Native Speakers Can't Teach Languages | The Truth About "Native Speaker" Marketing Trends

advanced topics Oct 21, 2020
 


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Hey everybody, I'm Kris Amerikos and welcome to another video before we jump into this video I have to give you a warning.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: In this video I'm going to be using the term native speaker a lot, and I'm going to explain why I use this term and why other people use this term.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And I just want you to know that you'll need to watch all the way to the end of the video to really understand what this video is about. So let's jump right in.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: First of all, why do people use this term native speaker for the last hundred plus years, people have been using the term native speaker to try to sell things


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And it's not only about English. Although today, most people think that this is related to English language learning


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's an issue that has been attached to other languages in the past as well. And it's all about how people learn languages and where they can get the right example of a language.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So people have always thought that if they go to a person who speaks this language. Naturally if they go to a person who speaks this language fluently. If they go to a person who has always spoke this language, then they will learn the right version of the language.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: In the time of Napoleon people in Russia actually wanted to learn French and they spoke French the aristocracy in Russia at that time spoke French as well as Russian


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And if you didn't know French then you weren't part of the upper class and they wanted their children to learn French so they hired native speakers.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And this is a really interesting period of time to look at because typically it was hard to find someone from France who wanted to go and live and teach French in Russia.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And what would happen a lot of times is you would find immigrants from other countries near France.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Many examples of people moving from Northern Africa to France who learned to speak French fluently.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They would be hired and they would go to Russia to work in these royal families and these aristocracy families aristocratic families and


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: But the end result was at least this is how the story from Russia goes is that those children would learn French from these people


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Then they would go to France and try to make connections their political business connections they would try to get an education there.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And when they would get there nobody would understand them because they were speaking a different type of French or they were speaking a different dialect or they had learned a different accent.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And this was the bane of their existence, the people who are trying to find these tutors and teachers for their children.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They emphasized so much that the person must be from France because they wanted to avoid making this mistake. And then the end result was overstated. It was stated that no one understood them of course people understood them, but they spoke with an accent.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And here is where the marketing opportunity came from. Right. It didn't just start there. I mean, this has always existed in language learning, but this is


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: A past example that we can apply to our modern day world because we see this repeating over and over again around the world.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Students believe that they need to study with a native speaker even students who have very low levels of language ability


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They might say that they want to study with a native speaker first because they don't want to learn bad habits or they don't want to learn the wrong accent and businesses and companies and schools have latched on to this idea because it helps them sell their product.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: In many places around the world and our lesson with a native speaker is two or three times more expensive than an hour lesson with a non native speaker.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now, how is that fair and it's not about fair. That's really the main point here that we need to underline, and we need to remember that it's not about being fair. It's not about what's right and what's wrong. It's about money.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's about marketing. The term native speaker is a marketing term. And that's why people use it to sell their product to sell a more expensive product and to convince people


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: That this product is better than others. So let's not forget that when we get into a discussion of native and non native and when we compare quality and where people are from an all of these things that are connected to this discussion that has become popular in our recent times.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now, I wish I could stop there. I wish I could say that's the marketing trend and people don't realize it's a marketing trend, but it's there.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: I think today, many people understand that that's about marketing and that most people don't actually believe that after they are educated in in the ways of language teaching


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Right so pedagogical universities will hopefully tell you about this that native speakers aren't necessarily better at teaching the language and you can't necessarily learn a language better from a native speaker, it shouldn't be clear to everyone. Right.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So why do people still not believe it. Well, really the main people who don't believe this are


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: beginning teachers typically native speakers or non native speakers. So beginning teachers who don't really have enough experience in this sphere in this area.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: To know why that's not true or students who have just heard this marketing so much that they believed it. And that's just the beginning because today in our recent times, we have a new marketing trend. It's the anti native speaker ism marketing trend.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: You'll see lots of people talking about how this is a problem, how we need to change this belief that native speakers are somehow better


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Than non native speakers at teaching the language or that they're more effective or that you can learn better or faster from them, there's going to be lots of people attacking this idea


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And they're attacking it for marketing. Also, it's really an interesting study. It's really an interesting phenomenon to look at because think about it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: In this video. The title is something with the words native speaker. And when I take all of the text. All of the audio transcript from what I'm saying right now and I included


