The representation of professionalism in native English-speaking teachers recruitment policies: A comparative study of Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan

Li Yi Wang, Tzu Bin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The status of English as a global language has played a significant role in contemporary language education policies across the world. In East Asia, the hegemony of English has been reflected in a number of central governments' policies of recruiting native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) to participate in English language education. This paper focuses on the NESTs recruitment policies in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan with the aim of examining how teacher professionalism is represented in these policy discourses and how this conceived teacher professionalism impacts on English teaching and learning in these countries. Through the analysis of policy texts and documents, we argue that teacher professionalism has been assigned a different agenda by the governments who subscribe to "native speaker norms" and legitimise unqualified and inexperienced NESTs in the profession of English language teaching (ELT). These anti-professionalism policies have not achieved the intended consequence of improving students' English proficiency, but have instead resulted in the unintended consequences of damaging the quality of English instruction and jeopardising the professional identity of local non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) in these countries. The results reveal an urgent need to evaluate the effectiveness of these NEST recruitment programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalEnglish Teaching
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Language policy
  • NESTs
  • NNESTs
  • Policy analysis
  • Teacher professionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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