There are many different ways to learn a new language nowadays. There’s the more traditional approach of reading a book or enrolling yourself in a class. Now with the advent of technology on the internet, you can learn a new language like English from the comfort of your home, and it’d be taught to you by a non-native speaker. Yes, you read that right.
If you’ve never been to an online language class before, you might be thinking: “How can you learn a language if it’s taught by someone who didn’t speak it since birth?” Having a bit of doubt is normal because we have been conditioned to believe that only native English speakers are qualified to teach the language. However, due to online resources, we live in a time where non-native teachers are just as competent as native teachers.
For non-native speakers looking to learn English, this article discusses the advantages of learning English from a non-native speaker.
1. They have an in-depth understanding of the language
Non-English speakers learn it throughout their lives so they are properly qualified to teach it. They’ve done the same things that their students are going through and will go through. They possess an in-depth knowledge of the language because they are in constant learning mode. Thus, they have the skill to teach it themselves.
Owing to rigorous practice, non-native English teachers are fluent enough to teach the language. If you doubt that, you can always ask their former students or the company that hired them. Most language tutorial companies have a thorough recruitment process, as proven by the world-renowned company 51 Talk.
2. They’re better at understanding accents
Non-native speakers are often good at understanding different accents of other non-native speakers. Understanding your accent is critical to teachers because it helps in teaching students to pronounce English words. Pronunciation is key to learning any language fluently because it helps native English speakers understand what you want to convey.
Non-native teachers have experience in communicating with other foreigners. Unlike native teachers, they’re familiar with different accents. This makes them better at communicating with people from various races and cultures. Therefore, they can easily teach you to speak coherently and clearly with the correct accent, one that every native English speaker can understand.
3. They can immerse you in a different cultural perspective
Don’t you think it’d be interesting to learn English from someone who learned it in a different culture? Knowing that a non-native English speaking teacher (NNEST) gained fluent skills in English will also give you confidence. It will reassure you that if they could do it, so can you.
You can also hear straight from the horse’s mouth as to how they apply English in their daily lives. Being that neither of you was raised to speak the language, they can relate their experiences to yours, and vice versa. You can learn the language faster by learning from someone who came from a different culture (just like you!) and now speaks it fluently.
The debate about whether it’s better to learn English from a non-native English teacher or a native English teacher will always be present. But you can’t argue with the fact that the former is just as qualified as the latter. Give them a chance and see for yourself how they can help you improve your English skills.
Angelo Castelda is a freelance writer from Asia. Besides writing, he also spends his time traveling and learning about diverse cultures, which opened his heart more to learning and imparting knowledge about ESL.