(Non)native Language Teachers’ Cognitions: Are They Dichotomous?

Document Type : Research Article


Allameh Tabataba’i University


In view of native/nonnative language teacher dichotomy, different characteristics have been assigned to these 2 groups. The dichotomy has been the source of different actions and measures to clarify the positive and negative points of being (non)native teachers. In recent years, many researchers have revisited this dichotomy. The challenge to the dichotomy can be a source of motivation to explore if (non)native language teachers’ cognitions or belief systems are different. To this end, this study compared the (non)native language teachers’ perceptions of their cognition in view of their gender and teaching experience. A cognition questionnaire was administered to 66 nonnative and 46 native language teachers, and then an interview was conducted electronically. A total of 12 nonnative and 8 native teachers responded to the interview questions. Results showed a significant convergence between the (non)native language teachers’ cognitions. Findings also revealed that the (non)native teachers held different beliefs about the nature of language learning and the role of materials in language learning/teaching. As to the teachers’ gender and teaching experience, it was found that the male (non)native teachers and the low-experienced (non)native teachers showed no significant differences, whereas the female (non)native teachers and the high-experienced (non)native participants differed regarding their perceptions of their cognition. Accordingly, (non)native language teachers’ dichotomy might need to be revisited in many respects.


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