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    The mythical native speaker has mud on its face

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Bak, T. and Ortega, L. (2021) The mythical native speaker has mud on its face. In: Slavkov, N. and Melo Pfeifer, S. and Kerschhofer, N. (eds.) The Changing Face of the "Native Speaker": Perspectives from Multilingualism and Globalization. Trends in Applied Linguistics [TAL] 31. Berlin, Germany: Mouton De Gruyter. ISBN 9781501517693. (In Press)

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    The terms “native speaker” (NS) and “non-native speaker” (NNS) continue to be widely used in applied linguistics and foreign language learning and teaching despite a growing wave of criticism about the difficulty in defining them accurately, the (neo)racist ideology they reflect and the deficit view they perpetuate among foreign language learners and teachers. These issues are explored in more detail, focusing on the history of the terms NS/NNS and their enduring perverse social consequences. We consider alternative views and explain the reasoning behind the development of a new terminology: “L1 user versus LX user” (Dewaele 2018). We conclude that the field needs to abandon the toxic terms “NS/NNS” and adopt neutral terms that emphasise the equal status of first and foreign language users – which can often be the same person.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): L1/LX user, deficit view, (neo)racist ideology, native-speakerism, multilingualism
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 17:13
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:49


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