People who aren't english native speakers often tell me that their English is better than their native tongue, which is kinda odd since they use their native tongue most of the time.
Because of this, I wonder if it possible for a native speaker who isn't proficient in his own language to become a near native-speaker. Is it possible for this person to reach a level of proficiency in the L2 that enables him or her to handle college-like material in the L2? By 'isn't proficient', I mean someone who dropped out of high school and who isn't an eloquent speaker or writer, but who is determined to be fluent and will not rest until he has achieved that goal. Is this goal realistic? Won't his low proficiency in L1 limit his acquisition of the L2?
So if one only speaks one's L1 for 30 years, can L2 proficiency ever surpass L1 proficiency given consistent striving to improve the L2?