Native English Speaker

In relation to teaching the English language, the term native English speaker is normally used to refer to someone whose first language is English, i.e., they have used English as their main form of communication since birth. In this context, ‘first language’, ‘mother tongue’ and ‘native language’ are terms that can be used to mean the same thing so they are often used interchangeably. If a person grows up in an environment where both parents speak different languages it is possible for them to have two ‘mother tongues’.

Generally, a child will pick up a considerable amount of their first language knowledge before they begin any formal schooling. In contrast, the acquisition of a second language usually requires the aid of some kind of language instruction.