In the current body of knowledge about the influence of native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) on the professional identity of non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs), the fundamental question of ‘What exactly do native English speakers (NESs) mean to NNESTs?’ has been left unanswered and the voices of preservice NNESTs are largely absent. This study examined the influence of NESTs as ‘significant others’ in the English language teaching profession on preservice NNESTs’ identity by looking into how preservice NNESTs interpret the term native English speakers, accept native speaker norms, and respond to the active recruitment of NESTs through the national policy in Taiwan. Survey and interview data were collected from 258 preservice English teachers. The findings show that although the participants held diverse views on who constitute NESs, they shared a unanimous subscribingto native-speakerism. The participants gave conditional support to the policy of recruiting NESTs while highlighting their opposition to uncertified NESTs and differentiated payment. Implications to teacher education and policy decisions are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas