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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10445/7692

Title: Native-Speaker Dependency: The Validity of Student Preference
Authors: Rivers, Damian
Abstract: This presentation identifies, and invites discussion concerning, an unresolved professional conflict experienced by the author. On the one hand, the author stands as an ardent critic of “native-speaker” models of English language education and the inequalities they sustain and promote (see Houghton & Rivers, 2013; Rivers 2013). However, in recognizing the principled importance of “freedom of choice” the author also seeks to empower students by encouraging their active participation in the educational process and decentralizing powers traditionally assigned to the teacher and/or the institution (see Rivers, 2014). Therefore, when confronted with the question shown in the title of this presentation a professional conflict arises. Qualitative data collected from 124 undergraduate students at a Japanese national university is shared in support of this discussion. These students, as part of an integrated course orientation program undertaken by the author, were asked to provide a written response to the question - Is it important to be taught by a “native-speaker” English teacher? Although over 95% of the respondents affirmed the perceived importance of having a “native-speaker” English teacher, the textual responses gathered were thematically diverse. In addition to exploring the textual responses given, this presentation asks whether the preference for a “native-speaker” English teacher is a valid one giving due consideration to the observation that the “most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities” (Bloom, 1987: 249). In other words, due to the widespread socialization of Japanese students into the “native-speaker” paradigm alternative models of English language education remain distinctly unknown and thus unvalued.
Research Achievement Classification: 国際会議/International Conference
Type: Conference Paper
Peer Review: あり/yes
Solo/Joint Author(s): 単著/solo
Date: 1-Sep-2013
Appears in Collections:Damian Rivers

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