Language Myth of Being Native-like!

By: Faten

For a long time, languages are actually associated with certain ideologies and attitudes that shape the way how one language is used or perceived. It is interesting that Van Herk (2012) tapped on the various language myths that we, as ESL learners or teachers, exposed to almost every day which creates somehow language anxiety.

Having Lauren spoken about language anxiety on FaceTime yesterday, she mentioned very sensitive issue that attached with me as English second language learner and teacher. She spoke about three types of people who might experience language anxiety such as; multilinguals, elders and more advanced L2 speakers. Personally, what is make me feel anxious toward the language is the fact that I have to sound like natives of English in order to be advanced L2 learner or teacher. It is actually one of the language myths that strongly appeared in almost all of my language educational life. I remember when I was in the high school that I was pushed to sound like native Americans by my English teacher in order to do the class presentation perfectly! At that time, I spent plenty of time watching American English YouTube channels and movies with no subtitle and I believed at that time these were the most accurate and advanced English version existed in the world.

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“Are You a Native Speaker of English?”: Exploring What It Means to be a “Non-Native, Native Speaker”

By Wai In Chan

Awhile ago, when I read Van Herk’s (2012) chapter on language and place, I noticed the chapter (3) started with an example (p. 25) that really resonated with me. In addition, our discussion in class on “native speakerism” (the idea that native speakers are more qualified to teach a language than non-native speakers) and ethnicity, really got me thinking about my own language situation in Canada. It made me think of the following two reverse scenarios that happened recently in my life.

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