Students’, Teachers’ and Recruiters’ Perception of Teaching Effectiveness and the Importance of Nativeness in ELT


  • Marek Kiczkowiak University of Leuven


teaching effectiveness, attitudes, teaching English, native speakerism


The question of whether students prefer ‘native speaker’ teachers has been extensively explored (Chun, 2014; Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2005; Moussu & Llurda, 2008). Equally, there is a growing body of literature which has aimed to identify what teacher skills and qualities contribute to being an effective English teacher (Bell, 2005; J. C. Richards, 2010). Nevertheless, the question of preference for ‘native speakers’ has rarely been explored in the context of the skills and qualities of effective English teachers. Consequently, this MMR attempted to triangulate the perceptions of students, teachers and recruiters in Polish language schools as to which skills and qualities they view as important for an effective English teacher and compare these to the importance attached to ‘nativeness’. The results show that students and recruiters attached significantly more importance to proficiency and ‘nativeness’ than did the teachers, who in turn found gaining rapport in class significantly more important. Nevertheless, ‘nativeness’ and the teacher’s L1 were considered to be the least important qualities by all three cohorts. This suggests that despite the prevalence of native speakerism, ELT professionals recognise that it is not the teacher’s L1, but their pedagogical skills that contribute to teaching effectiveness.