A native speaker is someone who speaks a language as his or her first language or mother tongue. Native speakers can often speak the language well since it was part of their childhood development. A native speaker's language is usually the language their parents speak and/or the language of their country of origin. It is the only language of a monolingual person, and likely the first language of a multilingual person which is acquired naturally in their native environment. It may serve as the basis for their sociolinguistic identity.
A native speaker of a language has the following traits:
- The speaker learnt the language in childhood,
- mastery of idiomatic forms of the language,
- comprehension of regional and social variance,
- fluent, spontaneous production and comprehension of discourse.
Many teachers of languages are native speakers of the language they teach.
Further reading[change | change source]
- Davies, A. (2004). The native speaker in applied linguistics. In A.Davies & C. Elder (Eds.), The handbook of applied linguistics (pp. 431-450). Oxford, UK: Blackwell