A study to determine “the learner parents’ perceptions of non-native english speakers’ teaching of english and leadership capacities in international schools: a case study of international schools in Zambia.

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Daka, Mwango Regina
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The University of Zambia
Concern over the quality of teaching in schools has existed for ‘as long as the schools themselves’ (Cruickshank, 1992). Today, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders are expending significant energy critiquing non-native English-speaking teachers’ quality and arguing for the improvement of teacher education. For many parents in Zambia, it would seem that teachers of English who are not mother-tongue speakers are automatically regarded as inferior. The study tackled the problem through identifying the overall views, beliefs, and rating of non-native teachers in delivering language education to learners in line with learner outcomes with an assumptive view that native speakers are regarded as superior. To establish a base for the study, related works done by scholars and Organisations within Zambia, in other African countries and beyond, were reviewed. The study sample included 100 respondents in which random sampling method was used in selecting respondents. The study adopted descriptive and explanatory study designs within a case study approach. This is because both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Qualitative data were collected by desk research and oral, recorded interviews. It was analysed manually by using narrative methods of deductive and inductive. Quantitative data were collected by self-administered semi- structured questionnaires. It was analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM-SPSS) version 21, Smart Survey, and Microsoft Excel software. The study shows that there are clear negative perceptions towards non-native speaking teachers, particularly in the area of delivering high-level English language education outcomes. It has been determined that parents negatively look upon NNESTs as less qualified or better placed to deliver better results in English language education in international schools. Further, there is a strong positive perception that suitable curricula would be adopted from native speaking backgrounds. However, there is a divided view on who is capable of managing ELT departments or schools. In this regard, the study determined that parents have a moderate positive perception towards NNESTs to take a lead in managing international schools and their ELT departments at both school and institutional levels. From the findings, the study recommends that deliberate measures be put in place to encourage NNESTs to take a lead and engage both learners and their parents (communities) with strategies that assist them spread the word and express their confidence, competences, and build trust with parents. It also suggests that government put in place policies that encourage further language education like shared scholarships from native speaking learning institutions, NGOs and the private sector for ELTs to enhance their teaching and management skills.
English language--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Foreign speakers. , Language teachers--Training of.