Teaching English in Vietnam: Voices of Non-Native English Speakers

Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2022



Teaching English in Vietnam: Voices of Non-Native English Speakers

Walter Evans Lara Lasula



The increasing demand for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors throughout Asia, particularly in Vietnam, has resulted in a large diaspora of both native and non-native teachers to assist students in improving their English language proficiency. The objective of this research was to conduct an inquiry into the personal experiences of nonnative speakers teaching EFL in Vietnam and the essence attributed to it. Husserl’s qualitative descriptive phenomenology was used. This study utilized a comprehensive semi-structured interview with 12 non-native English-speaking teacher-participants from various nations to disclose their lived experiences namely the Philippines, Vietnam, Netherlands, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, India, Ghana, Russia, France, Ukraine, and Poland. The data was gathered through an in-depth interview recorded using the Zoom platform. The utterances were transcribed, analyzed, and clustered using Colaizzi’s data analysis. The study revealed five major themes namely: Professional Rewards and Development, Personal growth and contentment, Promotions and Career Opportunities and Support, Professional Predicaments, and Personal Drive. The benefits of being a non-native English-speaking instructor in Vietnam were all emphasized, including the strong demand for EFL Jobs, simpler hiring and visa processing, and many training and advancement possibilities. There were professional issues on discrimination and biases from schools and employers aside from the racism experienced by students. Despite the challenges encountered by the participants, there were relevant pieces of advice shared to cope with the challenges such as getting qualified, adapting to the culture, and possessing passion and optimism towards teaching as non-native teaching in Vietnam.

keywords: Descriptive Phenomenology, EFL, English Language Teaching, Non-native English teachers, NNESTs.