I’m an English Teacher: Should I Worry about my Accent?

A cruel mirror

Accent anxiety is a cruel mirror for those of us who are in the business of teaching English. Many of us feel a sense of inadequacy, and we are harsh in judging ourselves. Partly, this is the widely-reported phenomenon of simply hating the sound of your own voice on recordings. But for teachers, it is more serious, because we are a pronunciation model for our students, and in ELT there are some unfortunate preconceptions about what constitutes a ‘good’ model. Here are some examples of the kinds of things teachers say: