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System 28 (2000) 355±372


Native and non-native teachers in the classroom
 V. Arva *, P. Medgyes
Ând Centre for English Teacher Training, EoÈtvoÈs Lora University, Budapest, Hungary Received 19 August 1999; received in revised form 15 November 1999; accepted 6 December 1999

Abstract This study revisits the issue of the native versus the non-native speakerin the area of ELT. Its main goal is to examine the teaching behaviour of two groups of teachers, native and nonnative, who have exhibited di€erences not only in terms of their language backgrounds, but also in terms of their quali®cations and relevant teaching experience. Although the proportionate role these variables have played is not easy to determine, it may be suggested that the linguisticdivergences between the two groups have considerably impinged on their teaching strategies. However, while earlier studies relied mainly upon data obtained from questionnaires, this study supplements these secondary sources with primary ones, that is, it also examines the participants' behaviour at chalkface, through a series of video-recorded lessons. Thus, the focus of this study is two-fold:it analyses di€erences in teaching behaviour between native and non-native teachers on the one hand, and compares their stated behaviour with their actual behaviour on the other. # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Native speaker; Non-native speaker; Native speaking teacher of English; Non-native speaking teacher of English; Teaching behaviour; Target language competence;Language awareness

1. Introduction Most contemporary research in language pedagogy has been led by the principle of `learner centeredness'. Much attention has been paid to the learning process and the learner, relatively little to the teaching process and the teacher. This study focuses on the teacher, and as such it is a contribution to redressing the balance. In the neglected area of teacherresearch, the language teaching profession was for a long time regarded as a monolithic bloc. For various reasons, the mere existence of non-native speaking teachers of English as an entity di€erent from native-speaking teachers was called into question. As a consequence, their speci®c needs, constraints
 * Corresponding author. Ajtosi Durer sor 19-21, 1146 Budapest Hungary Tel.:+00-36-1-343-0148/ È 4270; fax: +00-36-1-252-2897. 0346-251X/00/$ - see front matter # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S0346-251X(00)00017-8


 V. Arva, P. Medgyes / System 28 (2000) 355±372

and bene®ts went largely unnoticed, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of teachers worldwide were non-natives. With the rapid spread of English as a lingua franca, the ratio ofnon-natives to natives was steadily growing (Widdowson, 1994; Crystal, 1995; Graddol, 1997). This reluctant attitude towards the recognition of the non-native teacher stems from the fact that its superordinate, the non-native speaker, was held in disregard. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the native speaker/non-native speaker distinction was attacked from various quarters. Considered to be a uselessbinomial, it was to be replaced by new concepts and new terms. For example, Edge (1988) preferred speaking about ``more or less accomplished users of English'', Rampton (1990) coined the phrases ``expert speakers and aliation'', and Kachru (1985) o€ered the use of ``English-using speech fellowships'' to stress `WE-ness' instead of the `us and them' division (Kachru, 1992). The rancour of thecontroversy may be epitomised by the title of a book, The native speaker is dead! (Paikeday, 1985).1 Although there are plenty of arguments against the native/non-native dichotomy, and most of them are legitimate on any ground, linguistic, ideological or pragmatic, none of these alternative phrases have stood the test of time. The term native speaker as opposed to non-native speaker is as widely...
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