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By Hanley
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Luận văn tiếng Anh:Learners’ attitudes towards native and nonnative English speaking instructors = Thái độ của người học đối với giáo viên bản ngữ và giáo viên người Việt. M.A Thesis Linguistics: 60 14 01 11
Nhà xuất bản:University of Languages and International Studies
This study investigated the learners‟ attitudes towards teaching methods
applied in speaking classes by native English speaking and non-native English
speaking instructors in an English center in Hanoi. The research participants
included 50 Vietnamese learners of various educational backgrounds. By
administering a closed-ended and self-report questionnaires as well as semi
structured interviews, the study revealed that learners perceive considerable
differences in the ways NES and NNES instructor apply teaching methods. Besides,
generally NES instructors were perceived as better oral teachers. However, in terms
of specific areas in teaching speaking namely grammar and learning strategies,
students showed favorable attitudes to NNES instructors. On the other hand, NES
instructors are preferred as pronunciation and vocabulary teachers.
1. Rationale of the study
It is widely recognized that English is an international language and is now
used as a main tool for global and intercultural communication around the world.
As a result, there is an increasing number of people trying to master this language.
In Vietnam, many students try to enhance their English competence by taking part
in English courses, which results in the increasing influx of foreign teachers coming
to Vietnam to teach English.
However, the role of native speakers and nonnative speakers as instructors of
English has been a controversial issue in recent years. Despite the fact that non
native English speaking ( NES) instructors around the world outnumber the native
English speaking (NNES) instructors by far ( Samimy & Brutt- Friffler, 1999),
numerous cases of discrimination against NNES instructors have been reported and
NES instructors are preferred over NNES instructors when they are applying for the
same position (Braine, 1999). Indeed, there is a stereotype that native English
speaking instructors are the ideal language instructors. According to Wong (2009),
many employers of private language centers and public schools in non- English
speaking countries, especially in Asia, have begun recruiting NESIs to teach at their
centers or schools. These schools or centers often put emphasis on having NESIs as
their strength. According to the researcher‟s observation the findings from these
studies may, to some extent, be similar to the situation of her teaching context. It is
not uncommon to see some native speakers with different backgrounds and in
different study areas going to Vietnam to teach English to make money when they
travel overseas. In fact, as cited in “Native English-speaking teachers in Vietnam:
Professional identities and discourses of colonialism” by David Bright (2012), in
Vietnam, NES teachers including those with minimal or no qualifications or
teaching experience, enjoy greater access to jobs with vastly superior benefits and
conditions than do many Vietnamese English teachers who have completed higher
degrees in Western English-speaking countries.
It is not rare to see advertisements from private language centers and schools
emphasizing on having NES instructors as one of their competitive advantages. As
indicated in “Are native speakers “good” language instructors? A case study of
untrained ESL tutors” (2009), to show the world‟s strong preference for native
English teachers, Moussu (2006) reports that in a quick visit of a famous
international ESL website, she found the majority of the ESL jobs listed on the job
board were offered to native English teachers only. Through a doctoral research
namely “ Status of non-native English teachers as ESL teachers in the USA”,
Mahboob found that the number of NNS teachers teaching ESL in the United States
is low (only 7.9% of the teachers employed at these programs), and that this low
figure is disproportionate to the high number of NNS graduate students enrolled in
MA TESOL and similar teacher-education programs. Mahboob attributes the low
figure to the preference given by most (59.8%) program administrators to “native
English speakers” in hiring practices.
According to Braine (1999), a commonly- used explanation for the
discrimination against NNES teachers is that students prefer to be taught by native
speakers. However, it is still doubtful whether students do show a preference for
NES teachers. While researchers have explored problems related to native speaking
versus non-native speaking instructors at length in recent years, language educators
and researchers in Vietnam have been quite silent on this topic. Specifically,
Walkinshaw and Duong (2012) is the only study which investigated the relative
value perceived by Vietnamese EFL students from tertiary institutions to native and
non-native teachers. However, as the authors suggested that research should be
conducted in other educational contexts such as high schools or private language
institutions may increase the findings‟ generalisability. As a result, it is worthwhile
to explore the problems from the students‟ perspective in order to ascertain whether
students prefer native English-speaking teachers over non-native counterparts.
Moreover, it is also worth finding out the differences in teaching methods between
the two groups of teachers. For such reasons I choose “Learners’ attitudes
towards native and nonnative English speaking instructors” which was
conducted at a private English center as a theme for my thesis.
2. Aims of the study
This study is carried out with the aim to identify the differences between
native and non-native English speaking instructors as perceived by students, with
regard to instructors‟ teaching behavior in speaking classes.
3. Research questions
To achieve the aim mentioned above, the following research questions were
raised for exploration:
1. What do learners perceive as the differences between native and non
native instructors with respect to their teaching methods through speaking
2. Do learners perceive NES instructors superior to their nonnative
4. Scope of the study
This study focuses on students studying IELTS courses at EQuest Hanoi.
Particularly, this minor thesis only refers to the categorization of the students'
attitudes towards the differences between NES and NNES instructors with regard to
their teaching behaviour in speaking lessons.
5. Methodology of the study
Since my minor thesis is an empirical research, I choose quantitative and
qualitative research methods. To be more specific, I will collect qualitative data
using semi-structured interviews as well as quantitative data using closed questions.
6. Design of the study
The study is intended to consist of three parts as follows:
Part I is the Introduction which give reasons for choosing the thesis, aims and
objects and scope of the study as well as the methodology of the study.
Part II is the Development which will be divided into three chapters:
- Chapter I: Literature review provides concepts of native speaker, native and non
native teachers in ELT, and some studies on students‟ attitudes towards native and
non-native instructors.
- Chapter II: Methodology provides the readers with the data collection
instruments. Detailed information about the research procedure and the participants
of the study is also presented.
- Chapter III: Data analysis and findings presents and analyzes the data collected
from the questionnaires and from students‟ interviews.
Part III is the Conclusion which reviews the study, presents the suggestions for the
teachers, the limitations of the study and suggestions for further study. Following
part III is the References and Appendices.

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