Year 2015, Volume 4 , Issue 2, Pages 156 - 170 2015-12-22

Native and non-native English teachers: secondary school students’ preferences for their English teachers

Sema MEŞİNCİGİLLER [1] , Sumru AKCAN [2]

This study explores the preferences of secondary school students studying at private schools with regard to their native and non-native English teachers. The reasons behind their preferences are also investigated in the study. In order to reveal their preferences, 680 students were surveyed through an attitude scale including a question about which group of English teachers they would prefer while learning English, followed by an open ended question seeking the reasons for their preferences. Additionally, six structured focus group interviews, for about 4, 5 hours in total, were held with 84 of them, and two English classes of students were observed both with two native English speaking teachers and two non-native English speaking teachers in a period of three months for 35 lesson hours. Descriptive statistics were run on SPSS to analyse the quantitative data and the qualitative data were analysed through the content analysis method. The results of the study indicated that these students had positive attitudes towards both their native English-speaking English teachers (NESTs) and their non-native English-speaking English teachers (NNESTs), so they mostly preferred to be taught by both groups of teachers. It was also revealed that these students mostly recognized their teachers’ different strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, they mostly preferred their NESTs for the teaching of oral skills and vocabulary teaching, and they favoured their NNESTs mostly for grammar teaching and as they provided the use of L1 (Turkish) when necessary.

Keywords: native and nonnative English teachers, secondary school English classes, students’ attitudes towards native and nonnative teachers, students’ preferences.  

Journal Section Research Article


Author: Sumru AKCAN


Application Date : December 22, 2015
Acceptance Date : June 12, 2021
Publication Date : December 22, 2015

APA Meşincigiller, S , Akcan, S . (2015). Native and non-native English teachers: secondary school students’ preferences for their English teachers . ELT Research Journal , 4 (2) , 156-170 . Retrieved from