Perceived teaching behaviour of native and non-native English speaking teachers in Hong Kong: are there any differences?

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There has been growing interest in examining the differences in the teaching behaviour of non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) and native English speaking teachers (NESTs) in the field of TESOL. In Hong Kong, the Native English Teacher Scheme has been in place in secondary schools since 1987, but how different the teaching behaviour of Native English teachers (NETs) is from that of Local English teachers (LETs) is under-researched. NETs and LETs are from different language backgrounds and may differ in their teaching behaviour. This paper aims to investigate these differences from the perspective of LETs. Data were collected from anonymous self-administered questionnaires completed by 53 LETs. Respondents were asked to compare two sets of 21 identical Likert Scale items, each of which described the teaching behaviour of LETs and NETs respectively, and to answer an open-ended question. Findings show that LETs and NETs were perceived to have distinctive teaching behaviours and to exhibit differences in their teaching approaches, teaching objectives, classroom atmosphere and examination preparation. Findings also suggest that the differences in teaching behaviour may be caused by cultural, experiential and contextual factors rather than by the language factor only. This study has implications for classroom practices and teacher preparation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
Number of pages20
JournalHong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Teacher behaviour
  • Native English speaking teachers
  • Non-native English speaking teachers
  • Teacher perceptions
  • Hong Kong English teachers


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