“More like a friend than a teacher”: ideal teachers and the gig economy for online language learning

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers how language learners conceptualize their ideal teacher within the context of gig economy language platforms (GELPs). GELPs differ significantly from traditional language learning in that their users are able to change between teachers easily and also select teachers according to a far wider range of criteria than is available to offline learners. However, much remains unknown about which attributes GELP users seek in their language teachers. This study draws on responses to an open-ended questionnaire (N = 1,488) to consider which characteristics GELP users favor in their ideal teacher. The study includes both learners of English as well as learners of other languages. Ideologies of native speakerism are found to affect both groups but rapport emerges as a more common theme. The article concludes by discussing the potential opportunities and pitfalls that GELPs represent in terms of furthering intercultural learning and combating stereotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1308
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023


  • gig economy
  • ideal teacher
  • Language learning
  • native speakerism
  • online platform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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