Colloquium: The native speaker in language educationExport this event to calendar

Thursday, April 5, 2018 — 8:45 AM to 5:45 PM EDT

What exactly is a native speaker? What beliefs and assumptions underlie the educational aim of native speaker competence? And are native speakers better language teachers? To what extent can alternative notions such as the “intercultural speaker” (Byram), “symbolic competence” (Kramsch), or “transcultural and translingual competence” (MLA) help address the problem of native-speakerism? And what implications do these discussions have for classroom language teaching?

These and other questions will be discussed at the Native Speaker Colloquium.

As part of the GER 615/715, ENGL 790 graduate course, students took a critical look at the ideal of the native speaker in language education and beyond. Achieving native-speaker or near-native competence in another language has traditionally been viewed as the ultimate goal in language education, and native speakers are widely considered ideal language teachers. In the past few years, however, the ideal of the native speaker has begun to be deconstructed. Recent critiques of “native-speakerism” (Holliday) call into question the very notion of the (monolingual) native speaker, arguing that the idealization of the native speaker is based on outdated language ideologies, is inappropriate in a multilingual world, and can have negative effects on learners and teachers of new languages. Instead, they propose alternative goals and ideals that are more appropriate for multilingual environments.

Colloquium schedule

The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Department of French Studies.

Location 
EV3 - Environment 3
3412
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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