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Non native English frustration
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isotta



Joined: 30 Oct 2007
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject: Non native English frustration Reply with quote

Hi everybody,
please allow me to let out some of my frustration.
I am not a native English speaker, I'm Italian, and I have been living in London for 7 years, where I graduated in Fine Arts from an American University. After that I moved to Thailand to take my TEFL certificate and my grades turned out to be higher than the rest of the class (ALL NATIVE SPEAKERS). This is due to my wide knowledge in both Italian and English grammar, and also to the fact that I already have learned English as a foreign language , therefore I know the process one has to go through to actually learn a new language. I also speak French, Spanish and studied German in school. I'm not saying that nobody would hire me, but all the jobs I was interested in, said on the application: DO NOT APPLY IF YOU ARE NOT A NATIVE SPEAKER. Fair enough, but all I'm saying is, I'm young, energetic and I love teaching, and if I lied about my nationality they wouldn't even notice it. All I can do is to rely on that 1 job out of 10, which gives a chance to Non Native Speakers too.

Thanks for listening
any comment welcome.

Isotta.
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot depends on where you and the jobs that you're applying for are located.

Here in Southeast Asia there seems to be numerous non-native speakers who are teaching English. Demand is high and there simply aren't enough teachers to fill all the positions. Also, some schools prefer to hire non-natives (and kids) as they can pay them a bit less than experienced native speakers.

Native speakers are already supposed to be outnumbered by those who speak English as a Foreign/Second language anyway, so I would imagine as English becomes even more globalized the stigma of being a non-native speaker will decrease.
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Alann



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Stafford UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: discrimination Reply with quote

I fully agree on this native non-sense. How do accents differ within Britain? For a Chinese It is very hard to understand someone who speaks Cockney or to understand a native from Belfast.

Why don't they do interviews over the net so they could hear us talk? The Korean schools or Indonesian school who swear by native speakers from NZ, Australia, etc would soon find out you don't have to be a native to speak proper and 'accentless'? English.

Why don't we see Hindlish or Singlish as natives mentioned in those 'native speaker countries'? What about people like me who grew up in Belgium and have an English mum and a Flemish dad and grow up learning 6 languages. very shortsighted that is.

I was astounded to find out that natives in England do not necessarily study the grammar of their language and in most cases I know it better than they do, yet I won't get a job in Indonesia or Korea, just because I don't have an American or UK Passport.

Alann
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Kata Tjuta



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: native with heavy accent Reply with quote

I could not agree more with Isotta! Thank you for opening this thread! Born in Austria, I lived in Australia for 42 years, had a business there, got a University Degree, did a TESOL course, studied English, etc. I had no problems teaching Buddhist nuns in Tibet, but when I applied for a job, teaching English in Graz (Austria) recently, I was knocked back because I was born in - wait for it.... AUSTRIA! I am sooo frustrated, I could scream! Especially as the person who told me, was South African, with the broadest Afrikaans accent one could imagine . but HE IS teaching English!
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:31 am    Post subject: Listen & Answer Reply with quote

Hello Kata Tjuta

I hope this is not your proper name because it's a real give away and you should know, by now, what to do the next time, even if it means telling a white lie.

It is true that many native speakers do not know their grammar but that's not to say that they are not speaking English correctly. However, there are many native speakers who do not speak English correctly and who have strong accents and dialects. These people will not want to become English teachers and in any case, nobody would want to employ them. If anyone employs a teacher from London, who has a strong cockney accent, then you cannot blame the teacher for accepting the position because often the recruiter is not a native speaker and therefore, does not recognize whether the candidate is speaking Standard English or not.

Anyone interested in teaching English, would make sure that that they knew the grammar before going into the classroom. Having said that, I often think, that the grammar gets in the way of learning English.

Listen and Answer is my motto.

St. G
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Mort



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are accents and the like really that important though? Surely as long as you've got a good grasp of the language, grammar and vocabulary, it shouldn't be an issue, at least not in most cases.
I mean there *are* UK accents that are hard to understand, even to other native speakers, but on the whole I wouldn't have thought that it's that much of a problem?
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SC



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:01 am    Post subject: Accents Reply with quote

People go crazy for an accent in China, it has to be British or American. They accept other 'native speakers' but they can only be from Canada, NZ or Aus. This frustrates me no end I get so many candidates that are perfect yet I don't even bother to talk to them because I know for a fact that the school will just say no. The worst is the Chinese peoples attitude towards Philippinos they have made it incredibly hard for them to get a visa in China.
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serenity



Joined: 07 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject: Re: Accents Reply with quote

SC wrote:
People go crazy for an accent in China, it has to be British or American. They accept other 'native speakers' but they can only be from Canada, NZ or Aus. This frustrates me no end I get so many candidates that are perfect yet I don't even bother to talk to them because I know for a fact that the school will just say no. The worst is the Chinese peoples attitude towards Philippinos they have made it incredibly hard for them to get a visa in China.


