The Native Speaker: Myth and Reality
Linguists, applied linguists and language teachers all appeal to the native speaker as an important reference point. But what exactly (who exactly?) is the native speaker? This book examines the native speaker from different points of view, arguing that the native speaker is both myth and reality.
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Coppieters ( 1987 ) reported an experiment which appears to challenge this
position . She took a group ( N = 21 ) of non - native adult speakers of French
who had ' so thoroughly mastered French that it was no longer clearly possible to
Native speakers , suggests Coppieters , on the basis of her data did not need the
help of an explicit context . No matter how skilful non - native speakers might be
at deriving the appropriate interpretation of a sentence in context , their inability ...
Nevertheless , for Coppieters , such an argument is strongly sociological and , in
her view , competence must include a psychological dimension . She continues :
it is also clear that the variation between native speakers and nonnative ...