The European Educational Researcher

Positive Psychology can help overcome the pernicious native speaker ideology

The European Educational Researcher, Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2022, pp. 225-234
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 5292 DOWNLOADS: 1566 Publication date: 15 Jun 2022
The world of applied linguistics and the profession of foreign language teaching needs to finally sweep away the notion of “Native Speaker” (NS) and the deficit perspective surrounding foreign language learners. We argue that Positive Psychology is a source of inspiration for a new and more positive perspective on foreign language learners and users.  Rather than obsessing about negative aspects of life, Positive Psychologists defend a more holistic perspective. By transforming the view of learners as failed “NS” of the target language to that of increasingly competent and happy users of a foreign language would lift a huge burden from the shoulders of foreign language learners and their teachers alike. We argue that the unexpected longevity and ubiquity of the NS in the foreign language teaching profession are its deep historical roots in linguistics and culture, and that only a radical paradigm shift can dislodge it.
Native speaker, first language user, foreign language user, Positive Psychology
Dewaele, J.-M., & Saito, K. (2022). Positive Psychology can help overcome the pernicious native speaker ideology. The European Educational Researcher, 5(2), 225-234.
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