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ERIC Number: EJ1123682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
Native Speakers in Linguistic Imperialism
Phillipson, Robert
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v14 n3 p80-96 Dec 2016
An investigation of Native English Speaking Teachers' performance in schemes in six Asian contexts, commissioned by the British Council, and undertaken by three British academics, is subjected to critical evaluation. Key issues for exploration are the issue of a monolingual approach to English learning and teaching, and the inappropriate qualifications of those sent to education systems when they are unfamiliar with the learners' languages, cultures, and pedagogical traditions. Whether the schemes involved constitute linguistic imperialism is analysed. Whereas the need for multilingual competence is recognised as desirable by some British experts, the native speakers in question seldom have this key qualification. This is even the case when the host country (Brunei) aims at bilingual education. It is unlikely that the host countries are getting value for money. Whether the UK and other "English-speaking" countries have relevant expertise is questionable. There is therefore a definite need for a change of paradigm, one based on principles for effective foreign language teaching. Some but far from all Western "experts" recognize this need, whereas scholars and teachers elsewhere do. Five fallacies that underpin the linguicism of British pedagogical expertise are generally involved in native speaker export businesses. They underpin a hierarchy with underqualified native speakers projected as superior to local teachers who are seen as in need of foreign "aid". In view of the British bodies involved openly declaring the economic and geopolitical agenda behind this English teaching business, there is clear evidence of linguistic imperialism in the functions of this global professional service. These activities serve to strengthen Western interests.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; United Kingdom; Brunei
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A