Being Multilingual: The natives and the speakers
Let me start with the good news. We are, all of us without exception, native speakers. This may come as a surprise to those of us who have had close encounters with the second/foreign language world, but is nonetheless true. It means that we are all competent users of language – more or less competent, of course, depending on all sorts of individual and social factors that make us clumsy or proficient in whatever we do. Now the bad news. We are, all of us who use second/foreign languages, failed native speakers of them, which is the meaning of the more politically correct label “non-native speakers”. Now the obvious news. Now the funny news. And now, the extremely funny news. Near-native-like users of languages could well make ideal candidates to international espionage agencies – barring suspicion that the enemy might also have access to millisecond-detectors, of course. Thomas Paul Bonfiglio’s book, Mother tongues and nations.
Related: Early Childhood Development
• English teaching early years