During the past 20 years, English language teaching and learning has grown phenomenally in Cambodia as the country has opened up to the outside world following more than two decades of civil war. As a result, the standard of English spoken today in Cambodia has also risen dramatically. One feature of this context of dynamic change has been the gradual emergence of indigenous TESOL research as a means to address personal, professional, and institutional goals. Much of this research, however, would not be judged rigorous enough to meet standards for publication in international peer-reviewed journals. This article explores the apparent mismatch between the qualities of local TESOL research and the expectations implicit in global TESOL standards. The Cambodian experience raises important issues about the legitimacy of Western ownership of research, and the extent to which it is possible for a small developing country to foster its own research culture where local knowledge and practices are featured.