Beyond the native speaker fallacy in ESP courses’

Abstract

With the rapid growth of English as an International language (EIL) due to globalization, and the emergence of the need for bridging the gap between what non-native English speakers(NNESs) perceived and what they need to know in their specific target environments (Basturkmen 2006:15)  recent interest has been triggered to the status of native-speakerism in the realm of English for Specific Purposes and the pressing issue of comprehensibility of oral communication in ESP courses by examining the questions: ‘ How is intelligibility accommodated in ESP courses? Is non-native users’ identity tightly linked to native users’ with the former lacking the confidence to acquire the desirable specialist knowledge?’. Owing to the fact that there has been a lot of controversy to the subject of communicative competence and the linguistic awareness of ESP learners, this reflective article, focusses on drawing insight in the thorny issue of native-speakerism in the field of ESP courses and brings forth the stances towards the native speaker vs non-native speaker dichotomy in the working environments of Greece. The purpose was to explore the problematized fallacy of native-speakerism in ESP courses by questioning its perceived effects in the way students regard the English language.  In doing so, it sheds light at what needs to be done to shake the foundations of specific discourse communities with specific communicative traits and distinct communicative practices. This article concludes that focusing on job-specific discourse features will enrich learners’ linguistic resource commensurate with the demands of their working environments. Consequently, it reveals that the problematizing native-speakerism fallacy is a misconception and a stereotype.

Keywords: Communicative Competence, ESP, dichotomy, job- specific discourse features, native-speakerism, native-speakerism fallacy

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 30-37 (Download PDF)

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