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ERIC Number: EJ816515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
The Dartmouth Conference and the Geohistory of the Native Speaker
Trimbur, John
College English, v71 n2 p142-169 Nov 2008
The Dartmouth conference of 1966 has taken on a legendary stature in the annals of U.S. college composition. In the most familiar accounts (Applebee; Berlin; Harris), Dartmouth provided the stage for a trans-Atlantic encounter of the British growth model and the American curriculum-sequencing model, pitting process and personal growth against the logical development of subject matter. Meriting new attention, however, is the role it played in affirming the notion of "the native speaker," a concept important to the postwar Anglo-American language alliance behind the meeting. In this article, the author examines how the nativeness of the native speaker in "Language and Language Learning" solved a particular problem at the Dartmouth conference by offering a conceptual framework, premised on linguistic and cultural homogeneity, that enabled at least a temporary resolution of growth and subject matter, the central tension between the British and the Americans. In order to understand the wider implications of how the nativeness of the native speaker was used at Dartmouth, it is important to look at the role of the native speaker in the formation of a postwar Anglo-American language alliance, at the reasoning that legitimized the linguistic authority of the native speaker in the metropolis, and at challenges in the postcolonial era that have sought to disperse the grounds of English. Here, the author focuses on how the means of producing knowledge about English have been unevenly distributed--according to geohistorical location and the differential relations ascribed to native and non-native speakers, metropolis and colony, center and periphery. (Contains 16 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A