Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran, Aras campus, Department of Applied Linguistics


This study is a longitudinal mixed method design investigating Iranian English learners' perception of native-speaker English teachers (NSETS) and non-native-speaker English teachers (NNSETS) in New Zealand and Iran within the conceptual framework of Kumaravadivelu (2003), Rudolf (2018), and Benson el al. (2013).  A semi-structured interview and a questionnaire (consisting of 21 Likert items and 3 open-ended questions) were used twice ten months apart in each context. An online narrative interview was employed in 2022 to supplement the data. Non-parametric data analyses were run on the Likert items. Several coding schemes were developed and a thematic analysis was employed. Findings revealed that NNSETS in New Zealand and NSETS in Iran were perceived by the learners as more effective in guiding their students toward developing a multilingual identity. This is interpreted as the "cross-actional influence of context in language learners' perception of teachers regarding L2 identity development in students" in this research. The findings also showed a shift in students' perception from NSETS to NNSETS in both contexts over time due to the better instructional strategies of NNSETS for teaching reading, listening, grammar, and their deeper understanding of the student's needs. This study informs language teachers, teacher educators, and education authorities on 1) the cross-actional influence of context on students' perception of teachers regarding L2 identity development as a normal procedure, 2) the pattern of a shift from NSETS to NNSETS due to the qualifications of NNSETS should be considered in teacher training programs to make the most proficient language teachers accordingly.


Barkhuizen, G. (2017). Investigating multilingual identity in study abroad contexts: A short story analysis approach. System, 71 (2), 102-112.
Benson, P., Barkhuizen, G., Bodycott, P. & Brown, J. (2013). Second language identity in narratives of study abroad. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Braine, G. (2010). Nonnative speaker English teachers: Research, pedagogy, and professional growth. New York, NY: Routledge.
Brown, H. D., & Lee, H. (2015). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
Carazzai, M.R.P. (2013). The process of identity (re)construction of six Brazilian English language learners: A poststructuralist qualitative study. Florianópolis, SC.  Tese de Doutorado. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 14 (2), 142-158.
Chomsky, N. (1965). Persistent topics in linguistic theory. Diogenes13(51), 13-20.
Chun, S. Y. (2014). EFL learners’ beliefs about native and non-native English-speaking teachers: perceived strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 35(6), 563–579.
Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. Successful Qualitative Research, 11(4), 379-400.
Cook, V. (2008). Non-native language teachers: Perceptions, challenges and contributions to the profession. New York, NY: Springer.
Cook, V. (2016). Where is the native speaker now? TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 186-189.
Davies, A. (2003). The native speaker: Myth and reality. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Dewaele, J. M. (2018). Why the dichotomy ‘L1 versus LX user’ is better than ‘native versus non-native speaker’? Applied Linguistics, 39(2), 236-240.
Diaz, N.R. (2015) Students' preferences regarding native and non-native teachers of English at a university in French Brittany. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 17(3), 83-97.
Ellis, E. M. (2004). The invisible multilingual teacher: The contribution of language background to Australian ESL teachers' professional knowledge and beliefs. International Journal of Multilingualism1(2), 90-108.
Karakas, A., Uysal, H., Bilgin, S., & Bulut, T. (2016). Turkish EFL Learners' Perceptions of Native English-Speaking Teachers and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers in Higher Education. Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language), 10(2), 180-206.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). A postmethod perspective on English language teaching. World Englishes22(4), 539-550.
Fauzi, N. M., & Hashim, H. (2020). Apple vs." Mangosteen": A Qualitative Study of Students' Perception towards Native and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers. Journal of Education and E-Learning Research7(2), 218-228.
Guerra, L. (2017). Native and Non-Native Teachers in English Language Classrooms by Agudo, J. D. D. M. (Ed.). Students’ Perceptions and Expectations of Native and Non-Native Speaking Teachers. 183-205. Berlin, De Gruyter Inc.
Haque, M. N., & Sharmin, S. (2022). Perception of Saudi Students about Non-Native English Teachers and Native English Teachers in Teaching English at Jazan University. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 13(3), 503-514.
Huys, S. E. P. (2017). The Native Speaker Fallacy and Dutch EFL Students-A study into student preference for native or non-native English speaking teachers. Unpublished BA thesis. UC University of Technology. Finland.
