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世界英语教师协会(TESOL)主席:英语是母语的老师水平依然被理想化

2020/12/21

 Native English–Speaking Teachers and Trainers Still Idealized

英语是母语的老师水平依然被理想化

Posted on 6 May 2013 by dboraie

The TESOL President’s Blog

In spite of all the advances that have occurred within our profession, backed by research which has shown that trained nonnative English–speaking teachers (NNESTs) can in fact be better than native English–speaking teachers (NESTs) because they themselves had to learn the language, society as a whole in many parts of the world still clings to the belief that native speakers of English are better teachers and trainers. This is particularly true in my country, Egypt. TESOL International itself has issued a couple of statements that condemn discriminatory practices against NNESTS, most recently its “Position Statement Against Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of TESOL.” It seems to me that we are just talking to and among ourselves and we still have a long, long way to go in getting people to change their thinking and understand that this native speaker ideal is a fallacy.

Several months ago, an Egyptian colleague of mine who works as a marketing manager for a renowned publisher, sent me an e-mail asking me for the following, and I quote: “I would appreciate your help suggesting us names of native teacher trainers based in Cairo to work in and outside Egypt on free lance basis.” I was really upset by this e-mail and I responded thanking him for the request and telling him that we do not have any native teacher trainers and that we only have wonderful, high quality, trained, and certified Egyptian teacher trainers including myself.

I went on to add the following: “In fact, although I am not a native teacher trainer myself, I am considered a professional educator at the international level and in spite of the fact that I am not a native speaker, I have been elected as president of TESOL.” Needless to say, he was extremely apologetic and both e-mailed and called me to convey this and to emphasize that it was not him or his organization but in fact it was their clients in the Arab Gulf region that stipulate and insist on “nativeness” as a requirement when recruiting English language teachers or teacher trainers. My response was that it is his responsibility and that of his organization to educate people they are dealing with and not to condone and uphold such discriminatory practices.

We must spread this message and communicate to people within our communities to make them understand that such thinking is a legacy of British colonialism, and we must move on and away from this. I also made the point that we all learn English as a means of communication with the world and our purpose cannot and should not be to aspire to become native speakers of English since we are already native speakers of our own L1. It does not make sense to want to be imitation native speakers; we should aim for becoming bilinguals—fully competent in English. At the end of my long and passionate lecture, he was totally convinced and promised me he will do his best to spread the message.

Personally, I continue to fight this battle in my context, convincing colleagues, students and all those I meet in my daily life that NNESTs should not be discriminated against and that we should aspire to be competent, and not native, speakers of English. I believe if we all contribute to the discussion to change the way people think and convey the same or similar messages wherever we are, one day we will overcome. After all, the number of NNESTs in the world outnumber NESTs by far, and we will prevail.

:虽然我们的专业领域各项都在发展中,特别是我们的研究证明经过培训的母语非英语的教师(NNESTs)他们实际上要比那些英语是母语的教师更好,因为他们自己经历过学习语言的过程。但是整个社会遍布在世界的各个角落,仍然坚持这样一个错误的概念就是英语是母语的教师他们更强。在我的国家埃及尤其是如此。TESOL国际组织已经发布了几个声明,这些声明实际上是用于反对和谴责那些对英语非母语的教师歧视的做法。很近我们组织就发布了一个在TESOL领域强烈反对歧视英语非母语的老师的宣言。对于我来说,我们是在进行行业内部的一种通话,通过这种通话我们是要对自己说,我们仍然有很长很长的路要走,我们需要更加努力,让人们改变他们的思维,让他们理解实际上所谓母语教师的理想化是错误的

几个月前,一个埃及的同事,他在一个著名的出版公司担任营销经理,他给我发了一封邮件,我现在引用他的话“我非常感激您的帮助,您能否给我介绍一些英语是母语的老师,他们可以在开罗工作,或者在埃及以外的地方兼职工作也可以。”我对这封邮件感到非常的生气,然后我就回应他:谢谢他的要求和信任,我告诉他我们没有任何英语母语国家的老师,我们只有非常棒的、高质量的、经过专业培训的而且是注册认证的埃及教师,包括我自己。接着我又补充到,“事实上,虽然我本身不是一个英语是母语的教师,但是我被公认为是一个专业的教育家,这种公认是国际公认,而且尽管我不是一个英语是母语国家的老师,我还是被选为了TESOL世界英语教师协会的主席。”用不着说,我的同事他感到极其的抱歉,然后又给我回了邮件,让我把他的邮件传达给大家转达他的意思,实际上并不是他自己和他的公司,而是他们遍布在阿拉伯湾的客户,他们强烈要求并坚持要求母语教学作为一个招聘英语教师的前提条件。我的回应是,他必须有责任同时也是他的公司的责任,去教育人们,这些教育将会帮助他们应对而不是犯同样的歧视性的做法。

我们必须把这个信息传播开来,并把这种思想传递给我们周围的人,使他们能够理解,所谓的用英语母语教师更好的想法起源于英国殖民地的教育,我们必须从这种腐朽的教育中脱离开并且继续往前走。我也指出过,我们全人学英语是作为一种和世界沟通的方式,我们的目的不可能也不应该是努力成为像英语为母语一样的人,因为我们有自己的母语。想要,模仿母语是英语的人是毫无意义的,我们的目标应该是变成双语,也就是在英语方面是有相当能力的人。在我的这次又长又充满激情的演讲结束后,他,被我说服了而且答应我他会尽他所能来传递这种理念。

就我个人而言,我会在我的领域继续反对这种思想,继续说服我的同仁、学生和我一生中会遇到的人,不要歧视英语非母语的老师,我们都希望成为英语非母语的、能够,掌握英语的人。我相信不论在任何地方,如果我们都能正面讨论这个问题来改变人们的思维方式并传递相同或相似的信息,总有一天我们会克服这种歧视,摆脱这种歧视的困扰。毕竟,世界上英语不是母语的教师人数要远远超过英语是母语的教师,而且这种现象还会持续下去。[宇翔 译]