“I have a stereotype that Bule are smart”: Student perceptions on native and non-native English teachers

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Teuku Muhammad Ridha Al Auwal


Tsunami disaster in 2004 has led a massive influx of volunteers from around the world coming to Aceh in order to help and rebuild Aceh. Shortly after that native English teachers, the so-called Bule, have mushroomed in many schools and colleges in Aceh. Many educational institutions are highly interested in native English teachers (NETs) than non-native English Teachers (NNETs). The former group is inevitably assumed to be much better in teaching English regardless of their educational backgrounds than the latter that are most of them, in fact, well trained and graduated from several prestigious universities within the inner circle countries. This study investigated the student perceptions on NETs and NNETs. The participants consisted of 26 EFL students who have been enrolled for 3.5 years at Samudra University. The empirical data were collected through a questionnaire, with a series of open-ended questions. The findings revealed that most students (74.07%) prefer to be in NETs class should they are allowed to choose; even though almost all of them (96.29%) have never been taught by NETs. Yet, there are 14.81% of participants who do not have a distinctive preference between NETs and NNETs. Interestingly, the issue of nativeness does not influence student perceptions on NETs and NNETs in terms of which group is more ideal as English teachers; there are around 48.14% of students who believed both groups deserve to be ideal English teachers. Overall, students hold positive perceptions and attitudes towards both NETs and NNETs.

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AL AUWAL, Teuku Muhammad Ridha. “I have a stereotype that Bule are smart”: Student perceptions on native and non-native English teachers. Proceedings of English Education International Conference, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 412-417, nov. 2016. ISSN 2527-8037. Available at: <http://eeic.unsyiah.ac.id/proceedings/index.php/eeic/article/view/81>. Date accessed: 06 dec. 2022.