A Global Conversation on Native-Speakerism: Toward Promoting Diversity in English Language Teaching

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Sarah Hopkyns, Zayed University

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

World Englishes, Global Classrooms

Publication Date



It has been over three decades since Paikeday’s “The Native SpeakerNative speaker is Dead” was published, but alas the native speaker fallacyNative speaker fallacy (belief that native speakers are the ideal language teachers) is still very much alive and remains dominant in the field of English language teaching. Although awareness of linguistic discrimination and the racialization of English are widespread in academic circles, on the ground such injustices are still common, as can be seen when browsing job advertisements which often directly request “native speakersNative speaker” (NSs). This chapter begins with a series of autoethnographic accounts of the author’s experiences of native-speakerism occurring globally. These accounts are used as a springboard for a multiple case study exploring the attitudes and experiences of 130 adult learners and 72 English language teachers in two multilingual and multicultural cities: VancouverVancouver, CanadaCanadaand Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates. Findings revealed that native-speakerism has a strong presence in students’ ideologies as well as teachers’ recruitment and classroom experiences. It is argued that the linguistic and ethnic background of teachers often greatly affects their experiences. From a world EnglishesWorld Englishes perspective, the binary terms “native speaker/non-native speaker” are problematized due to the complex composition of English speakers today. Practical ways to move beyond NS/NNS binaries and embrace diversity in English language teaching are advocated.


978-981-19-4032-3, 978-981-19-4033-0


Springer Nature Singapore

First Page


Last Page





Native Speakerism, Diversity, English Language Teaching (ELT), World Englishes, Linguistic imperialism

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access