Taiwanese University Students’ Perceptions Toward Native and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers in EFL Contexts

Shih-Yun Tsou
Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Yingling Chen
Oriental Institute of Technology

English has evolved into the most widely learned and internationally used language because for the increasing numbers of learners in the globalization process. With the growing demand of English education, the competencies of English teachers as Native English-Speaking Teachers (NESTs) and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers (NNESTs) have become a significant matter of discussion. The purpose of this study was to investigate Taiwanese English as a foreign language (EFL) students’ perceptions and preferences toward NESTs and NNESTs who hold a degree from a country where English is the dominant language through addressing the differences in their English instruction. This qualitative study consisted of 20 participants. Two open-ended questions were investigated and analyzed. The findings revealed that the participants held an overall preference for NESTs over NNESTs; nevertheless, they believed both NESTs and NNESTs offered strengths and weaknesses in their English instruction. The characteristics that were perceived to be disadvantages of one group appeared to be advantages of the other. For example, NESTs were considered more difficult to communicate with by the participants, while NNESTs were believed to have limited English proficiency.

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