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The Native Speaker Concept

Ethnographic Investigations of Native Speaker Effects

Ed. by Doerr, Neriko Musha

Series:Language, Power and Social Process [LPSP] 26


    149,95 € / $210.00 / £136.50*

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    Publication Date:
    December 2009
    Copyright year:
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    Aims and Scope

    The "native speaker" is often thought of as an ideal language user with "a complete and possibly innate competence in the language" which is perceived as being bounded and fixed to a homogeneous speech community and linked to a nation-state. Despite recent works that challenge its empirical accuracy and theoretical utility, the notion of the "native speaker" is still prevalent today.

    The Native Speaker Concept shifts the analytical focus from the second language acquisition processes and teaching practices to daily interactions situated in wider sociocultural and political contexts marked by increased global movements of people and multilingual situations. Using an ethnographic approach, the volume critically elucidates the political nature of (not) claiming the "native speaker" status in daily life and the ways the ideology of "native speaker" intersects and articulates, supports, subverts, or complicates various relations of dominance and regimes of standardization.

    The book offers cases from diverse settings, including classrooms in Japan, a coffee shop in Barcelona, secondary schools in South Africa, a backyard in Rapa Nui (Easter Island), restaurant kitchens, a high school administrator's office, a college classroom in the United States, and the Internet. It also offers a genealogy of the notion of the "native speaker" from the time of the Roman Empire. Employing linguistic, anthropological and educational theories, the volume speaks not only to the analyses of language use and language policy, planning, and teaching, but also to the investigation of wider effects of language ideology on relations of dominance, and institutional and discursive practices.


    x, 390 pages
    Type of Publication:
    Sociolinguistics; Applied Linguistics; Language Policy; Language Competence

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    Neriko Musha Doerr,Ramapo College, Mahwah, USA.

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