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Teaching English

Wow I feel the need to apologize up front because I'm sure regulars here are sick to death of this topic but I would like some advice.

Okay a little about me. I am currently enrolled in college in the states and my school has some classes online. In fact I will be continuing one when I arrive in Vietnam soon.

Because my school offers some classes online I may have the opportunity to continue my education while there in Vietnam.

My ability to stay in Vietnam long term, which is a possibility I'm interested in pursuing, is dependent on my ability to find work.

I really haven't looked too hard because when I read about the subject here on expat everybody said just wait until you get here and pound the pavement etc. that's the only way you will find work and also because it's not critical for me to find a job there soon after arriving or even on my first trip.

However somebody did post an ad to a fb groups saying they were looking for English teachers. And I also befriended someone who teaches English (a Vietnamese national) there.

Both have told me that the fact that I don't have a degree is no problem (it might be noteworthy to point out here that I am a white male, native English speaker, as I said some college but no degree, I have studied foreign languages in classes as well as on my own but do not have a Tesol or CELTA though I am seriously considering taking one of those courses there even if I already have a job). That my ability to get the job or not would be based on the interview.

My friend said she already spoke to her boss (without me prompting her to do so) and has basically set up an interview for me. The person I spoke to online (the other person, not connected to my friend) said he would just need a resume and to meet me and speak with me in person.

So I basically have 2 questions:

1. Do you really need the degree to get the work permit (I should probably point out I am arriving on 90-day tourist Visa on arrival with pre-approval letter obtained online) or not?

Some here have said: Yes, you absolutely need the degree or 5 years teaching experience to get the proper work permit, no way around it.

While others have said: No, you do not need a degree. If you have an employer who will sponsor you they can get you the work permit even if you don't have one.

So question 1 is: Which is really true?

2. Let's say I can get a job (and if I cannot get the teaching work permit what should I try to get as a substitute? I have heard some teachers in China teach with some sort of small business or freelance permit...). What kind of salary should I expect?

I don't need to make $20 an hour or necessarily even $15. I don't mind starting at a lower salary, working part-time and gaining valuable experience, I just want to know what kind of range I should be looking at as someone just starting out in the field with no degree at this time.

3. Okay one more 2 part-question. I keep hearing about contracts. Do all schools which hire English teachers require them? And if I sign a 1-year contract and for some reason am not able to complete it does that mean that work experience ends up being basically useless in terms of having a reference or something I can put on a future resume?

Okay thanks in advance to anyone who provides any insight or advice (please add anything else you think I should watch out for or be concerned about, any questions I should ask in interviews etc., when people talk about their salary is that just classroom hours for example and do you have to spend unpaid hours making lesson plans, grading etc?) and I apologize again to the others who I'm sure are sick to death of this particular subject matter.

:)

Well..... as long as you have tattoos.... and pony tail.... along with no education... then you should fit right in with all the other hippies who want to stay in Vietnam from District 1.....who also believe they can teach education to students that deserve an education from an actual educated person..... unlike you....Let me ask you this....?? Would you like to be taught something from a person who wasn't qualified to teach the subject...?...Mmmmm

This is one of the thing I hate the most in Vietnam. All these so called English teachers that have never set foot in a classroom coming here and charging the locals a great deal of money for a substandard service. My niece and nephew both had private lessons that their parents saved and paid for and now not only can they not speak or read English but what they do know is not correct.
I'm tired of seeing questions from auto mechanics and whatnots thinking they can teach english simply because they are a native speaker.

Teaching, of any kind is a profession and should be treated as such. If you want to teach take the time and make the effort to hone your craft.
Bad habits and incorrect lessons taught early in a childs life are hard to shake later and makes it that much harder for a child to become fluent in a second language.

Dear Nam!
Your story about Vietnam Teaching is partially true.
To teach legally, like any other country, you do need a Valid Certificate in the desired subject or minimum 5 years experience which provide you a work permit. The other side of the coin is that like your expectation you may get a job as English Teacher whether it is part-time or full-time if the employer satisfied with you!(You can be proud of your skin!)And "native speaker" is a plus point whether your major is other than English! I personally know one case: There is one Auto Mechanic(Indian) who teach English in a University here! He substituted by another Indian Lawyer and English Teacher who has more than 6 years experience in teaching and with numerous certificates including TESOL, for a cheaper salary than the previous!
You said:"I don't need to make $20 an hour or necessarily even $15. I don't mind starting at a lower salary". This approach of you-like "future Teachers" will exploit by the business minded educational institutions in Vietnam. So if you don't mind, please respect other teachers by don't try to teach for "experience or money" until you get qualified!
johnnywastaken and VungTauDon are absolutely said!

Hello all! I am a qualified TEFL teacher available for home tuition for anyone looking to improve their conversational, social or business English, or indeed for anyone looking to improve in furthering their education here or abroad. I can also help in preparation for students' IELTS exams or students who are on EAL programs and may need specific help in an area that they may be struggling in, such as grammar, tenses and/or pronunciation. If you are interested in talking to me about lessons please call or text on 01267 017477, or alternatively, you can email me at barrett.danielj[at]gmail.com

Many thanks.

Daniel.

