Are native teachers worth the hype?

To learn a foreign language.

Presiona aquí para leer en español.

A lot of things are said about it and some are very accurate… but others not so much.

As a teacher of Spanish (my mother tongue) and English, and as a learner of English and Dutch, I give you my point of view in this video.

First and foremost: if you don’t know anything about the language you want to learn, and it doesn’t look like the language(s) you already know, are you going to understand anything when you get the explanations? Will you be able to ask questions and ask for confirmation?

In these cases a teacher who does speak your language is even necessary.

Every time you need to be introduced to a brand-new topic, it is better to fully understand the logic behind it. If not, chances are the teacher will start talking and communication will never get anywhere, i.e, you will never understand what is being said.

In fact, I happened to teach a student who is a Spanish speaker living in Amsterdam. She had unsuccessfully attended to multiple courses before finally reaching Understanding Languages, while still being a beginner. All those courses led to nowhere, as she could not understand any of the explanations and therefore, made zero progress until Spanish was used as bridge language.

On the other hand, if you already know the basics of this language and want to continue learning and mastering it, or it is a language that looks a lot like your own language and it can be deduced just by listening to it, then a teacher who is native can help a lot. Your whole learning process will be enhanced because it will give you another point of view, another perspective and you will also be in contact with a person who is from the culture which language you want to learn.


if you are a beginner it is better a teacher who speaks your own language, but if you already know the basics you can take advantage of having a native teacher by your side.

Beware! Being a native does not equal being a good teacher.

In my YouTube video I also talk about:

-the way in which a teacher who speaks your language can INSPIRE you,

-the optimization of resources for learning,

-the comparison of languages and grammars,

-the importance of changing teachers regularly,

-the characteristics of a good foreign-language instructor, whether or not they are native speakers,

-the undeniable benefit of being in touch with the pronunciation and vocabulary use of a native teacher,

-the different feelings a native and a non-native teacher has when it comes to “feeling” the culture.

To summarize, I believe that no option is either bad or good: nothing is better, nothing is worse. The best option is always the POSSIBLE option, because it is better to start NOW rather than not starting because you may not have the help of a native teacher available or, or on the contrary, you do not have the help of any teacher who speaks your language and helps you taking your first steps.

Start with what you have, start with the teacher(s) that is/are available, the one that suits your budget and the one that gives you the best vibe too.

IMPORTANT! A teacher that knows how to share the enthusiasm and gives you a good feeling is, after all, as important as a teacher that knows-it-all. Remember: the perfect teacher is the possible teacher. Over time, the possibilities of having classes with both a native and a non-native will arise and you will be able to verify first hand all these matters.

Keep in mind that if you want to learn English or Spanish as second languages with me and my group of teachers, here you will find all the information.

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