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Native vs non-native English teachers

When it comes to choosing an English teacher, the first choice that needs to be made is between a local non-native teacher and a native English speaker.

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But which is best? Much depends on your current level and study goals. The internet provides access to a vast pool of native English teachers and lessons are available via Skype. Online classes are often cheaper than studying face-to-face in your city and they provide greater flexibility and choice.

At lower levels, students may prefer to study with a non-native English teacher who shares their mother tongue and is able to explain the fundamentals of grammar in their language. This makes sense as the teacher shares the student’s non-native perception of English and has been through the same language acquisition experience. However, there is always a danger that the non-native teacher will pass on his or her mistakes to the student. This is probably the strongest argument against studying with a non-native but is balanced by the teacher’s knowledge of the student’s mother tongue and professional ability (non-native teachers are often well-qualified).

Once the student can hold a basic conversation in English, it’s time to start considering the option of lessons with a native English speaker. The main advantage of these lessons is that the student is exposed to genuine native English and has an opportunity to learn correct style, pronunciation, modern usage, etc. However, many native English speakers are not qualified teachers and have a poor grasp of grammar. Therefore, it’s important to find a qualified native English teacher.

At OTUK we only employ certified British English teachers with good classroom experience. Many of us are bilingual and speak our students’ language – this gives us the advantages often attributed to non-native teachers of English. We offer online English lessons via Skype and give you 24/7 access to tailor-made British English courses to suit your individual study needs. If you speak the language to pre-intermediate level or above, it’s worth considering online lessons with OTUK. We have the necessary expertise and specialise in providing British English teaching services via Skype.

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Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

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