Start Your Own School: But I’m not a native speaker!


As you’ve probably found out, Β how you sell your lessons to parents and prospective students comes entirely down to how you think about yourself.

The teachers who charge double your rates, it’s because they see themselves as more valuable.

And very often that’s all it takes.

One objection that many non-native speakers come across is “Are you a native speaker?”

The non-confident teacher mumbles, looks down, feels sad and says “Ah, no, I’m not, sorry”

And they lose the client.

But of course 99% of the world’s English teachers are non-native speakers.

And in fact some of the very best teachers in the world are non-native speakers.

So how does this super confident non-native teacher respond to the question “Are you a native speaker?”

Do they mumble?

Or make excuses?


They just say

I’m bilingual. Β And I’m going to show you how you can be too!

Now that’s how you become an awesome teacher. Β And get lots of new students.

Good luck!

Be genki,


P.S. Β And if you are a native speaker, Β keep polishing your teaching skills and of course your local language skills. Β Otherwise you’re going to get overtaken by all those amazing bilingual teachers! πŸ˜‰

P.P.S. Β The rest of my Start your own school tips are here.Β If you’ve got any friends who are thinking of starting on their own, please do feel free to pass the link on to them!

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Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genkiβ€”fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!

6 Responses to “Start Your Own School: But I’m not a native speaker!”

  1. Maryna

    Dear Richard,

    Thank you so much for this post (I have been obsessing about the fact that I’m not a native speaker forever) and for all the other amazing things you do! I have been your ardent fan for over a year now, and although that’s how long it took me to dare and become the member of the Genki English club, I finally did it and I am teaching my first Genki class tomorrow to a group of 4-5 year olds! Waaaah! Wish me good luck! πŸ˜…

    And thank you again for being here for all of us!

    (an English teacher from Ukraine who lives and works in Portugal)

  2. Elizabeth

    I just wanted to thank you for this amazing post. My mind is still focused on the words “I’m going to show how you can be too” . I just loved that answer. πŸ™‚
    I think we (non-native English teachers) sometimes need to remember we can be as effective and qualified as many other teachers coming from an English speaking country. We all as teachers are far from perfect, but if we keep the good work, we try to come up with nice ideas and make learning and teaching an enjoyable experience, I’m pretty sure we can succeed in doing what we love doing and help our students accomplish their goals.

    (An English teacher from Colombia based in Spain)

  3. Gergana

    As I read the title I just thought: “Time to get encouraged again!” πŸ™‚ After following you for a while I kinda get the vibe. πŸ˜€

    Sincerely, a non-native soon-to-be teacher who’s soaking up your attitude like a sponge.

  4. Lingo Starz

    This is a very inspirational article. Im trying to start a multi lingual school in my country and i was fearing the very same thing that you have mentioned here. Now my teachers and I too can say β€œIm bilingual. And I going to show you how you can be too!”

    Kudos to you and your team!


  5. j

    thank you richard for the encouraging words. keep it up! may you continue to inspire people.

  6. Hind Boutef

    I think that being a non native speaker isn’t really an issue, because there are persons who handle english fluently and well enough to transmit knowledge, it’s a question of motivation and intuition more than nativity I guess.keep going forward.

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