I have noticed that accent is in fact a big thing for a lot of Chinese. I am currently teaching here in China, and I have been asked so many times (by Chinese colleagues and students) where I learned my accent, which, according to them is "very native." I'm from the Philippines, and it surprises them when I tell them that English is NOT my native language.

They are very particular about this. During the course of the interview for this job, I think I was asked at least five times whether or not English is my native tongue.

My accent may have been an advantage for me, but I feel for some of my fellow Filipinos who are really very qualified to teach but fall victim to discrimination. I have also experienced it during the earlier part of my ESL job-hunting. I got emails telling me that they are rejecting my application because they only accept applicants from an English-speaking country. Oh well...

I also agree with some posters here that there are a lot of native English speakers with accents that are quite difficult to understand. I consider myself as fluent in English--oral, listening and writing skills. But I have met somebody who came from an English-speaking country, and I could hardly understand every other word he says! I could only imagine how much harder it is for his Chinese students.
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Helene



Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:07 pm    Post subject: non-native discrimination Reply with quote

I hope I am not too late to join in this discussion. As a regular short term summer teacher in China, I always defend non-native teachers of English. As a British born/educated anglophone Canadian I get more job offers than I can handle and I always try to hand on some of these jobs to non-native speakers. In time, countries like China will come to realize that there is no "best" accent for English. Until fairly recently even among anglophones, China had a preference for the "South-East" of England type of accent. For ex-Scots like me, that just makes our blood boil! Linguistic imperialism indeed!!
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Accent Reply with quote

Helene

I can understand the Chinese thinking that, the English spoken in England, by a native speaker, is the true accent and much better than the English spoken in Scotland with a Scottish accent. Don't you chaps, up there, speak Gaelic?

Whether the above is true or not doesn't really matter, this is the way one thinks.

If I wanted to speak Scottish Gaelic, I would, naturally, look for my teachers in Scotland and not China or indeed, England, Wales or Ireland.

As you know, English is not a phonetic language and therefore, all the letters are not pronounced and yet the Scots, when speaking English, pronounce all the letters. Ok, that's your brand of English but it's not to everyones liking and so there are choices to be made and therefore, you can't blame the Chinese for making them.

Finally, where does Imperialism fit in?

St. G
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Helene



Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

St. George - surely you jest about all of this? Which of the dozens of English accents is the "best/most desirable" and why would such an accent be preferred to a Scottish (or any other part of the UK) Canadian, (yes there is such a thing as a Canadian accent) American, Australian, New Zealand or South African accent? The only thing that counts is speaking clearly and distinctly. Last summer, I (a Canadian originally from Scotland) taught in China with two Americans and a New Zealander originally from Wales. None of our students (Chinese teachers of English) expressed a preference for any one of our accents.
I will leave it to your good offices to do your own internet search on the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland and also the meaning of linguistic imperialism.
Next time you are in Britain, please try to pay a visit to countries other than England. You will be in for a pleasant surprise. I will think of you on April 23rd St. George, just as I trust you will acknowledge the other saints' days, in chronological order, March 1, March 17 and November 30. Now which is which?
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Accent Reply with quote

Helene, actually, I live in Scotland and so I'm just winding you up! Nevertheless, I am English

I didn't say that the accent in England was the best but I can understand someone thinking that it is, simply because English is synonymous with England.

Don't be so upset that someone prefers some other accent to yours. Actually, I liked Dr Cameron's accent from the TV series of Dr Finlay's Casebook but I would guess that non native speakers wouldn't understand him.

I was at a Burns Supper on Sunday; very nice. Are you proud of me?

Self edited.
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject: Accent Reply with quote

Helene

Thought you might be interested in this

http://anglais-facile.com/accents/21-accents-amy-walker/

Do give me your opinion

St. G
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lida



Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Austrlaia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: non-native speakers discrimination Reply with quote

Hi,

couldn't stay away from the topic - it's so close to my heart! I'm Russian, learned English in Moscow, have taught there for 4 years, live in Australia now for 18 years, have Postgraduate TESOL Degree and have been teaching English to international students for 3 years. Very often students (particularly Chinese) came to me after the lesson and thanked me, saying that it is so much easier for them to understand non-native speaker: "you are so clear! We don't understand British accent - so hard! And you explain grammar so well. British teachers don't explain the grammar at all (and I know why - they don't know it in most cases, my native speakers colleagues told me so...)
Yet I was let go and replaced by the young and inexperienced Australian girl..
.
I'd like to work in Eastern Europe, preferably Prague or Budapest, and would be very grateful for any help and suggestions - how to start, help with resume and etc.. And I'm 52.... Rolling Eyes
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JamesAtRealize



Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 118
Location: Kobe, Sanomiya, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right that high-level (near native) foreign accents are often easier to understand than British accents.
But learning from you doesn't really help them understand British people in the long run.
I imagine that for beginners a non-native speaker would be ok, barring the student picks up some bad habbits/accents.

Some of my students have learned English from Japanese English teachers and their bad habits are so hard to get rid of.
_________________
}c[} pb _ O{ ACY - James
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