Dr. Jean-Marc Dewaele Picture

Presentation: Positive Psychology Can Help Overcome the Pernicious Native Speaker Ideology

Rather than obsessing about negative aspects of life, Positive Psychologists defend a more holistic perspective. By transforming the view of learners as failed “NS” of the target language to that of increasingly competent and happy users of a foreign language would lift a huge burden from the shoulders of foreign language learners and their teachers alike. We argue that the unexpected longevity and ubiquity of the NS in the foreign language teaching profession have deep historical roots in linguistics and culture, and that only a radical paradigm shift can dislodge it.


Dewaele, J.-M. (2018) Why the dichotomy ‘L1 Versus LX User’ is better than ‘Native Versus Non-native Speaker’. Applied Linguistics, 39(2), 236-240.

Dewaele, J.-M., Bak, T. & Ortega, L. (2021) Why the mythical “native speaker” has mud on its face. In N. Slavkov, S. Melo Pfeifer & N. Kerschhofer ‎ (Eds.), The Changing Face of the “Native Speaker”: Perspectives from Multilingualism and Globalization. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, pp. 23-43.

Dewaele, J.-M. & Saito, K. (2022) Positive Psychology can combat the pernicious native speaker ideology. The European Educational Researcher, 5(2), 225-234.


Jean-Marc Dewaele is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism. He has published widely on individual differences. He is former president of the International Association of Multilingualism and the European Second Language Association, and the current president of the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning. He is General Editor of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. He won the Robert Gardner Award for Excellence in Second Language and Bilingualism Research (2016) from the International Association of Language and Social Psychology and the EUROSLA Distinguished Scholar Award (2022). 

Please note that the presentation will be in English followed by a bilingual (French and English) Q&A.

For any questions, please email us: [email protected]

Date and time
Oct 25, 2022
All day
Format and location
We will provide the Zoom link by email upon registration confirmation.
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