Wanted: Only Native-born English Teachers With the 'Right', 'Pure', 'Clear' Accent: The Persistence of Native-speakerism in the Hiring Criteria of English Language Schools in Saudi Arabia

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Project Details

Type of project: KFU Nasher Track

Start date: 26/10/2020

End date: 26/04/2021


This paper investigates the persistence of native-speakerism, as defined by Holliday (2005), in the recruitment practices of three English language schools in Saudi Arabia. Three directors of three different English language schools were interviewed to investigate their perceptions of the ‘native vs. non-native’ dichotomy. The findings show that the participants consider anyone who was born in a country such as the USA, the UK, Australia or New Zealand, holds the nationality of that country and speaks a particular variety of English to be a ‘native speaker’. The study concludes that native-speakerism may not only discriminate against ‘non-native speaker’ teachers, but may also create divisions amongst ‘native speakers’ themselves based on their variety of English and place of birth.  ​​​​​​​


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Last updated on 2021-05-04 at 19:44