I’ve been thinking and thinking about what to add to the responses I’ve seen to Karenne’s Dogme Blog Challenge #6, where the focus this time is on NEST/NNESTs and dogme, and come up a bit of a blank.
Oh, for those not in the know, NEST = Native English Speaker Teacher; NNEST = Non Native English Speaker Teacher (i.e. someone who also learnt English as a Foreign/Second/Other Language). And welcome to acronym hell (or heaven depending)
It seems everyone’s coming to more or less the same conclusion (that it doesn’t really matter whether a teacher is a native speaker or not, good teachers win out, and both can dogme, but maybe from different starting points and with different underlying knowledge). Please read these teachers’ posts. They are clear and clever to the core:
- Henrick Oprea: NESTs vs NNESTs – What is the big difference?
- Cecilia Coelho: Nothing More… Nothing Less…
- Richard Whiteside: Are native speaker models so important?
- Sabrina de Vita: It all comes down to PASSION
To be perfectly honest, I have little to add here. My colleagues have done a fab job of exploring the issue, earlier touched upon by Ken Wilson among others. As a native speaker who has taught in Spain and the UK alongside both native and non native speakers, I can definitely say that we all bring our skills to the table, and that both alike have the potential to dogme.
However, I’d like to widen my viewfinder, and draw an analogy which may be barking up the wrong tree entirely (if this is the case, feel free to say so!).
Namely, would you eat this bloke’s spaghetti?
Ok, if you don’t know, that’s Jamie Oliver. Born in Clavering, Essex, and certainly not Italian. The point is, language, like cooking, is not (entirely) a product. So I don’t think you can tie it together with the issue of nativeness. So just like Jamie can learn to cook Italian (I think) we can teach ourselves and others to learn a lingo! But this is all really just hot air, and I’ve got no proof, just what I think.
For more Jamie related info, check out his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Oliver
For more food-related EFL blogging, do check out the Tesla Coil: http://theteslacoil.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/is-esl-basically-a-doughnut/