Monday, April 21, 2008

Native speakers vs. Second language speakers

I have recently been talking with friends about who makes the best ESL teacher. Is it the native speaker or the second language speaker? I have heard that some professor at Laval University thinks that in a perfect world native speakers would be the only ones to teach English. Personally, I strongly disagree with this person. I am pretty sure, in fact, that second language speakers are privileged in some ways that native speakers are not and vice versa. For example, second language speakers had the chance to learn the language being taught and therefore are more aware of the difficulties of learning the language. On the other hand, native speakers naturally have a perfect syntax and speak at a normal pace with proper stretches.

Regardless of teaching skills (such as the ability to explain), I would like to know what people think about this matter. Therefore, this post is an attempt to discuss the pros and cons of being a second language/native speaker. Please, use the comment section to do so. Thank you for participating!