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Is it better to have a native English-speaking teacher?

I am sure that during your time studying English, you have more than once wondered which classes are best to invest in and which option works better - lessons taught by a non-native teacher or perhaps a native speaker.

So if you are currently faced with choosing a language course or one-to-one lessons and are wondering which teacher will be the right choice for you, let me share my thoughts with you.

Native speaker vs. Non-native teacher

Unfortunately, I have to upset you because there is no clear answer to this. If you want to break the language barrier, want to dive deep and immerse yourself in the language, and additionally have access to knowledge of the news, culture and customs of the teacher's country of origin, then you can safely choose lessons conducted by a native speaker.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to feel safe in a foreign language class, you want to be able to use your mother tongue in stressful moments and you want someone to explain the grammar to you in a way that you will understand once and for all, then a non-native teacher is better.

However, there is no 100% rule that will work in every case, although I acknowledge that the above distinction usually works. Whatever teacher you decide on, you must, first of all, choose someone who is qualified to teach. Unfortunately, coming from an English-speaking country is not enough.

From my perspective as a student, as you probably know that I, like you, learned the language and am not a native speaker, I can say that I had different teachers. The teaching styles of native and non-native were radically different. The non-natives were perfectly organised, conscientious and well-prepared for classes, while the natives quickly won the hearts of the students with their easygoing behaviour, charisma and their melodious accent. I loved the laid-back lessons, sometimes chaos in the classroom and random topics, all this just to listen to their accent and soak it up.

I think, on the other hand, that as a student I often liked to hear concrete solutions concerning practical advice on how to master problematic topics based on the experience of my non-native teachers. I was grateful for sharing all recommendations that I now share with my students.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that whether you learn faster and more effectively does not depend only on the teacher, but also on you and how much effort you yourself put into achieving your language goals. Even the most experienced teacher will not help if you lack motivation and time to study regularly. Remember that the nationality of your teacher will not play such a key role if you find someone who is qualified, competent and who can simply pass on his or her knowledge in a pleasant and understandable manner. I wish you all the best in meeting exactly such a teacher:)

Happy learning!

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