EducLang Seminar - Meike Wernicke

The native speaker in L2 education : What is the impact on teacher identity?
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm
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Free of charge
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The native speaker construct has been a long-standing topic of debate in applied linguistics. Scholars have alternately proclaimed the native speaker "dead" (Paikeday, 1985) and as "alive and kicking" (Phillipson, 2012), and many agree that the notion should ultimately
be "displaced" (Rampton, 1990) by more productive and relevant ideas of language expertise. This presentation offers a discussion of the impact of the native speaker in the context of second language (L2) education, specifically the role it has played in French second language (FSL) teachers' constructions of a legitimate identity as French language educators. The discussion will focus on findings from a study undertaken with over 80 FSL teachers from British Columbia who participated in a two-week professional-development sojourn to France. Teachers' discursive representations of their experiences abroad clearly highlight a continuing orientation to a native-speaker ideal and demonstrate the various discursive manoeuvres non-francophone teachers in particular rely on to come off as "authentic" French language educators. The presentation concludes with some implications for how we might approach teacher identity as a key factor in L2 teacher education and professional development.