domenica 6 agosto 2017

MMVC17- What about Non-native online English teachers?

6th August

What about Non-Native Online English Teachers?

The speaker of this webinar was  Halina Ostankowicz - Bazan who  presented an interesting debate about Native English  Teachers  and Non-Native Online English Teachers as she faced discriminations on quite a lot of occasions.  
I was online and could follow this interesting  webinar which took place on 6th August.

The Presenter is a non-native  ESL teacher with  lot of experience in teaching English.

The focus of the webinar started with a question as  Halina said that she has often felt she has been considered discriminated:  NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER  or NON-NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHER? This is my question.

We had a  poll online and we  found that most of the teachers who were doing  the webinars were  Non-native  English  teachers.  She also added that an important  linguistic like  David  Crystal had never mentioned the issue of  Native and Non-native English speakers. What really mattered were the competences of the teachers.

 The discussion  continued online when she spoke about the issue of how  Non-native  English teachers  speak English. 

In her presentation she referred to an organization that is aimed at promoting   TEFL equity.

When I was following the webinar I checked the website and I found some interesting  videos :  they are worth  checking :

Like many people online I connected and  interacted with  the Others about what Halina said and although I did not make any specific questions I realized that I have often felt myself  a sort of  less able teacher because I was not a native speaker. But in my reflections online I wrote that many Non-native speakers can be better teachers. For some pronunciation can be a problem, but  in Europe we have a lot of teachers who  have been abroad and have studied abroad and thus we are competent  language teachers.

The topic discussed is relevant to my present situation of ESL  teacher as  I often work with  Native English speakers in school but I have also found some teachers who are not so good at interacting with students. Families want to have some more tuition  in English but the quality is not always so good although they want to have  English mother tongue teachers in class.

When I discovered the organization    TEFL  EQUITY I  was surprised. I had  never heard  about it

I was felt that Halina was right in asking to be given the opportunity of  working online like some English Native  Teachers are doing now but I  thought also that it will take time before more teachers will be given this opportunity.
Challenges?  I am not teaching online and I work in my country in state schools and also privately : I think that if I had to  set up some online courses I might have to face some problems! Anyway, I would be ready to face them as I am a life-long learner and I have learnt how to work online thanks to many Moocs and courses which I have done and where I was able to work together with other teachers. 

In the future I will probably try to read and learn more about this issue as I feel that lots of teachers like me are qualified.  By the way,  I did my first teacher training  in the UK and  I took a Trinity College TESOL Certificate many  years ago.  I began teaching having the same qualification of the Native speakers and I had been doing English at school and  university, this meant that I had more competences as I had studied the language, the culture and also Literature or the many Literature in English for my State exams . In addition I had done three foreign languages and this meant that I had had to face difficulties in learning them.

What next? This is my question to Halina. Do you think you will be given more opportunities?

 I am optimistic and I can see that languages and projects are important in our schools and in Europe.
I think that I have some more opportunities for developing and for  working online as  an English Language Teacher.

Here is the recording of the webinar

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