Saturday, 11 May 2013

Post-plenary rant

I've had a good night's sleep and I'm ready for new challenges!

I felt extremely motivated by the first plenary by Suzanne Panferov. She touched upon a topic I feel very strongly about – non-native teachers of English.

“Quality English teachers are no longer qualified just by being native English speakers.”

“Have you been to the dentist?” she asks. “Does that make you qualified to be a dentist?”

I've always felt not-slighty miffed by the advertisements along the lines of: “Native speaker? Come teach English in exciting places, get qualified in two weeks!!!!”

I take pride in my work. I take immense pride in the fact that I'm able to, day in day out, get up, walk into a classroom of people who don't want to be there and make their language skill improve, bit by bit. I will not be compared to a student who read a handbook on teaching. I refuse to accept this degradation of what I see as one of the most difficult and least recognised professions in the world.

We can all contribute to the field, native or non-native. And, as I've learnt in the past year, everyone can make a contribution.

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