An exploratory study of Hong Kong students' perceptions of native and non-native English-speaking teachers in ELT

Chit Cheung Matthew SUNG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on an exploratory study which investigated the perceptions of Hong Kong secondary students towards native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) and non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs). Qualitative data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 25 students from four secondary schools. The results indicated that the participants identified the strengths and weaknesses of both NNESTs and NESTs. While the perceived strengths of NESTs included the use of interactive teaching styles and their accurate pronunciation, the weaknesses were concerned with their teaching of grammar and examination skills. By contrast, NNESTs were perceived by the students to be competent in the teaching of grammar and examination strategies, but the perceived weaknesses were concerned with the use of relatively 'traditional' teacher-centered teaching methods and their inaccurate pronunciation. The analysis also revealed that the perceived strengths and weaknesses of NESTs and NNESTs are largely complementary. Implications for classroom teaching practices and teacher education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Englishes
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • English language teaching
  • Hong Kong
  • native speaker teachers
  • non-native speaker teachers
  • student perceptions

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