Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number3  September 2020                                       Pp. 241-259

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An Observational Study on the Effects of Native EnglishSpeaking Teachers and Non
Native EnglishSpeaking Teachers on Students’ English Proficiency and Perceptions


Keeratikan Fuangkarn
Language Institute
Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

Sucharat Rimkeeratikul
Language Institute
Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand


This study investigated the effects of Native English-Speaking Teachers (NEST) and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers (NNEST) on students’ English proficiency and perceptions. The research methodology employed an observational study based using critical applied linguistic.  Data collection was through a mixed method. The tools used were the Cambridge English: Key English Test (KET), classroom observation evaluation forms, and interviews. The participants consisted of 252 upper primary students from one private school in Chiang Mai, Thailand, during the academic year 2019. Results indicated that students’ English proficiency was increased significantly at .01 level in both groups. The gain score suggested that NNEST can make a higher gain score than NEST in all grade levels.  Student’s answers show NNEST score a higher agreeability towards teachers’ teaching abilities, English abilities, and the creation of an engaging learning atmosphere over NEST. Classroom observations implemented by three English Learning Teachers confirmed the results that NNEST is more agreeable than NEST in teachers’ teaching ability and motivating learning atmospheres in classrooms. However, in teachers’ English skills, the experts’ perceptions were opposite that of the students. Lastly, the interviews with the students reflected three key aspects: their preferences of English teacher advantages, disadvantages, and strengths of both NNEST and NEST.

Keywords: Native English-Speaking Teachers (NEST), Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers (NNEST), Cambridge English: Key English test, students’ proficiency (KET), Critical applied linguistics (CALx), English as a Foreign Language (EFL), English Language Teachers (ELT)

Cite as: Fuangkarn, K., &  Rimkeeratikul, S. (2020). An Observational Study on the Effects of Native English-Speaking Teachers and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers on Students’ English Proficiency and Perceptions. Arab World English Journal11 (3) 241-259   .


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Keeratikan Fuangkarn has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities faculty, majoring in English
from Chiang Mai University and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
from Chiang Mai University and currently has been studying in the Doctor of Philosophy
Program in English Language Teaching (International Program) at the Language Institute,
Thammasat University since 2017.
Sucharat Rimkeeratikul, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the Language Institute, Thammasat
University. Her research studies are in the fields of English language teaching/learning, and
Human Communication.
Her publications also include textbooks in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and General