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's going to say native speaker native speaker native speaker all over. It's just going to say the words native speaker, a million times. And when people write articles about anti native speaker ism and when they write about how it's not right that native speakers are considered better


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: What are they doing they're writing the for the phrase the words native speaker over and over and over again.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Well, this is also a great opportunity for you to market this because if you have thousands and thousands and thousands of people going to the internet and searching for native speakers.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Then your website, your video is going to pop up at the top of the list, because clearly if you've mentioned it so many times.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: You're speaking about this topic and people who are searching for it probably need to find you.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So when you find someone who is telling you that this isn't right. And they seem to be on a hunt for the truth, never believe that in the first place. When someone seems to be on a hunt for the truth and to be so benevolently telling you why everyone else is wrong.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Think about it for a minute, by talking about this topic, they're drawing more attention to themselves and it's not only about native speaker ism.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: This is just a trend that's happening in our society, and it's happening globally right now where you need to rebel against the traditional ways of doing things. It's a marketing trend.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So why do businesses use these marketing trends, they use them because they work.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: If people already believe this idea


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's harder to change what people believe than to use what people believe in order for you to get what you want.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And that's why you see people having these discussions. That's why you see websites writing articles about, is it really better to study with native speaker or when is it better to study with a native speaker or should we stop studying with native speakers.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Many people have different opinions on what this actually means for language learning in the future. But one thing is for sure when you see people talking about this. There's about a % chance that this is marketing.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So let's step away from the phrase native speaker for a second because there's another phrase that people use a lot. They use the phrase without an accent.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: In many countries, someone speaks without an accent. And that means that they are a native speaker. And if you speak with an accent. This means that you're not a native speaker.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And of course in those places. When people say with an accent. They mean with mistakes and when they say without an accent. They mean without mistakes.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: We all know the reality of this right that native speakers make a lot of mistakes and a highly trained non native speaker might actually make less mistakes than a native speaker.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: However, of course, that it doesn't matter because it's just marketing and most people out there who are discussing this topic, don't actually care.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: About what is right or what is wrong or which is better or worse, right. And most of us know already by just thinking about the simple facts.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: We already understand what's true and what's not, we already understand that every person in the world speaks with some kind of accent that every language has different variations and varieties


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: We also understand that English is our global language, the lingua franca that English is a standard for international business for online communication.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And as such, English has taken on a new role that English does not only belong to the traditionally English speaking countries and those traditionally English speaking countries are becoming less English speaking


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: More and more immigrants have moved there and influence how this language is developing and the English language is taking in foreign words all the time. So you have different standards of English in different places. So


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Sometimes people will say native speaker, sometimes people will say without an accent. And both of these things are used.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: To market products that are more expensive or to argue why they should be more expensive to say that they are more valuable more effective and that they get better results.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now, in case you don't know the truth about this or in case you you feel that not everyone does understand the difference. The truth is that with low level language learners. It is typically more effective for them to learn with someone who speaks the same first language as they do.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So a bilingual teacher who speaks both English and Russian


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: would typically be more effective teaching low level Russian speakers who are learning English, because if they just sit in a room with a person who speaks English at them, they're not going to pick up very much, especially if we're talking about adults.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And when we have someone who speaks the same language as them. We can explain some of the steps we can explain some of the pieces in their first language.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And then we can give them English language equivalence. Now it does this doesn't always have to be like translation method right a Grammar Translation method or anything like that.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It can be very effective when done properly, and it's about getting the person to actually say the words to produce the sounds and


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: To start using the language. However, just putting them in a room with a native speaker isn't going to do that. Typically, so with lower level students of languages native speakers are at a disadvantage because they can't communicate information that might speed up this process.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now at higher levels. It's more of a debate because you could have a great teacher who teaches this material very well.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: But if you're going to do a course on accent or pronunciation, then this kind of course or study should be focused on a specific area geographically typically right so a specific type of accent.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And clearly, if you want to learn the Jordi accent. You should probably review speakers of that accent so your teacher actually doesn't have to have that accent but


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Wouldn't it be nice to have a live example in front of you and that's how most people think about it. Now, you could also have a great non native teacher


