Nihonjin Kyoushi Dake?: The Perceptions and Beliefs of a Non-Native Speaking Teacher in a High-intermediate Japanese Language Class




Somerville, Matthew

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Within non-native speaking teacher (NNST) research, literature concerning NNSTs within the Canadian Japanese-as-a-foreign language (JFL) context is limited. Previous research has shown that prevailing preferences for NSTs due to perceived linguistic and pedagogical capabilities creates negative implications for NNSTs, such as teaching anxiety, confidence issues, and workplace challenges (i.e., hiring and discrimination) (Holliday, 2006; Phillipson, 1992; Kickzokiak & Wu, 2018; Faez & Karas, 2017; Park, 2012; Tsuchiya, 2020). By using Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and qualitative and quantitative methods (i.e., reflexive journal entries, pre- and post-course surveys, language logs, follow-up interviews, and Likert-scale questions), this study addresses the gap of scarce literature on NNSTs in the Canadian JFL field by investigating the instructional practices used by a NNST and students’ and the instructor’s perceptions and beliefs of the NNSTs’ capabilities in a high-intermediate Japanese class. Key findings of this study are that tasks benefit students’ learning of professional Japanese communication, NNSTs have the capabilities to teach high-level and pragmatic-focused speaking courses, and, students’ preferences for their instructor are based on their instructors’ individual skills and teaching attitudes rather than their nativeness. These insights provide valuable implications for academic and practical fields, offering novel findings about NNST capabilities. Administrators can use this information for more informed hiring decisions and establish collaborative models based on the unique strengths of both NSTs and NNSTs. These recommendations foster hope for NNSTs by advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion, thereby transforming student learning within higher education.



Non-native speaking teachers, native speakerism, Japanese-as-a-foreign language, equity, diversity, and inclusion, scholarship of teaching and learning