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As English has been rapidly spreading to non-Western communities, we have had numerous varieties of English. In the Outer Circle, English gained an official status, which resulted in nonnative varieties of English. In the Expanding Circle, English achieved the status of the first foreign language. With a range of English varieties, educators and administrators have been faced with controversial questions such as: (1) how to define native speakers of English? and (2) which varieties to teach? This qualitative study investigates four Korean EFL teachers’ perception of speakers of English and the issue of target varieties. Using data from semi-structured interviews and personal conversations collected for one academic semester, the researcher found that the participants considered various features when identifying an individual as a native or nonnative speaker of English. They used to consider ethnicity and nationality important in the past, which have been replaced by language precedence, cultural attachment, native speaker’s intuition, and mutual intelligibility. The findings of this study also demonstrate that American English is regarded as the most preferred variety as an educational target in Korean ELT because of the power that its speakers have.


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