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Teach Jordi accent and use lots of examples of people who speak with this accent and maybe they themselves don't even spend time there. So there's lots of options and variations and ways that we might say that one kind of teacher is better or worse. But really, what is a native speaker.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It doesn't really exist. This term exists for the purposes of marketing.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So let's break it down. There are some people that we call native speakers and native speaker typically means that a person has spoken this language for their whole life or, you know, since they were born from the time that they were a child.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And we can really see that there's a lot of different people who might fit into this category. And that's why it's difficult for businesses and for teachers and for students, especially to know if the person is really a native speaker or not.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: For example, there are some people who are first and only speakers. A first and only native speaker of English. If we want to call them that first and only speaker. This means that English is their first language and English is their only language.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now, what do you think if this person has never learned another language before then, how much experience do they have personally with language learning


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: If you find a polyglot a person who knows, many languages. Don't you think that they might have developed better strategies for learning languages in general.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: I mean it sounds logical, right. It's not always like that we can never say that it's exactly like this % of the time, but it makes sense doesn't it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And then let's look at first, and many language speakers, people who speak English as their first language and then they also speak many other languages.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: These people might also be native speakers, but they have experience with other languages. And this is where it gets really interesting because typically a first and only speaker of a language will consider their use of the language to be more pure to be pure than other speakers, especially


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: First, and many speakers.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Because when a person learns a new language. This new language might affect how they think about their first language also so many people who are first and only speakers criticize first and many speakers and say that they are less of a native speaker than they are.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And isn't that interesting, isn't it interesting that you could be a first and only speaker, you could only speak one language, you can make lots of mistakes in that language, but then


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: When someone points out that it's a mistake. You say, Well, those are just the standard rules and those don't apply to real life. That's just what they say in the book.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: But I have lived my whole life in this country. I have spoken this language my entire life. So of course what I say has to be right.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's an interesting perspective, it's an interesting philosophy that you can't be wrong because it's the only language you speak.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And just think about it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: If you needed to create a business and you only spoke one language and your business was connected to teaching that language to other people.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Well, it's a good position for you to take to defend against other people who might say that you don't teach correctly or properly.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And this is another point.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: What does it mean to teach correctly or properly or speak correctly or properly. This means that we have some standards of language use.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And we have to follow these standards. Now of course grammar in itself gives us standards that we should follow. So there are rules to the language. However, many of these rules can change depending on where we go


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And it's definitely not the most simplified version of the language. Right. People can still understand us when we make some mistakes, but other mistakes will cause people not to understand us


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So what really makes a native speaker doesn't mean that you don't speak other languages. I don't think so. Does it mean that you have to speak many other languages. I don't think so.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: I think that the term native speaker is just a marketing term. It's just used to sell things. So it really shouldn't make us feel so uncomfortable.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Because there's lots of things that are used to sell things right, lots of words in terms. I mean, if we think about food companies use the term organic natural


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: But those things typically are not really organic or natural


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Just like with native speakers.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So here's what you should remember, you shouldn't be fooled by people using the term native speaker or the word accent. You know, if someone says, without an accent or with an accent.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: What's happening here is someone is trying to prove why they are better than others that trying to show that their product is better than others.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Another way that people do this very often is with certificates diplomas and other pieces of paper.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So just imagine a person shows you their diploma and what are they trying to say when they do that.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: If they come to a job interview or if they have a call with a potential student and they say I have a bachelor's degree in this. I have a master's degree in this. I have a PhD in this. I have a certificate to teach this.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: What are they really doing they're telling you believe these pieces of paper because I haven't proven anything


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Right, and that's what they're doing when they sell you on native speakers, they're selling you this idea that they don't need to prove that they will get results, but that because they have this label native speaker.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: That you can just believe it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's crazy, isn't it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Because we all know that a person who gets a piece of paper or certificate a diploma and degree.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: We know that they're not the same that some people study hard and get a lot of results and then they really know what they're doing.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Some people study a lot and don't get results and they don't put it into practice and some people don't study at all. And they still get the piece of paper.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: TEFL certificates are exactly like this and all of you out there know that


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So,


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Let's think about it like, really think about it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Just being a native speaker doesn't actually make someone better or worse, just having a piece of paper doesn't make it better or worse.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: It's just a term. It's just a way that you are communicating value to someone when you're trying to market yourself. It's all about marketing, sales and advertising.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Its business. So this is what is really important. I'm making this video because I feel like a lot of people on the Internet today who are in the EFL ESL TEFL test salty, salty, you know, this community.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They're getting fooled by people making videos like this one. Making writing articles on their website posts on social media about anti native speaker ism.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Don't be fooled. This is a marketing trend, it's becoming more popular now because of the unpredictable times that we're in.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Right now there's a trend worldwide globally to take a stand against in justice.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And this trend always happens in history. You can see it happening becoming more prevalent and less prevalent. It always happens in periods of history where there's a destabilization of international order.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Right now, the United States has been a leader internationally and its influence and power is waning. It's becoming less it's decreasing


