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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“You cannot teach me English because you are Asian!”

By Xiaoke Sun

Hey, everyone!

This post is a real story happened lately about myself being Asian and becoming an English teacher in Montreal Chinese heritage school. It happens to correspond with the topic of ethnicity and language learning that we have talked previously. I would like to share the story, and you are more than welcomed to help me to figure out my current puzzle.

For quite a long time, I have questioned what is the fundamental criteria to be an English teacher. There is no doubt that having an advanced language proficiency is necessary. Besides, English pronunciation, as mentioned by Yerim in the previous post, is also commonly judged by people as it demonstrates one’s capacity to express themselves and to be understood. Despite of other factors, such as the ability of curriculum design, assessment, and so on, can it be concluded that one’s ability to exercise a language equals to one’s qualification for being an English teacher? If not, what other factors could influence the way of learning and teaching?

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Native vs non-native teachers: Accents and culture

Simon Desmarais – Blog post 1

Over the course of my life, I have devoted a lot of time to learn languages. I come from a small town in Québec, so my first language is French, but since about 2009 I have been living my life mainly in English (as a result of frequent traveling and studying at McGill). I have also spent some time learning Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Even though by linguistic definition I am a L2 speaker of English, I am now at a point where I consider myself even more than near-native: I have a slight accent, but I possess the same language intuition as native speakers.

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