Speakerhood as Segregation: The Construction and Consequence of Divisive Discourse in TESOL

  • Damian J. RiversEmail author
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


This chapter revisits the issue of status drawn from categorization as either a native-speaker teacher of English or as a non-native-speaker teacher of English in TESOL. It remains that despite various discussions being heard (see Aneja GA, TESOL Q 50: 572–596, 2016a; Aneja GA, Crit Inq Lang Stud 13: 351–379, 2016b; Aslan E, Thompson AS, TESOL J 8: 277–294, 2016; Cook V, TESOL Q 50: 186–189, 2016; Ellis E, TESOL Q 50: 597–631, 2016; Faez F, J Lang, Identity Edu 10: 231–249, 2011; Swan A, Aboshiha P, Holliday A (eds), (En)countering native-speakerism: global perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, 2015), nothing seems to change. Language teachers, researchers and academics appear content performing discursive routines which produce outcomes so predictable it is as if those discussions never actually took place (see Kandiah T, Epiphanies of the deathless native user’s manifold avatars: a post-colonial perspective on the native speaker. In: Singh R (ed) The native speaker: multilingual perspectives. Sage, New Delhi, pp 79–110, 1998). Our profession persists in orienting itself toward upholding the division of teaching professionals primarily upon status criteria derived from the idea of the native speaker as the authentic language user and proprietor (see Houghton, Rivers and Hashimoto 2018). Discontent with the current situation, the circular discourse it encourages and the endless stimulation of guilt and shame it provokes, this chapter outlines how individuals on both sides of the fracture attain status privilege and suffer status marginalization through the strategic positioning of their fabricated counterpart. It suggests that the dynamics responsible follow a pendulum-like motion whereby for one group to attain a higher status (privilege) the other group must, as a consequence, be portrayed in a manner that inflicts upon them a lower status (marginalization).



Sincere gratitude is extended to the editors of this volume for their professionalism and support. This project was supported with funds from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, kakenhi Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research “The Representational Parameters of the Native Speaker in Japanese Higher Education” [日本の高等教育における「ネイティブスピーカー」の概念の規定要因] Project Number: 26770193.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Systems Information Science, Center for Meta-LearningFuture University HakodateHakodateJapan

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