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And this means that there are going to be lots of challengers, it means that all of the traditions that have stuck with this paradigm. Up to this point are going to fade away. And that's why people are challenging them right now because there's available space in the market.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So you'll see people talking about racial injustice more you'll see people talking about any quality of all types more and


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: This concept of native speaker ism and non native speaker ism is just one of those topics. It's one of those points and people are going to use it to their advantage to gain a position that's more advantageous to them and to their business or their company or their organization.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So if any of you thought that that's not what's happening. I just hope that, in this video I'm able to communicate at least a little bit


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Of this idea to make you think about it, in fact, this video itself is going to be a marketing tool where I'm using this topic to attract attention. Don't be fooled. I'm one of these people. So


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Most people who are who are focusing on this topic. They don't actually want to take action. They just want attention.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Because let's face it, if they wanted something to change, then they would go out and they would hire non native teachers and they would promote those lessons and those products, but they don't


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They just make a video or a blog post and they tell you this is bad. This is wrong. We need to change this, but if they really want to change. They would just do it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: How many of them are actually hiring non natives not natives. Right. I mean, we've already discussed how this term doesn't actually make sense.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: How many of them hire non natives.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Maybe zero maybe one of the people who you read, who are talking about this. Most of them aren't in a position to hire anyone


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They haven't even built up you know some position of advantage or strength that they're able to use to incite change.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And they haven't even rallied people enough around this topic. They don't focus on this topic, completely. It's just a marketing trend is just the title of the blog post is just the title of a video.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So don't be fooled by that.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: But how can this change.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: If we really wanted to change, then how can we make a change.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: I really only see two ways. The first way is going back to this traditional concept of native speaker and non native speaker where because it's all about marketing.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: One way that this can change is students can become more aware of this and that's probably one of the goals of most of the people who are writing posts and


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And making videos and releasing information about this that are attacking this idea of course they're taking advantage of this current market trend and they're taking advantage of the current times where we're rebelling against everything traditional but


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: What's going to change things is really when students vote with their dollars.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: When students choose to give their dollars to non native teachers and to organizations that hire non native teachers over native teachers native teachers. That's when this will change when companies are impacted financially, they will see that this marketing trend has ended.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So that's one way that this might change. But the other way that this might change. And this is more realistic, I think, is that the whole field of language learning


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Will more or less be made obsolete by technology. And if this is a real option. This is a real situation that's approaching us right now.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Because as we speak, companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon are working on products that can understand language and translate language so well.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: That you won't ever need to learn the language, you'll be able to use some kind of tool or instrument or gadget to just translate what you want to say.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: We already have Google Translate that you can just hold up to a sign on the street and it will translate it for you or you can speak into it and it will translate for you.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And these programs and tools. They're only going to get better. So it's less likely that we're going to end this marketing trend of native speaker ism.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And it's more likely that this will just become obsolete because there will be less people trying to completely learn the language.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Now, of course, when this technology first comes out, it's not going to completely make everything obsolete. People will still learn languages and even when these gadgets and machines become widespread.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: People will still feel like they want to learn the language so that they can speak without the machine, right.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: They'll want to feel more comfortable and natural and they'll want to pass this on to future generations. However, we can see that traditions die.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And future generations will probably think that learning languages have become has become a less important task A less important thing that they need to master because now they have a machine that does it for them.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: So that's all I have to say about this topic for today. If you found it interesting, go ahead and write something under this video. If you thought that this was a waste of your time. I mean, I'm sure that you'll let me know by writing a comment or complaining about it.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: Right, that's the beauty of our world today, but I hope that at least it caused you to think about why people are discussing this topic.


::. --> ::.
Kris Amerikos: And maybe, just maybe the next time you see a video like this one, you'll understand why it was really made for marketing purposes. Again, my name is Kris Amerikos and thanks for watching. I will see you in the next video. Bye bye.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our community to know about the latest news and updates from our team.

 
Join Our Community
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.