5 Myths About Foreign Language Learning: #2 Native Speakers Are the Better Foreign Language Teachers
Are native speakers always the best choice when you want to learn a foreign language?
Not true: Many think that having a native speaker of the foreign language they are trying to learn as a teacher is an automatic guarantee for success. Of course this is not true because teaching a language requires so much more knowledge and skill than just being a competent user of the language.
The only true advantage that a native speaker has over a proficient non-native speaker when teaching a foreign language is ‘authentic competence’ in the language.
A proficient non-native speaker can be as good or even better than a native speaker especially when it comes to supporting a language learner on their learning journey. The non-native speaker teacher has gone through a very similar experience with the foreign language and is more aware of the difficulties the learners will encounter.
However, the #1 factor that will guarantee your success in learning a foreign language is to have a teacher with a high level of theoretical knowledge about language learning and teaching and extensive teaching experience. Both is necessary, an expert in the theory cannot perform to the best of their ability if they are lacking teaching experience and a teacher who has decades of teaching experience but lacks the theoretical knowledge will not be able to get the best out of their learners.