On the predicaments of the English L1 language learner: a conceptual article

Lanvers, Ursula (2016). On the predicaments of the English L1 language learner: a conceptual article. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 26(2) pp. 147–167.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ijal.12082

Abstract

The unparalleled rise of English has led native speakers (L1) to becoming increasingly outnumbered by L2 speakers; English as global commodity has stimulated much research into the learning and teaching of English. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer L1 English speakers are choosing to learn languages; a phenomenon which has received less attention. This article investigates both phenomena in the light of two recent theoretical developments in Applied Linguistics and second language acquisition (SLA), namely dynamic system theory and the multilingual turn in SLA, scrutinising the effects of the re-positioning of L1 English language learners. The conclusion suggests a conceptualisation of this learner group alongside, and yet very different to, other linguistically disadvantaged group. Pedagogical pathways to best support this learner group are also discussed.

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