, we sometimes do have the perception that those speaking with a British or American accent are surely better in English. However, an accent only makes up a very small section in speech. Most importantly is that students master good pronunciation that follows the International Phonetic Alphabet which the non-Native English speakers are perfectly capable of teaching.

So, don’t worry. Teachers who don’t speak English as a primary language are still very good at their jobs, so are teachers who speak English as their mother tongue. If your kid is studying English in Singapore, let them decide whether the teacher is aiding their English development. After all, it is the effective way of teaching that matters, not the accent.


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