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The Native Speaker Fallacy - Why a Native Speaker Is Not Necessarily a Better Language Teacher

One of the common misconceptions in learning a foreign language is that a native speaker makes the best teacher of that language. While a native speaker can be an excellent teacher, the mere qualification of speaking that language does not qualify one to teach it. Think of it this way: you're reading this post, so presumably you speak English. You are probably even a native speaker of it. Now think about someone who does not speak English. If your task were to teach that person English, what would you do? Where would you even begin? How would you assign meaning to a jumble of words? How would you introduce grammatical concepts in a meaningful way? Do you even know the grammatical rules and terminology that you would need? In what sequence would you conduct your lesson? Unless you are a linguaphile, you probably would have no idea what to do. Even if you did, would you know how to effectively convey that information to your student? The answer for most people is no, because... read more

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