There are so many misconceptions around these two words.
Many people understand their second language better than their own.
They are more careful, more accurate and they pay more attention when they use their other languages.

What would you choose for your purposes?

1. A 19-33 year old average native speaker
2. Someone who has had the interest to learn since an early age. Someone who has read more, someone who has fostered and nurtured his or her language willfully to go beyond average.

Think about it. What is more important?
Actual skills and knowledge or being a "native speaker"?

Would I doubt a Spanish native claiming to be as fluent in Portuguese as he or she is in Spanish? No. Note how I chose not to write " she or he is in his or her own language." The right to call a language your own does not depend on others.
Is it possible for someone from the EU to know Chinese better than a native? YES!! (I am not talking about myself here. I don't speak Chinese)

Schools, private students and people using forums such as this have to restore their beliefs in the capacity of the individual rather than clinging to the plastic-wrapped misunderstood concept described with the words "Native speaker".

What does being a native speaker entail? What are the discrepancies between the preconceptions of what a native speaker is and what he or she really is?
What can a non-native speaker offer that a native speaker cannot?
What things can a native speaker offer that a non-native speaker cannot?
Are we too lazy to find talented people among non-native speakers and do we choose what we think we know too readily?

Please discuss!!

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