Native English speaker teachers (NESTs) have been travelling the world teaching English for hundreds of years (Keaney, 2016). However, the road has not always been smooth and recently NESTs and ‘native speakerism’ (an ideology that promotes the notion that the best English teacher is a native English teacher) have been roundly criticised in a range of contexts from academic journals to the media.

However, criticism has not stemmed the flow and many countries actively recruit NESTs, whether for their English language skills or in order to meet the demand for English language teaching which cannot be met by local English teachers (LETs).

Drawing on a recent British Council sponsored project Investigating NEST schemes around the world: supporting NEST/NNEST collaborative practices and on the publication, LETS and NESTs: Voices, Views and Vignettes, this presentation will examine the experiences of NESTs and LETs as they work together and the challenges they face. It will put forward suggestions for ensuring successful collaborative practices so that the language teaching experience is a rewarding one for all.


About the lecturer:

Fiona Copland is Professor of TESOL at the University of Stirling, where she is also Deputy Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She has worked in Nigeria, Hong Kong, Japan and the UK teaching English and training teachers and has extensive experience of teacher education at Master’s level. Her research interests include discourses of teacher education, teaching English to young learners and native English speaker teachers. She has published in these areas and also in linguistic ethnography, co-writing, Linguistic ethnography: collecting, presenting and analysing data, with Angela Creese. She is co-editor, with Sue Garton, of the Palgrave Macmillan Series International Perspectives in TESOL.