Document Type: Original Article
Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran
Kharazmi University, Iran
There is still a preference for native speaker teachers in the language teaching profession, which is supposed to influence the self-perceptions of native and nonnative teachers. However, the status of English as a globalized language is changing the legitimacy of native/nonnative teacher dichotomy. This study sought to investigate native and nonnative English-speaking teachers’ perceptions about native and nonnative teachers’ status and the advantages and disadvantages of being a native or nonnative teacher. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. A total of 200 native and nonnative teachers of English from the UK and the US, i.e. the inner circle, and Turkey and Iran, the expanding circle, participated in this study. A significant majority of nonnative teachers believed that native speaker teachers have better speaking proficiency, better pronunciation, and greater self-confidence. The findings also showed nonnative teachers’ lack of self-confidence and awareness of their role and status compared with native-speaker teachers, which could be the result of existing inequities between native and nonnative English-speaking teachers in ELT. The findings also revealed that native teachers disagreed more strongly with the concept of native teachers’ superiority over nonnative teachers. Native teachers argued that nonnative teachers have a good understanding of teaching methodology whereas native teachers are more competent in correct language. It can be concluded that teacher education programs in the expanding-circle countries should include materials for teachers to raise their awareness of their own professional status and role and to remove their misconception about native speaker fallacy.