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University of Balamand > Academics > Research > Seminars > Samer Annous

'Nativespeakerism' and the Status of Non-native Teachers of English (NNTE) in Lebanon

Thursday, April 12, 2007 from 12:30 to 13:30 at Jacobo Auditorium

SUBMITTED BY: Dr. Samer Annous
Department of English
SEED Program Coordinator
Career Services Center Coordinator
University of Balamand

ABSTRACT: This study tried to identify how much ‘nativespeakerism’ affects the status of Nonnative Teachers of English (NNTE) on the university level in Lebanon. Following a social constructivist approach, the research methods and procedures were basically qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were used with 20 NNTE and 2 administrators from three institutions. In addition, 303 EFL students were surveyed and two focus group discussions were made in order to explore students’ perceptions and preferences for native or non-native teachers.

The findings of the study show that ‘nativespeakerism’ is not the most prevailing theme in the discourse of the NNTE, the administrators, or the students. Other variables that were not reported in previous research seem to influence the NNTE status. ELT was perceived as a semi-profession because NNTE are MA holders and part-timers. The feminization of the ELT profession was also observed. The professional life of NNTE was described from the life cycle perspective and consisted of three stages: honeymoon, maturity, and retirement. Another powerful theme was the recycling of the ‘native speaker fallacy’ by teachers, administrators, and students. Finally, the discourse of NNTE seemed to fluctuate between a native speaker and a non-native speaker space and this in its turn was creating a Third Space.
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