The Non Native Speaker

Empowering Non-Native Speakers around the Globe

Online Global Summit - 3 & 4 November 2023

Friday, 3rd November: 1pm - 4pm CET
Saturday, 4th November: 10am-1pm CET

The virtual event aims to bring together the global community of non-native teaching professionals to reflect on the challenges we face, celebrate 'otherness', and inspire change.


Day 1 - Friday, November 3rd

Ana Jovic

Native Speakerism Online
1.15pm- 1.45pm

Abstract: There has been a high demand for online English teachers in ELT recently. Online language schools require candidates to be native English speakers from the Inner Circle countries. Such advertising reflects the effect of native speakerism, a discriminating ideology favoring native speakers as perfect role models for teachers and students in ELT. This talk explains native speakerism and its implications for online English language teachers whose native language is Serbian. It presents the results of a case study of non-native English teachers from Serbia, how they perceive native speakerism, and the negative effects these teachers experienced. It also suggests possible ways to restore teachers' self-confidence and promote their qualifications and skills so that non-native teachers aren't marginalized in the future.

Victor Carreão

A Sociolinguistic View on Nativeness
1.50pm - 2.15pm

Abstract: It is very common for English teachers to come across the terms "native" and "non-native" speakers, whether one is checking new job applications or reading a paper on teaching English as a foreign/second/additional language. This dichotomy, however, cannot be really portrayed as black or white. More than 50 countries around the world have English as an official language, and many of them were subject to violent colonial processes. As Mufwene (2001) shows us, the contact between the originary peoples' languages and the English spoken by the colonizers has an important role in the formation of some English language varieties. Centuries, or decades, later, those born in these nations can be considered native speakers of English, as this language was imposed over their territories long ago. However, we rarely get to see labels such as “Pakistani” or “Tuvaluan” English. Paraphrasing George Orwell, "all native speakers are equal, but some of them are more equal than others". Gnerre (1985) states that a linguistic variety is "worth" what its speakers are "worth" in society, that is, it is a reflection of the power and authority they have in economic and social relations. Sociolinguistics helps us to study the relationship between language and society, and also to better understand the dynamics of power related to language varieties. To illustrate this situation, this talk will present two sociolinguistic studies on native speakers (Labov, 1972, Kerswill, 2003), showing how their pronunciation changes according to the prestige of certain English language models.

Open MIC!


Ola Kowalska

Why Saying 'I'm a Native Speaker' is not a Marketing Tactic
2.40pm - 3.10pm

Abstract: Marketing a teaching business without using one's native language as the only (or any) leverage. Ola will present many alternatives to make it easier for teachers who are non-native speakers to see the value in their own work. Her talk witll be on why simply stating you are a Native Speaker is not to be considered as any type of marketing tactic and, most importantly, what should we say instead!

Christian Saunders

The Slow Death of the Native Speaker
3.15pm - 3.55pm

Abstract: In language learning it seems logical to have the goal of 'being like a native speaker', after all, they are experts with a lifetime of practice. But English is now facing the unprecedented situation of being a true global language. In this presentation I will discuss the implications of this new paradigm for both teachers and students.

Day 2 - Saturday, November 4th

Helene Combe Pattio

The Place of Non-Native Teachers within the ELT field: Why Are Business Schools Only Hiring Native Speakers?
10.15am - 11.00am

Abstract: Business schools in France, and in Europe in general, are not hiring non-native speakers, or sporadically. Despite the anti-discrimination legislation voted by the European Union, business schools are putting job ads asking for native speakers only, and do not even bother responding to non-natives. We can then ask ourselves: are business schools’ students destined to work only with native speakers of English? Of course not. Actually, as Lowenberg (2012: 84) observes “among 80% of the worlds’ English users are non-native speakers of English”. In other words, there is a bigger chance for a non-native speaker to discuss in English with another non-native speaker: a fact which is not acknowledged at all by business schools, where the only English model provided come from native speakers, and rarely from a non-native. 

Elena Kapshutar

Russian Speaking Teachers of Foreign Languages Abroad After 2022
11.05am - 11.40am

Abstract: Observations, challenges and perspectives. A discussion about the situation that has been in place since 2022 concerning Russian-speaking teachers of foreign languages. Elena will be tackling topics such as: finding jobs abroad, overcoming the native-speakerism bias, professional development opportunities, and more. Several possible strategies will be offered for the community of the teachers whose native language is Russian in finding arrangements and other opportunities in countries outside Russia.

Open MIC!


Ania Karwowska

Canadian Paradox: Striving to Empower EFL Dyslexic Students - a Non Native Memoire  
12.05pm - 12.45pm

Abstract: This talk delves into the unique challenges faces by non-native English teachers in Canada when working with dyslexic students in an EFL context. The workshop draws on personal experiences and narratives. Participants will gain insights into the intricate dynamics of language proficiency, cultural identity, and educational systems that impact the teaching and learning process while celebrating linguistic diversity.

About Our Speakers

Ana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a Master of Arts in Teaching Serbian as a Foreign Language from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her teaching career spans across twenty years. She is completing her doctoral dissertation in applied linguistics at Belgrade University in Serbia, and her research interests include language ideologies and heritage languages.

Victor has worked in ELT in Brazil in varied educational contexts. He is currently an English Language Arts teacher in a bilingual school, bringing literature and language together in the classroom. He holds a PhD in Linguistics, focusing on sociolinguistic research, and has also worked as a speaking examiner for international exams.

Ola is a former EFL teacher, teacher trainer, CELTA tutor, language school manager and owner. She now coached and mentors teachers and helps them in building freelance teaching businesses.

Christian was born in Australia and worked as a graphic designer, builder, photographer, and magician before moving to the Spanish countryside. One cold and rainy night in 2010 a neighbour came knocking on his caravan and asked for help to pass an English exam. That night, a deep and lifelong passion for language was born.

Upon becoming a Business English trainer, Helene was a real estate executive in Lyon, France. After switching to teaching, she studied under Peter Watkins at the University of Portsmouth and specialised in Business English at Yale University. She recently completed her Instructional Leadership Certificate online with Harvard Graduate School of Education and is currently Head of Department at Pigier Business School in Lyon.

Elena has been teaching English, German and Russian as a foreign language since 2010 in various environments that include university, school, private language centers, teacher training centers, and online. She has worked, studied and trained teachers in the USA, Germany, Austria, Poland, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia. She is also a FLEX'07, DAAD'13, and Rotary'16 alumna. Elena graduated with honors from the Lomonosov MSU and defended her doctoral on English criminal Law terminology, its formation and translation features in 2018 at the alma mater. She is a Delta-qualified CELTA, CELT P/S trainer, a speaking examiner for the Cambridge exams A2-C2, and a material writer for proficiency language exams.

Experienced teacher and medical translator with nearly 20 years of experience in teaching English as a second language, academic English, and reading and writing skills, working with students experiencing educational difficulties. Ania resides in Canada where she conducts research on students learning English as a second language in the province of Ontario. A passionate educator who combines research-based learning with educational practice.

Meri Maroutian is a Delta qualified teacher based in Parma, Italy. Having lived and studied mostly in Malaysia, America and Italy, she has become aware of the social injustices reserved for those who are forever perceived as foreigners or “non-native” speakers of any given language. She is the main founder of 'The Non Native Speaker' - TNNS.

Open Mic Sessions between talks...
we want to hear from you!