An essential read in the native speakerism debate.
Hands up, dear readers, those who of you who think I am a ‘native speaker’ of British English.
Hands up if you think I am from England.
“Where are you from?”
It’s one of the earliest questions we teach learners how to ask. And yet it can be one of the most difficult and complicated to answer.
I was born in Chichester, a little town in the south of England.
I’ve never lived there. I spent the first two years of my life in a little village near Bognor Regis (Felpham, for any Sussex dwellers!). My earliest memories of this part of England, though, come from visits to relatives subsequent to moving to the other end of the world.
From the age of 2 to the age of 17, I lived in Botswana, though I went to a boarding school in South Africa (Mafeking) for secondary school.
My mum is English…
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