The Non Native Speaker

Empowering Non-Native Speakers around the Globe

I won’t sit here pretending,

An opportunity denied was just the ending

to the years and years of hardship and turmoil,

simply because I was not born on the right soil.

For who are they to deny my competence?

To turn my linguistic repertoire into divergence,

While claiming inclusivity, a key word, was what the world is after,

But a native speaker teacher is all that will matter.

You can change the term to suit your needs,

Claim that by denying the existing dichotomy, you never planted those eerie seeds,

Yet we see those ads we’re not welcome to apply to,

But what about those certificates we paid for, were they a lie too?

If we’re not apt to teach,

And our accents are out of anyone’s reach,

Then how can you explain that you understand me,

But worry the students enrolled won’t be happy.

I’ll tell you this about the non-native speaker,

He, she, they have become that much quicker,

To see through your vision of promised land,

Criteria through imagery of a Caucasian man.

The power dynamics may have lasted for long,

But these racialized communities are growing up strong,

For they know we should not be credentialed though our identity,

By virtue of our nativeness we do not have a single quality.

Precarity is one of the ways,

That the field holds its hierarchy in place,

What it does is prevent us from amassing the power, 

To push against the glass ceiling we’re suffocating under.

You might see me as dis/abled or deficient,

Using standardization as your tool, so efficient(!)

But if we don’t define what standardization is,

we’re allowing the culprit to define it to his own needs!

Many have preyed upon fears of financial instability,

Selling expensive reinforcements of credibility, accent coaches and the like,

“Unconscious bias” is not something random, am I starting to shed a light?

What if non-native meant so qualified,

You beat the odds – your results are now amplified,

Don’t falter, don’t quit, don’t spread any hate,

Let’s remove all these hierarchies under which we all operate. 

M – The Non Native Speaker

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