The native speaker myth

The native speaker myth

One should understand that language acquisition is a skill which has to be taught by people who are skilled. It doesn't matter which nationality or color one appears with. The native speaker myth as believed and promoted by many academics around Thailand is that only a certain tribe of people from selected countries can or should teach English. The truth is that there are no real native speaker who know the language any more in this earth simply because what language is taught in the classroom and in prescribed text books are not used by common people in those countries.
English is not a language owned by any country and for that matter it is spoken (communicated) appropriately by a larger population of people in countries other than those mentioned as native speaker countries namely U K , U S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In simple words more people speak English outside these countries that all the countries put together.

The main reason for the widespread need to learn the English Language arose due to the advent of the computer, where in programs are written with English text and words. Many folk have much to gain by using unskilled workers to teach English so as to weaken the abilities of a larger population of learners, this in turn will enhance the population of low wage laborers, flesh traders and host of other professions that require very little or no knowledge of a foreign language. The native speaker myth looms over the downfall of the language acquisition abilities of poor innocent Thais. Simply coz the folks in charge want to earn a quick buck and con as many people into believing that they can learn best from someone who was born with the language spoken all around him/ her.

I am a native speaker myself but would not come out front and speak out loud to disturb my bosses or the financiers coz teaching English is what brings food to my stomach. I do however want to create an awareness that would enlighten the educated folk and academics into selecting people who are interested in teaching and not just people who need a job so they can hang around the country for fun( no offense to whom it may disturb but one cannot be a computer programmer if one has not been taught or trained to). To take appropriate steps to make sure that the selected people are genuinely interested in teaching and enhancing the abilities of the local children.
All the best to those desiring to live and work as teacher in the land of smiles.

Y. Coarter


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