Deciding to start studying a foreign language is both a large financial and time commitment and it is therefore very important that the student makes the right decision and selects the learning method that is best suited to them. Many students prefer studying at home alone or perhaps with a private teacher. However, the majority of language learners turn to language academies to help them to achieve their goals. This is where the next problem arises. With hundreds of language schools on offer, which one should you pick? When selecting a language school, there are many things that one may want to take into consideration. Price, available facilities and reputation are certainly among the top ranking in a list of countless factors that can make select or discard a language school. However, one factor that many seem to value above all others is the amount of native English speakers working in the academy.

Despite the hundreds of non-native English teachers that graduate a year people still seem to consider them inferior to native English speaker. That is why when searching for the perfect academy, those with native English teachers enjoy preference over those with non-native teaching staff.

A native English teacher is more experienced when it comes to speaking their language and their knowledge and understanding of the little specific features of the English language is incomparable and far superior to that of a non-native teacher.

Despite having a complete grasp of the English language there are certain aspects in which native English teachers are worse than their non-native counterparts. Let’s not forget that while native English speakers were born speaking English, non-native teachers had to go through the process of acquiring knowledge in order to speak English proficiently. They are therefore capable of understanding what grammatical structures may prove difficult for foreign students to understand as they themselves have faced the same problems.

When to introduce a native speaker into the learning experience is a very difficult question for most people. I personally would recommend introducing a native speaker when one reaches an intermediate level of English. This is due to the fact that learners new to the language need a solid base on which to build on in later stages and this can be achieved more easily by a non-native teacher who shares the student’s mother tongue.

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