Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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This paper reports on case studies of three non-native English speaker teachers who teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults in Australia. It sets out to show that while there are differences in the teachers’ backgrounds, there are also similarities which derive from their non-native status, and from the fact that they are high-level bilinguals of English and at least one other language. The paper begins by reviewing the debate in English language teaching (ELT) internationally about the place of native and non-native speakers in ELT and goes on to outline the research which has been carried out to date in comparing native and non-native teachers in other countries. The paper then argues for the importance of examining these issues in the Australian context. The experience and insights of the three teachers are examined through the analysis of interviews and classroom transcripts, and are linked to the growing literature which suggests that teachers’ practices are heavily informed by their knowledge, beliefs and experience. I argue that the distinctive but shared resources of non-native teachers merit looking at their contribution in a new light.


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