This article reports findings from an analysis of interview data with 10 English language teaching (ELT) professionals at tertiary level from three Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. In the interviews, the participants shared their observation of the presence of expatriate ELT professionals at their institutions and were invited to respond to a hypothetical situation in which they were to decide whether they would recruit expatriate native speaker or non-native speaker (NNS) ELT professionals to teach at their institutions. The article argues that despite scholarly efforts to promote professionalism instead of native-speakerism within the teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) profession, discrimination against NNS teachers is still evident among NNS ELT professionals. Specifically, the analysis reveals that local NNS professionals hold judgemental views against the teaching capability of their expatriate NNS counterparts. Such judgement may lead these teachers to being seriously disadvantaged in their competition for ELT positions in Southeast Asia. This suggests that as long as local English language teachers do not recognise their fellow NNS ELT professionals’ qualification, experience and knowledge, TESOL organisation’s advocacy for professionalism instead of native-speakerism in ELT remains a desire.
Volume 18, 2016 – Issue 1