Native vs. Non-Native Language Teachers

Which Should You Pick?

Spanish is one of the world’s most popular second languages with somewhere in the region of 20 million students currently studying it in some capacity—and it’s no small wonder why! Spanish is a beautiful and widely-used language, and combined with its countless other benefits, it truly stands out among the other options available.

It goes without saying that native Spanish teachers know the target language very well—they have a lifetime of experience with it, after all. This experience enables them to give their students insight into the associated culture that a non-native teacher would find difficult to provide, and they know things about their language that a non-native teacher might find impossible to learn. For instance, they can more easily point out dialectical variations that a non-native teacher might be unfamiliar with, and in general, native teachers can provide their students with an excellent role model in terms of pronunciation. But the benefits of choosing a native speaker go even further—here are just a few of them!

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5 reasons to learn language with native speakers

  1. Learn more about the culture: Native speakers are well aware of cultural information and insights, and most instructors are proud and eager to share their home customs and traditions with you! The more you understand about the culture, the easier it will be to understand foreign idioms and cultural references.
  2. Understand local slang: Colloquial speech is highly integrated into language—you can’t master a second language without acquiring at least some slang terms! It is, after all, an essential part of informal communication. Naturally, native speakers are well-versed in common colloquialism and will be better able to help you master this essential part of the language.
  3. Enhance your ability to hold conversations: Native speakers have more socialization and conversational experience with the target language. This extensive practice allows them to more intuitively flow with spontaneous discussions.
  4. Gain stronger motivation: It is reassuring to be able to use your target language with a native speaker regularly. This constant interaction reinforces the idea that you are learning a tangible skill. Furthermore, getting to know a native speaker on a more personal level and learning about their way of life is a powerful motivator for language learning!
  5. Practice correct pronunciation: When you listen to native speakers, you’re better able to hear how foriegn words sound when pronounced correctly. Native speakers tend to have better pronunciation since they learned the language from authentic sources. By mimicking a native speaker, you establish correct pronunciation habits.

Overall, conversing with a native speaker during lessons enhances your ability to talk to native speakers outside of class. Familiarizing yourself with common native speech patterns and lingo makes it easier to understand native speakers, thus aiding in building confidence in using the language for communication more regularly—and at the end of the day, that confidence is what most of us are striving for!

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