About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3115-3120
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1725

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE VOCABULARY ADVANTAGE: HOW YOUNG UNTRAINED NATIVE SPEAKERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING

A. McNeill

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HONG KONG)
Globalization and the rapid spread of global English have brought about changes in the ways in which native (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) teachers of English are deployed. For example, the emergence of well-qualified NNS teachers who undertake the bulk of English teaching in their own countries has been accompanied by a reduction in the numbers of NS teachers imported from overseas. This new balance has meant that NS and NNS teachers may have clearly-defined complementary roles within the same education system, with the NS teachers often regarded as temporary members of the local teaching force. While the international demand for experienced, well-qualified NS teachers may have dropped, interest in employing fresh native-speaker graduates has increased. For example, the Japanese JET scheme now employs over 4000 young native speakers and has met with critical acclaim: “The JET Programme represents one of the greatest initiatives in the field of human and cultural relations.” (www.jet-uk.org).

This paper explores the potential contributions of young native speaker teachers of English (YNETs) when they work alongside local English teachers. While YNETs may lack expertise in teaching and familiarity with the local school curriculum, they possess much larger English vocabularies than their local colleagues. It has been established that educated native speakers know around 20,000 word families (Goulden et al. 1990), while local English teachers are more likely to know fewer than 7000 English words (Izawa 1993). The research literature on language learning confirms that input is an essential element in the second language acquisition process. The importance of exposure in second language learning should not be under-estimated, particularly in relation to vocabulary acquisition. It is estimated that a language learner needs to meet a new vocabulary item between twelve and twenty times before it is acquired. Yet few schools are able to provide this level of repeated encounters. However, a YNET/local teacher partnership can help to enrich vocabulary exposure when both types of teacher base their teaching on an agreed vocabulary curriculum. The paper draws on the experience of Hong Kong’s Chatteris Foundation in recruiting YNETs to work alongside experienced, trained teachers in local schools.
@InProceedings{MCNEILL2016VOC,
author = {McNeill, A.},
title = {THE VOCABULARY ADVANTAGE: HOW YOUNG UNTRAINED NATIVE SPEAKERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.1725},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.1725},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3115-3120}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. McNeill
TI - THE VOCABULARY ADVANTAGE: HOW YOUNG UNTRAINED NATIVE SPEAKERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.1725
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 3115
EP - 3120
ER -
A. McNeill (2016) THE VOCABULARY ADVANTAGE: HOW YOUNG UNTRAINED NATIVE SPEAKERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 3115-3120.
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