Sarah676

Does anybody else find it easier to learn from non-native speakers?

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What's great about learning from a native speaker is that you can mimic his/her intonation, diction and accent. This will give you an idea on how words are pronounced and how the language is spoken in general.

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I share your feeling.

Usually, natives don't know how they learned their language. They learned by assimilation and even if they do know some grammar rules, they will not be able to tell you all of them. On the other hand, a non-native teacher knows how hard can be learning the language and he would also be able to identify easily the grammar rules that were hard for him and therefore should be hard for you to learn.

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I agree completely! Most native speakers learn the language naturally from hearing others (as per above poster), while on the other hand, non-native speakers will have also gone through the same process as you of learning the language, and so, would also easily know which parts of the language are especially confusing/difficult for the learner.

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I actually find that it is easiest to learn through the native speakers as you pick up the language a lot quicker than you would if you studied it. However, some of the locals speak in different tenses to others and it could make you learn it in lazy form rather than in the correct form of their language.

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Yes, I've also noticed the same thing. But I have to point out, that not knowing the rules to your language can be a country. My mom is always saying how teaching and studying were in her country. She knows her grammatical rules very well. And is always appalled at my lack of knowledge ;) but is happy that I am able to write decently despite my lack

I also find it easier to understand Americans when they speak a foreign language than when a native speaks it. Maybe it's because most Americans have learned the same book style as me and so use less idiomatic expressions and slang.

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I don't know about easier but it's helpful. When I was growing up I had to take ESL classes which were not thought my native Spanish speaking teachers.

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It is definitely easier for me to learn the basics from a non native speaker but as I progress I would prefer to have a native speaker as my teacher. Who else can give such awesome tips and pronunciation? It is however just a matter of personal choice, the individual teacher and their approach when giving such lessons.

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You can download the free E-book "Learning Languages - How and Why" here.

http://teachmenewlanguages.wordpress.com/

It includes 66 reasons why learning languages is beneficial and it reveals the best methods and strategies to improve your language skills.

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This is probably true of many people.  Of course not all, but a lot of people probably find it easier to learn from someone who has had to learn in the same way that they did, ie studying all the particulars of language in a classroom, as opposed to fluently learning it from birth.

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I think the best teachers, for me, are native speakers who were not foreign.  Allow me to clarify this.  In America there are many bilingual speakers who were born in the US.  Most of them were taught Spanish as their first language, then learned English in school or at home when they were about to start school.  Therefore they have the good luck to know how to speak Spanish and English and understand the importance of grammar rules, especially those who were taught English outside of their home. 

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I would have to agree. Non-natives can explain better (since they had to learn), and if their actual level is that of a native, then you have the best of both worlds.

Also, non natives know "the struggle", so to speak. Some native teachers aren't language learners themselves at all, so they can't pass on all the helpful techniques, methods, apps, etc that most of us use to improve our learning.

Even if you really want to make sure you get the full native experience, I'd generally try to get a non-native teacher, but get speaking practice with natives. The later isn't so hard to find these days anyway :) 

As a side note...anyone else get shocked at how badly some natives actually talk? And you'd just look like a moron if you tried to correct them xD

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I thinks it depends. if you are beginning to learn the language then I'd say it would be better learning the basics from a non-native teacher because, as many of you said, non-native teachers learned the language before us and I think they would be able to understand our struggles and to explain the grammar to us in a better way. But if we are already proficient enough and we have a good understanding of the grammar but we lack fluency, native teachers are the way to go. A native techer can help us improve our pronunciation and our conversational skills and teach us idioms and culture. Basically I'd recommend non-native teachers for grammar lessons and native teachers for conversation lessons.

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Natives without a degree in their language are good for informal speech, but if you really want to make most out of your language learning, you should either find a non-native with great skills in that language, or a native speaker with a teaching degree.
Because the latter 2 have learnt how to explain more complicated things before, they know how it feels and they know how to push you off your limits.
Meanwhile a native speaker with no degree in language teaching would be something like "oh, you don't know the difference between "its" and "it's"? me neither, I just use those naturally".

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For me it's a yes and a no.  I too am learning Japanese, but I spent most of my time learning from native speakers... and have seen amazing results.  Aside from learning the grammar points in a Japanese Language school, I also have a lot of Japanese acquaintances that are more than happy to point out my mistakes by saying, "That's weird Japanese" or "Japanese don't say that."  So, even without them going into detail why it's wrong, I can note the mistake, learn from it, and move on with the conversation.  It's a natural way to glean grammatical elements of a second or third language without endlessly studying.  

