Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Working with a Native English Teacher: Necessary or Not?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 @ 08:42 AM

Are you looking for a private English teacher?

native English teacherAre you wondering if it is necessary to work with a native English teacher in your private English classes?

I engaged in an interesting debate this week on LinkedIn about this subject with some other English teachers and the answer is different for every English learner.

The answer depends on the student's level, the reasons why the student is learning English, the context in which he or she will use the English skills and the student's learning style.



Who should learn English with a native teacher?


  •  Intermediate or advanced level students who like a challenge
  • International professionals who need to use English at work
  • Students who want to improve their pronunciation and intonation to sound more natural
  • Students who want to learn idioms or expressions that are specific to a country like the US or a city like New York or Boston


What is English immersion and why is it used?


With the English immersion method, English is the only language that is spoken throughout the entire class. 

This can be challenging but an experienced native English teacher should be able to use his or her teaching skills as well as nonverbal communication including gestures, tone of voice and role plays to help you understand.



Benefits of English immersion with a native English teacher...


  • Learn to think in English, not only in class but also outside of class
  • Connect culture with language by learning common expressions plus how, when and where to use them
  • Make the language real and fun, take it outside of the textbook and into real life situations



Just being a native English teacher is not enough...


In my opinion, the English immersion method with a native English teacher could be the best plan for many students' learning needs.

However, the native English teacher also must have qualifications, experience, patience and a positive attitude to help the student succeed.

Remember, this is a question that can be debated.

So please share your point of view below!




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photo by Stefan Baudy

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