Native and non-native teachers in a minority language: An analysis of stakeholders’ opinions

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Objectives: The purpose of this article is to explore students’, parents’, and teachers’ attitudes and opinions towards native and non-native teachers of Basque, to examine whether the widespread ideology native speakerism is present in this minority language. Methodology: Data were gathered from 473 secondary and high-school students, parents, and teachers using questionnaires and focus groups, where education stakeholders were enquired about their teacher preferences in four categories: assessment and support, attitudes and motivation, culture, and perceived linguistic abilities. Data and analysis: The quantitative data were statistically analysed using independent-samples t-tests and analyses of variance (ANOVAs). The qualitative data were examined using thematic analysis, an instrument that allows a systematic study of patterns of meaning within qualitative data sets. Findings: Results suggest that although students, parents, and teachers support team-teaching approaches, there is an overall preference for native-speaking teachers, specially at advanced levels. Furthermore, participants reflect clear-cut trends in specific items and categories. Originality: The binary classification of speakers established by the assignment of the ‘native speaker’ and ‘non-native speaker’ labels has been thoroughly studied in the English language, analysing the positive and negative characteristics linked to each type of speaker, but the nativeness topic has only been researched in language survival terms in minority language contexts. To our knowledge, no previous study has examined attitudes towards native and non-native teachers in minority language teaching contexts. Implications: Education stakeholders’ preferences for Basque native-speaking teachers may entail negative effects on the legitimacy of non-native speakers and teachers, a group whose Basque use is paramount for the maintenance and survival of the minority language.




Colmenero, K., & Lasagabaster, D. (2024). Native and non-native teachers in a minority language: An analysis of stakeholders’ opinions. International Journal of Bilingualism, 28(2), 188–203.

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