Hey guys I quit twitter (for now)! productivity here I come!
I’m really snowed under right now but just wanted to post a little something so here goes (without twitter, will anyone read this?)
I have some questions and so I’m hoping you readers out there will do the work this time. There are a couple of things I don’t get and so I’m hoping you can explain them to me.
1. democratic appeals
English as a Lingua Franca articles always begin with the assertion that there are way more NNS of English than NS, so who are we to tell them how to speak?! This argument seems to make a lot of sense, and I’m always one to argue that common usage usually wins, but something doesn’t add up here.
If we accept this numerical logic then wouldn’t that lead to ‘global English’ being some kind of mix between Indian English and Chinese English? After all, they have far and away the most English speakers.
If that’s not what it means, then what am I missing?
2. “native speaker” bashing.
You can’t say “native speaker” anymore. Well, if you enclose it in scare quotes to stop it escaping onto the page you can, -otherwise no one in the TEFL world will take you seriously. I’ve read a ton of books and been to conferences lately where a fair bit of native speaker bashing has gone on.
I heard things like “so-called native speaker” and “native speaker -whatever that means”. All of this was all well-intentioned I might add, and seemingly an attempt to be inclusive, but I get confused because I think I do have an idea what a native speaker is.
the argument seems to go that people have varying levels of proficiency within the language and some NNS clearly know more vocab or can even speak better than supposed NS so how can we sensibly talk about “native speakers” when a clear distinction can’t even be drawn?
Well that’s true, but then I think I know what red and orange look like and I think I could point at something and tell you if it were one or the other. Now anyone who has used a posh art program on a computer has seen that huge range of colours going from orange to red to the point where you’re not quite sure which side of the colour divide they land on. But despite this, I’ve never heard of anyone claiming that we shouldn’t talk about “so called red” or “orange whatever that means”.
Is this a bad analogy? What am I missing?
Comments below please -help to educate me!