Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Part 2: Native vs. Non-Native English Teachers

The first part of this Native versus Non-Native English Teachers series dealt with the most common arguments of native teachers against non-natives. These complaints are related their language skills- accent, pronunciation, grammar and cultural knowledge.

(See Part 1 here)

On the other hand, non-natives' most common defense are related more on native teachers' view and attitude of ESL teaching. I'm not a native speaker so I don't know what's going on in a native speaker's mind. I can only offer possible explanations why native teachers are perceived in a certain way and why perceptions are not always the reality.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Part 1: Native vs. Non-Native English Teachers

photo credit:
There's a perennial argument in ESL teaching about native versus non-native teachers. There are so many issues and thousands of argument about this it took me almost 10 years to finally write my own piece. Also, because of the various points related to this topic, this will be a 3-part series.

The most common argument of Native speakers is that they know English more intimately than the non-natives. They've heard it since they're in the womb. That's how intimate they know the language. This argument is truly valid. Even if I want to learn Japanese, I'll look for a Nihonggo teacher who's actually Japanese. If an Indian teacher shows up in my Japanese class, I'd doubt him at first. 

On the other hand, non-Native speakers argue that since they've learned English they know how to break it down and how to teach it to ESL learners. This argument is also valid. I'm a non-native speaker and the way I teach is the way I learned English. If native speakers have an intimate knowledge of the language, non-natives have personally experienced learning the language. 

Both arguments have merits but there's a disconnect in perspective. Native speakers look at English holistically. English is not just a language but a representation of a culture and of a race. Non-native speakers view English as a skill. It's a tool and a means. 

Interestingly, native speakers' most common arguments against non-natives are skills-related. On the other hand, non-natives' most common arguments are more on the race.

Here are the most common arguments I've read against non-native teachers. As a non-native teacher, I will not provide rebuttals cause I might just sound bias. Instead, I'll try to explain the situation of a non-native English speaker- both as a teacher and as a learner.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Interview: Sharing Some Thoughts

photo credit:,.au
I'm shamelessly promoting myself in today's post. (Haha!)

A friend found me worthy to be interviewed and featured on his blog- Life Lover
I'm grateful to have this chance to share another side of me and share my faith. 

The top 3 question I like about the interview: 

19. What’s your dream for the future?
To travel the world professionally while proclaiming God’s love. Making people fall in love in the Word.
25. What kind of person you want/ don’t want to be?
I want to be a kind of person who is more care-free, less anxious, and more courageous.
I don’t want to be someone who is scared of life. I don’t want to get old with a life unlived.
26. Which of God’s attributes most inspires you to worship him?
His super, super, super, amazing, amazing, grace!
Because when you realize how insignificant you are and the great blessings that God gave you, you’ll just be moved.

Check out the whole interview here-  PROFILES: FAYE VITAN

My friend and the man behind the blog, Richard Jacob, is also a Filipino living in Japan. 
In a few years that I knew him, I saw how he matured from a happy-go-lucky teenager to a responsible and God-loving young man. He has a big heart for the Filipino teenagers who live in Japan.

PS: Two years ago, I was also interviewed for a magazine. I can't believe how time flew. I'm sharing it even if it's 2 years late. (Told you this is a vanity post. hehe!) My Life in Japan
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