The pragmatic realization of the native speaking English teacher as a monolingual ideal

Nao, Marion (2011). The pragmatic realization of the native speaking English teacher as a monolingual ideal. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(15) pp. 3770–3781.



The paper explores the pragmatic realization of monolingual native speakerhood as an idealized abstraction through the discourse analysis of a real-life encounter between an English teacher, Marie, and three Japanese undergraduate students of English in a conversation lounge of a university in Japan, which is circumscribed by an English-only policy. Such problematic realization of an ideal is approached from a multimethodological perspective of analysis which combines a discourse pragmatics of Gricean implicature, founded on the maxim of quality, or truth, with a focus on metacommunication and its consequentiality of meaning. By these analytic means, the paper charts Marie's attempt to remodel self and language use in line with monolingual policy through the dynamics of teacher–student interaction as an institutionalized process, which is bracketed off from conversation as ritualized pretence. Conformity to monolinguality is thereby seen to index the institutional persona of the teacher as native speaker, which may contrast starkly with the lived experience of the flesh-and-blood person of interpersonal communication, as implicit in the institutional designation of the event as conversation practice.

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