Student and Teacher Perceptions of Native and Non-native English Speaking Teachers in the Lebanese Context
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
While most of the teachers of English around the world are non-native speakers, numerous cases of discrimination against non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) have been reported in the literature (Braine, 1999). The present study examines the perceptions of students, native English speaking teachers (NESTs), and non-native English speaking teachers towards NESTs and NNESTs in three Intensive English Programs (IEPs) from three universities in the Bekaa governorate of Lebanon. The study examines the similarities and differences between the perceptions of teachers and students and those of NESTs and NNESTs towards the definition of the labels NEST and NNEST, learning with NESTs and NNESTs, strengths and weaknesses of each of the two groups, and classroom behavior and responsibility. Finally, the study examines students’ and teachers’ perceptions regarding NESTs’ and NNESTs’ personal interactions with their students. The study administered Likert-scale questionnaires and semi-structured interviews for teachers and students. The findings revealed that for both groups, teachers are considered native if they grew up in a native speaking country and if they carry any of the accents of the countries of the “middle” (Kachru, 1982).The findings also showed that NESTs are better teachers of oral skills, such as pronunciation, listening, and speaking whereas NNESTs are perceived as better teachers of grammar and culture, more capable of predicting students’ difficulties, and more empathetic to the needs of students. Both groups also agreed that NESTs vary their use of materials more than NNESTs do and that NNESTs communicate better with students because they share their culture and first language and because they are more empathetic with them.
EdD in TESOL