ERIC Number: EJ1085260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Revisiting the Issue of Native Speakerism: "I Don't Want to Speak Like a Native Speaker of English"
Choi, Lee Jin
Language and Education, v30 n1 p72-85 2016
This qualitative study of English Korean bilinguals explores the ways in which they legitimize themselves as "good" bilinguals in relation to the discourse of native-speakerism. I first survey the essentialist discourse of native speakerism still prevalent in the field of English language teaching and learning despite the growing criticism; the implication is that the acquisition of "native-like" English competence is the prioritized marker of proficiency for English language learners in both English-as-a-second language (ESL) and English-as-a-foreign language countries. I then analyze ethnographic and qualitative interview data from 20 South Korean bilinguals of English and Korean to examine how they evaluate this problematic preference for native speakerism as well as how they redefine what constitutes "good" bilingual competence in contemporary South Korean society. In opposition to major assumptions in the scholarly literature, the findings suggest that English language learners themselves might not consider the acquisition of "native-like" language competence an ideal goal to achieve. Rather, these bilinguals make a concerted investment in acquiring and displaying socially expected sociolinguistic, metasociolingusitic and discursive competences that are closely associated with "good" and "ideal" bilinguals in a given language community. The article concludes with recommendations for revisiting the issue of native speakerism and ideological presuppositions of "native-like" competence.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, English (Second Language), Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Qualitative Research, Bilingualism, Language Attitudes, Native Speakers, Ethnography, Interviews, Sociolinguistics, Communicative Competence (Languages), Graduate Students, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A