It is no secret that English has become the global lingua franca.
Research shows that 'non-native speaker' users of the language outnumber the 'native' ones by at least 4:1. And this number is only going to grow in the coming years.
So how can we best help students become successful users of English in this vastly multilingual, lingua franca context?
Traditionally, all foreign languages have been taught with the 'native speaker' in mind. In other words:
...students were assumed to be learning the language to communicate with 'native speakers'
...as a result, they should learn 'native speaker' language, but also the culture that comes with it
...in order to do that, students would listen to recordings of standard 'native speaker' speech
...and be encouraged to imitate 'native speaker' pronunciation
...as well as vocabulary, idioms and communication patterns
This has led to a situation where the 'native speaker' was deemed the only appropriate language model and the ultimate goal of learning and teaching. It is not surprising then that the 'native speaker' has been, and is also still, seen as the ideal teacher.
It is also not surprising that so many students express a preference for 'native speaker' teachers and 'native speaker' language.
This state of affairs has often been referred to as native speakerism.
So we're in a situation where we know English is primarily used as a global means of communication.
BUT, at the same time we...
...tend to focus on conformity with standard 'native speaker' language norms, rather than communicative strategies
...are likely to emphasise standard 'native speaker' pronunciation, rather than intelligibility in international communication
...frequently teach about 'native speaker' culture, rather than about intercultural communicative skills
...might view having a foreign accent as bad, rather than simply as a sign of sociolinguistic diversity
...seem to use recordings of 'native speakers' much more frequently, rather than authentic recordings of a variety of English users
And, of course, to top it all off, numerous schools still hire 'native speakers' only, claiming that they are the best models of the language and the best teachers.
So how do we tackle this situation?
What can we as teachers, materials writers and trainers do to overcome native speakerism, promote equality and help students succeed at using English for global communication?
Join TEFL Equity Academy to learn exactly how you can do this.
How to tackle native speakerism
You will understand what the ideology of native speakerism is, how it is spread in ELT and what can you do to address it, whether you're a teacher, trainer or materials writer.
How to teach pronunciation for English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)
You will find out how to save time by focusing on the pronunciation features that have the highest impact on intelligibility. You will walk away with a framework that you can easily implement to teach engaging and effective pronunciation lessons.
How to gain confidence as a 'non-native speaker' teacher
You will understand why recruiters prefer 'native speaker' teachers and how to debunk these arguments. You will also learn what your unique strengths are as a 'non-native speaker', so that you can utilise these to increase your chances of getting hired.
How to motivate your students using recordings of 'non-native speakers'
You will find out why using a wide variety of authentic accents in your listening classes can help motivate students. You will walk away with practical activities, useful websites and classroom suggestions so that you're completely ready for your next listening class.
How to boost your employability
You will learn how to write a rock-solid CV, craft a killer cover letter, succeed in the interview and create an irresistible professional profile. You will listen to interviews with successful English teachers and with recruiters who will share their best job-hunting tips.
How to raise students' awareness and promote an ELF mindset
You will know why it is vital to first discuss both native speakerism and English as a Lingua Franca with your learners. You will walk away with an array of practical activities and lesson plan ideas, so you can save time when planning your next class.
How to create lesson plans and adapt your course book for teaching ELF
You will learn how to prepare engaging and motivating lesson plans that promote equality, help tackle native speakerism and teach English for global communication. You will also understand how to quickly and easily adapt your existing course books, so you can save tons of planning time.
I am a teacher, teacher trainer and founder of TEFL Equity Advocates and Academy, where I help English teachers tackle 'native speaker' bias by teaching English as a Lingua Franca. I also help 'non-native speaker' teachers overcome their fears and worries by busting the 'native speaker' fallacy, so that they can become more confident and teach English successfully.
I have taught English in Latin America and in Europe, and am currently teaching at KU Leuven, Belgium. I hold a BA in English Philology from the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Cambridge CELTA and DELTA, and a PhD in TESOL from the University of York, UK. I have delivered workshops, talks and plenaries at many international conferences and events for English teachers in Europe and North America.
"English has rapidly become a language with no single national provenance and for which there are increasingly few ‘native speakers’ (even if we could accurately describe what such a term means - something we are far from being able to do). Teaching students to speak this international language - this lingua franca - is a special task and we need training to help us understand how to do it. Marek Kiczkowiak, with his background and experience, is just the person to provide such training"
- Jeremy Harmer, ELT Writer and Trainer
"Thanks so much for these courses! Illuminating and informative and thought-provoking and the beginning of a long and wide discussion"
- Kateřina Keplová, English teacher from the Czech Republic
"First of all, I'd like to express my gratitude to you for your genuine passion for teaching and teacher training. I've completed a mini course on English as a Lingua Franca and Teaching Pronunciation. Needless to say, both topics are critical nowadays, taken the English language proliferation in the world. The course met my expectations and needs for it provided me with a balanced blend of theory and practice on Lingua Franca Core and allowed my to share my thoughts and lived experiences regarding such issues as teaching pronunciation and dealing with accents, including my own. Thank you!"
- Kristina Navnyko, English Teacher
"Before following these courses, I was unaware of the significance of ELF. If you teach English in an international context, you must follow these short courses with Marek, a recognized leader in the field of English as a Lingua Franca and native speakerism."
- Frank Bonkowski, ESL Teacher and On-line Course Creator in Canada
"The content of these courses is highly recommandable; it is very well-tailored, knowledgeable and relevant to teaching and beyond. Thanks to your sharp insights and findings, I no longer feel alone as a non-native English teacher. "
- Farid Bourkache, English Teacher in France