About second language learning!Please help me.

Jane Hsu   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 06:54 GMT
Do u think learning second langusge from foreign teacher must get the best result than from native teacher ?
Is there any advantage or disadvantage?

It's my homework.
Please help me.
Ant_222   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 08:46 GMT

As I understood from conversating at this forum, there are both
disadvantages and adventages for both the types of learning a second language.

Native English speakers often can not explain why a sentence is correct or incorrect. They just understand it for themselves. But they, in most cases, know their language much better than foreigners.

The point is that native and foreign langueges are often learnt in very different ways. The native language is "imbibed with the mother's milk", whilst a foreign one is learnt using many grammar rules. Unless you make yourself think in the secod language, you can't abstract from it's rules.

I'd say that it is good to have a native teacher (native for you, foreign for the language being learnt) in order that he or she not only is able to tell you what is correct and what is incorrect but to _explain_ it to you. And, at the same time, you should have the opportunity to communicate with native speakers.

Jane Hsu   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 12:16 GMT
Thanks a lot .^^
I can hand in my homework lo.yup.
Mxsmanic   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 14:54 GMT
For most students, teachers can be either native or non-native speakers. It's unusual for a non-native speaker to achieve native fluency, but at the same time, few students are advanced enough to be able to distinguish between a good non-native speaker and a native speaker. So unless you are very advanced in your study of English, any good English teacher will do, whether he is a native speaker of English or not.

As Anton says, people who have learned English as a foreign language often have a much better grasp of grammar and other formal points of the language than do native speakers (this is true for any language, by the way). So for grammar and formal teaching points, a well-trained non-native is preferable to a poorly-trained or untrained native speaker.

The greatest advantage of native teachers is for pronunciation, but unless you are determined to completely eliminate your accent, having a native speaker as a teacher isn't really necessary. Some non-native speakers achieve native pronunciation, too.

I think that, as a general rule, if you can easily discern the difference between your teacher's speech and that of native speakers, then he doesn't master English well enough to continue teaching you, especially for pronunciation. If you can't easily hear any difference, you don't have to worry. Note that even a native teacher may leave you with an odd accent, if he himself speaks English with a strong and unusual regional accent (such as that of many southern U.S. states).
Steve K   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 15:52 GMT
I believe that a native speaker teacher can be much more effective for one major reason. The most important factor determining the success or failure of the language learner is motivation. Since the goal of learning another language is to communicate with people of that language, it is much more motivating to learn from a native speaker, at least that is my opinion. It is, however, important that the native speaker speak his/her language well.
Steve K   Sunday, September 26, 2004, 15:53 GMT
Jane Hsu,

Since you need this info for your homework, please tell us your opinion, in your own words.
Tom   Monday, September 27, 2004, 23:04 GMT
Choose a teacher who has mastered at least one foreign language well, like Steve K, Mxsmanic, or me. This is a far more important distinction that "native speaker/non-native speaker".

The fact that someone was born in England and holds a teacher certification doesn't mean he/she knows what's involved in learning a foreign language.
Steve K   Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 00:39 GMT
Having heard Tom's English he qualifies as a native speaker.
Clark   Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 00:50 GMT
I had a Spanish teacher in high school who was a native English-speaker, and I felt that since she had to learn Spanish, and know it inside and out, that she was a better Spanish teacher than the other teachers who were native speakers.
Mxsmanic   Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 05:01 GMT
That's often true in the United States, where many Spanish teachers are woefully underqualified. One reason I never considered studying Spanish in the United States was that there was virtually no one qualified to teach it, and I wasn't interested in learning Mexican slang and profanity. Spanish classes were more like easy-credit social clubs for Mexicans and their descendants who already spoke something resembling Spanish than serious language classes for someone who wanted to learn the real thing. If you asked to learn Castilian Spanish, people would just laugh at you.
regular poster   Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 05:05 GMT
<<Having heard Tom's English he qualifies as a native speaker.>>

what about my accent?

<< already spoke something resembling Spanish >>

the same can be said of the united states.....they speak something resembling english

<< learn Castilian Spanish, people would just laugh at you.>>

is like asking you to teach them british english
Franco   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 02:09 GMT
Why does everyone hassle mexicans and south american spanish speakers? Only a miniscule portions of the spanish speaking world is from Spain.
Mxsmanic   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 06:39 GMT
Why does everyone hassle anyone who doesn't speak British English? Only a minuscule portion of native English speakers speak British English. And the "standard" Received Pronunciation so popular in ESL materials is spoken by only about 2% of the population even in the UK.

The most common form of English among native English speakers in the world is American English, spoken by almost all the United States and much of Canada (over 300 million native speakers, as opposed to only 60 million speakers of all British versions of English combined, and only about 1 million speakers of RP).

The Spanish spoken in the U.S. is often very poor Spanish even by South American standards. Educated people in central Mexico speak very good Spanish, but they aren't the ones emigrating to the U.S., and Mexican immigrants and their descendants in the U.S. speak really bad Spanish; even other Mexicans recognize that. So it's not the same as American English versus British English.

Furthermore, there's really no such thing as "British English," because there are so many different regional accents in the UK. Nothing is really standard, and the "standard" of RP is totally artificial. In contrast, General American English is extremely consistent, real, and widespread. There are a good 200-300 million people in North America who speak English so similarly that they are pretty much indistinguishable.

Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily insist that I be taught Castilian Spanish, but the gutter talk that passes for Spanish in much of the U.S. would be absolutely unacceptable to me. I wouldn't want to sound like a drunken, illiterate sailor to the rest of the Spanish-speaking world.
Steve K   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 13:31 GMT
It is a matter of choice. Most people find the French spoken in France, regardless of regional accent, generally more elegant and pleasant to listen to than the French of Quebec. However, if you live in Quebec you are better off learning the local version. I prefer the Spanish of Spain but if I lived in Mexico or Argentina I would learn the local version. I am conceited enough to think that the English spoken in Canada is the easiest to understand of any English accent, since does not have the nasal quality of much of American English and is more standard than British English. However, generaly a well educated Englishman uses the language better than most of my compatriots, although there are many in Britain who do not.
Easterner   Thursday, September 30, 2004, 08:28 GMT
My personal experience, in brief, on the subject of this thread:

Non-native teachers work better at elementary level. They understand the problems of learners speaking a given language better than natives (I mean the case when the teacher speaks the same language as his or her students - I have no experience with mixed beginner classes). On the other hand, a native teacher can give a better example of native usage than a non-native one - generally speaking, of course (I have also met non-native teachers sounding as authentic as native speakers, but they are quite a rarity). And one more thing in favour of native teachers at this level: being able to speak to a representative of the target culture provides added motivation for most students.