Jieyin L., Gajaseni C. (2018). A study of students’ preferences towards native and non-native English teachers at Guangxi University of Finance and Economics, China. Lang. Educ. Acquis. Res. Netw. J. 11, 134–147.
Kachru, B.B. (1985) English in the World: Teaching and Learning of Language and Literature.  Cambridge University Press.
Kachru, B. B. (2016). English in South Asia.  Cambridge University Press.
Karakas, A., Uysal, H., Bilgin, S., & Bulut, T. (2016). Turkish EFL Learners' Perceptions of Native English-Speaking Teachers and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers in Higher Education. Novitas-ROYAL Research on Youth and Language10(2), 180-206.
Kosar, G. (2018). Turkish Tertiary Level EFL Students’ Perceptions of Native English-Speaking Teachers and Non-native English-Speaking Teachers. European Journal of English Language Teaching, 4(1), 96–119. 
Larasati, A., Prihatin, Y., & Sumartono, H. (2022). Students’ Perceptions: Bilingual Language Used in EFL Classroom. In 2nd International Conference on Social Science, Humanities, Education and Society Development. Atlantis Press.
Liaw, E. (2012). Examining student perspectives on the differences between native and non-native language teachers. Journal of Asia TEFL, 9(3), 27–50.
Luk, J. C. M., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2007). Classroom interactions as cross-cultural encounters: Native speakers in EFL lessons. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Meşincigi̇ller, S & Akcan, S . (2015). Native and non-native English teachers: secondary school students’ preferences for their English teachers. ELT Research Journal, 4 (2) , 156-170 .
Mhd Fauzi, N., & Hashim, H. (2020). Apple vs. Mangosteen: A Qualitative Study of Students’ Perception towards Native and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers. Journal of Education and E-Learning Research, 7(2), 218–228.
Nafi, J. S. I., Qabaja, Z. M. M., & Al-Kar, H. J. I. (2016). Attitudes of Palestinian Undergraduate Students towards Native and Non-Native English Language Teachers and Their Relation to Students' Listening Ability. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(26), 27-42.
Nushi Kochaksaraie, M., & Makiabadi, H. (2018). Second Language Learners' Phonological Awareness and Perception of Foreign Accentedness and Comprehensibility by Native and Non-native English Speaking EFL Teachers. Teaching English as a Second Language Quarterly (Formerly Journal of Teaching Language Skills), 36(4), 103-140. doi: 10.22099/jtls.2018.29899.2538
Paikeday, T. M. (1985). May I kill the native speaker? Tesol Quarterly19(2), 390-395.
Qadeer, A. (2019). Saudi EFL Learners’ Perceptions about the Teaching of English by Native and Non-native English Teachers. Arab World English Journal, (1), 137–153.
Richardson, S. (2016) Plenary: The ‘native factor’: the haves and the have-nots…and why we still need to talk about this in 2016. In T. Pattison IATEFL 2016 Birmingham conference selections. (pp.72-87). Faversham: IATEFL.
Riordan,  E.  (2018). Language for teaching purposes.  Bilingual classroom discourse and the non-native speaker language teacher. Springer International Publishing. 
Rudolph, N. (2018). Essentialization, idealization, and apprehensions of local language practice in the classroom. In Criticality, teacher identity, and (in) equity in English language teaching (pp. 275-302).  Springer International Publishing.
Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2013). Today's Indigenous education is a crime against humanity: Mother-tongue-based multilingual education as an alternative? TESOL in Context, 23(1/2), 82-124.
Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2017). Bilingual and multilingual education. Springer International Publishing.
Sung, C. C. (2014). An exploratory study of Hong Kong students’ perceptions of native and non-native English-speaking teachers in ELT. Asian Englishes, 16(1), 32-46.
Tsou, S. Y., & Chen, Y. (2019). Taiwanese university students' perceptions toward native and non-native English-speaking teachers in EFL contexts. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 31(2), 176–183.
Wang, L., & Fang, F. (2020). Native-speakerism policy in English language teaching revisited: Chinese university teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards native and non-native English-speaking teachers. Cogent Education, 7(1), 1778374.
Wood, M. (2017). Foreign language classrooms: Native versus non-native teachers and culture integration. The cardinal 12 (3), 124-137.
Zurrahmi, U., & Triastuti, A. (2022). Indonesian EFL students’ perceptions of effective non-native English teachers. Studies in English Language and Education, 9(1), 299-317.