Almost anyone who had a native speaker and a non-native speaker as tutor says the non-native speaker was better.
Reddit user Theevildothatido, 23 July 2023. (score 294)

A curious claim! It was somewhat controversial at Reddit. I wonder if it's true.

Question: Do students who have had both native- and non-native language tutors say the non-native tutor is better?

I'm wondering if there's some survey results or some other research related to this. I did a quick search and found the paper Lasagabaster and Sierra, University Students' Perceptions of Native and Non-native Speaker Teachers of English, Language Awareness, 2002, and in their survey of 76 undergraduates, they found for English (NST = native-speaking teacher):

Those with experience of NSTs showed a significantly stronger preference (p<0.05) for NSTs at university level (4.05) than those without such experience (3.58), but there was no difference between these two groups at secondary and primary levels.

This seems to indicate the Reddit claim is false for English, but perhaps it's different for other languages.

  • Better at what skill? Pronunciation, explaining grammar, teaching skill in general? Etc.
    – Brandin
    Jul 25 at 11:55
  • Fair point; the paper in the question went into details about this, along with what level the student is at. In practice though, if I over-specify the criteria, the answer is going to be "there are no such studies"---I'd be interested in hearing anything in the same ballpark as the Reddit claim. Jul 25 at 12:00


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