Race and native speakers in ELT : parents’ perspectives in Hong Kong

Chit Cheung SUNG, Lancaster University

Copyright © 2011 Cambridge University Press.

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English is used as an important means of international and intercultural communication around the world more than ever. Because of its widespread use in the global context, non-native speakers of English around the world outnumber native speakers by far (Crystal, 1997). According to Kachru and Nelson (1996: 79), ‘accepting even cautious estimates, there must be at least three nonnative users of English for every old-country native user’. A similar phenomenon is also observable in the English Language Teaching (ELT) profession, with the vast majority of teachers of English as a second and foreign language in the world being non-native speakers.