Mothertongue language teachers in public schools
I studied English at school. In Italy we usually don't have mothertongue English teachers in public schools (well...we didn't have when I was a student...but I don't think the scenario is changed now)...and I think this is a nonsense...it's like to have a sailor as ski instructor. Italian students get used to listen an "italianized" pronunciation and they usually don't understand mothertongue english people. Moreover films and TV series are always dubbed, so, if you want to listen a correct English pronuntiation, you have to use internet.
What about language teachers in other countries? Are they usually mothertongue?
When i remember how i learned languages at school, well, i would say we could have spent the time much better to say the least... None of my English teachers was a native speaker but that was only one problem. Furthermore they often spoke German during the English lessons, so we hardly listened to the language And now that i'm dealing a lot with the different methods of language learning it became so clear to me how important it is, to listen a lot, especially to people with a good pronunciation! In my view, listening helps much more than studying a lot of grammar. And it is more fun, too...
Here in the US being a native speaker is pretty much a requirement to teach a foreign language. So much so that one of the French teachers at my high school was scoffed at and ridiculed for being from Africa, even though French was her first language and the only other language she spoke was English, AND a Spanish teacher at my middle school got fired half way through his first year when parents complained that he was too white to be teaching Spanish. (Although, they were really firing because he was gay. Still, the fact that that could be considered the "Legitimet Reasoning" is kind of appaling.)
So there's an alternate experiance. I do agree that language teachers should have some sort of accent test or training, though.
In Canada my language teachers were either native speakers or close to native. It is not a requirement to be native speaker to teach the language. In the US it is a mixture as well. The language teacher not only has to teach the language, but also needs to explain in the students' language as well. how many years did you study English in school?
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