However, as someone who is also teaching English in Japan, I do have to agree with you that it is sometimes challenging to explain things we just assimilate as children.  If you learn how to teach the subject material, that's fine; but when you're asked randomly what something means or how a sentence should be structured and have taken it for granted your entire life, it is indeed difficult. 

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I think there are definitely advantages to learning from someone who has been don't he same path you are about to take. For me the only things that I would look out for when it comes to this is not to rely too heavily on what they teach or what they sound like and instead just on the ones I can confirm. Their accents might get in the way, for example, and I'd also assume they have some words or phrases that are still wrong unless they have lived there for decades. I think as a start it can be very helpful but for a more authentic lesson it's still best to go with native speakers. 

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It is easier to learn from non-native speakers indeed and you brought up a very good point, one who has grown up learning the rules of the language more intuitively than by the book, can't explain them all and can't be as meticulous as someone who learned that language the hard way. I remember how I had once an English teacher which couldn't speak Romanian, even thought my class understood what she meant most of the time, we simply weren't moving forward with our English level. Also, there were a few problems of communication as she had that stupid accent specific to British people.

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Yes, non-native speakers have usually been through all the steps to learn the language and as a result are able to help you very efficiently. They also have a good feeling for problem areas and can imagine what it is you may be thinking. Native speakers are fluent but don't really know why they say what they do and sometimes can't be sure if something is grammatically incorrect.

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The reason I was unable to learn French in school is because the teacher [a Native French speaker] made the assumption that by speaking only French in French class we [kids back then] would learn French the way he did. Unfortunately though that strategy didn't work because most of us didn't learn anything. He had to leave for some reason and the new teacher who was a non-native speaker was much better [at teaching] though the accent was a little off.

Learn the basics from non-native speakers but spend some time learning how the language is spoken by native speakers. That way you get "the best of both worlds."

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I find it is easier to learn a language from native speakers. Sometimes the accent of non-native speakers just throws me off. I once tried learning French from a native English speaker and his accent just threw me off so much. It was horrible and I had to re-learn some words because he was just mangling the language. 

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I did the most part of my learning listening to native speakers, it's the safest way to about it, otherwise you might end up in a "Blind leading the blind" situation where you imitate the mistakes of your teacher. However it is very true that when you discuss the language in a "meta" conversation with a person that is also learning the same language and comes from the same background you can end up with valuable knowledge, as in "I remember when I used to say X but you're supposed to say Y".

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This has been my experience personally.

 

The reason for this is that non native speakers do not assume that you would be familiar with the language till a certain level, they just assume that you would start learning from scratch and therefore, they ensure that they are starting with the basics, which ensures that you are able to get plenty of time and practice to learn since they would not be rushing through the initial stages, thinking you know things.

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I totally get your point OP. Non-native speakers who teach a specific language have spent time to learn the language in all its aspects , especially the technicalities of it so they can better explain and teach them to their would be students. Whilst for a native speakers, they may sometimes overlook some aspects of teaching their language, making them stick on the basics. It's a good idea to try and learn from both native and non-native teachers though because they both offer their own unique ways of teaching a language which can properly aid a learner.

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Learning language with non-native is a lot easier because most of the  time non-native speaker will be using "writing language."Writing language is the language that is learned by readying rather than speaking. Since the non-native will be using accent that is similar to yours, you will be able to understand him. However, I am not in favor of learning language from non-native because a non-native will hardly be able to teach you spoken language, the kind of languages that uses lot of contractions, colloquial terms and idiomatic phrases.

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I think it's much easier because if you're learning from someone who is non-native to the language you are learning, it's much easier for them to teach you. 

My Spanish teacher was a white man, and his English was perfect so he was able to really break down Spanish as we learned, and someone who has deep accents, or isn't native English speaker or whatever your native language is will have a hard time explaining some things because they just don't know how to explain everything like a native can.

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I think it is mixed opinion on this one. I am not a native speaker but I was teaching online with ITutor Group and I teach usually people from China or more precisely, Chinese people. They appreciate my effort because as they say, I know how it feels when you are learning from scratch and of course you never have that confidence in speaking as in your native language. I understand some of that argument but what they do not realize my approach is not about whether I am native or not. It is about my skills in teaching and my will to teach people in other words to have patience and not to be a smart ass.

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