On native-speakerism

Native-speakerism is a powerful ideology machine that mass-produces unfairness, contempt, inferiority, and frustration. It ruthlessly divides native and nonnative speakers, veils the hard fact that we are all legitimate users of a certain language, and naturalizes sociocultural, economic biases against second and foreign language learners. Through this seldom-challenged mechanism, it effectively molds discrimination out of differences, It mimics racism in placing the categorical value on a birth-based capacity, and colludes with the ‘sacred’ meritocracy by establishing native speaker-favored standards, qualifications, and market environments. Where native-speakerism prevails, foreign language learning functions as a viable tool for the old ruling strategy: divide and conquer. So I remind myself that I do not need to say, “I perfect understand what you mean by that. However, it is wrong: native speakers would not speak like that.” No, they’re not wrong. I am wrong. There utterances communicate: my judgement blocks.

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