You can post an ad independently in the job section for this, better than follow this old thread!

danielj58 :

Hello all! I am a qualified TEFL teacher available for home tuition for anyone looking to improve their conversational, social or business English, or indeed for anyone looking to improve in furthering their education here or abroad. I can also help in preparation for students' IELTS exams or students who are on EAL programs and may need specific help in an area that they may be struggling in, such as grammar, tenses and/or pronunciation. If you are interested in talking to me about lessons please call or text on 01267 017477, or alternatively, you can email me at barrett.danielj[at]gmail.com

Many thanks.

Daniel.

.

Enroll in a course and get your teaching certificate first.  In fact, I'd advise a CELTA course for you, though I personally detest the entire program.  Earn that and the degree, or lack thereof, becomes a secondary issue. 

As long as schools are hiring people based on skin color, and/or nationality, people who are "unqualified" will continue to come here and seek employment.  Some will make it, while others will wash out quickly. Don't blame them, blame the system.

Yeah, dont blame the people seeking jobs, blame the system that has been put in place here in Viet Nam.

Teacher Mark :

Enroll in a course and get your teaching certificate first.  In fact, I'd advise a CELTA course for you, though I personally detest the entire program.

Thank you all for your responses. I had completely forgotten about this thread (I did read the initial replies). I decided that if I were to teach English I would do exactly as you suggest Mark.

Yes you can be employed, teach in Vietnam especially with that reason of salary is not an issue, many opportunistic educational institutions will have their fangs over you not to mention that you are Caucasian. But try to respect those who have been teaching and are qualified to teach, they may lose their job over you.

Why not get a tutorial job instead, a private teaching class with 1 or 2 students who are having problem with the English language, in that case you can have your personal strategy tested. Then focus on your online study, at least you still  have time on your own education,  afterwards you can continue it with an MBA via online.

But "Never lose your bright and positive attitude" that makes a big difference between the old from the new instructors.  :))

Aubrey- Yes I understand what you are saying and I agree.

I'm not sure if after taking one of the certification classes I would try tutoring instead of looking for a small school who just needs someone part-time but it is something to consider. Right now I do not have time for the CELTA or a similar course due to online studies. I'm also receiving Vietnamese tutoring and will begin a class at the uni here shortly but it is still a possibility I'm considering for the future when my schedule permits. Thank you.

The system had been put in place by people. And people alone can also change the system! Of course, if I were in charge of HR, I would tread safely and 'follow what was done' in the past to save my butt. Only native speakers of Western countries would do for 'good' teaching. Never mind whether they are having the improvement of human capital of Vietnam at heart but so long as they have white skin! Otherwise, no discerning parent would send their children to my centre/school. This is lamentable but reality.

Thats correct...

What if we are not a Native Speaker but we have a Bachelor's Degree in Teaching English and have 5 year-experience? Can we find a teaching job there?

ekaracan :

What if we are not a Native Speaker but we have a Bachelor's Degree in Teaching English and have 5 year-experience? Can we find a teaching job there?

What is a bachelor's degree in teaching English?

You need a bachelor's degree, a teaching certification and a work permit to legally teach English in Vietnam. I don't understand the five years experience requirement. AFAIK it was for people teaching here before the educational requirements were brought in.

A teaching cert. can be anything from an on-line TEFL to a BEd.

I think one can get other work here including teaching non-academic subjects if one has the experience and skills required but someone with more knowledge on that subject should step in here. Check the job ads for possibilities.

ekaracan :

What if we are not a Native Speaker but we have a Bachelor's Degree in Teaching English and have 5 year-experience? Can we find a teaching job there?

Looking at your grammar problems, especially the mess that makes up your atrocious advert, I would suggest your ability to teach English is limited.

English language skills are rarely an issue on this forum but someone looking to work as an English teacher should really be able to form a reasonable sentence.

As I said before, I'm not Native. I may have some problems which I couldn't realize yet.Nevertheless; it doesn't  mean that you can judge my teaching skills! Teaching and knowing a language... They're completely two different issues. Of course you know your language better than any foreigners but also it doesn't mean that you can teach it better than us. You have been exposed it since you were born! please show some respect for what we do!

If you don't know a language, you can't teach it.
I'm not talking about your teaching skills in general, just your inability to teach English as demonstrated by your terrible use of the language on this thread and in your advert.
Seriously, you have to think of the people you're going to teach and what a waste of their time lessons from a bad teacher will be.

You still haven't understood the fact that you don't have a right to assess a teacher undergone a great deal of teaching education all in his/her life. We have seen many "so called" native teachers who don't have any ideas about methods, approaches and even classroom management. Teaching isn't sth like you imagine. You have to know it I totally agree with you but knowledge is never enough. You know just one side of it. On the other hand there are many different concepts and issues you can't see. To sum up, please don't try to label anyone around you as a bad teacher. You should show some respect. They all put their hearts into teaching.

To sum up, please don't try to label anyone around you as a bad teacher.

I'm not - You are with your demonstrated poor abilities.

Teaching isn't sth like you imagine

Gosh - I never realised.

It's a bit like saying you don't have to know how to drive a truck to be a truck driver.   :dumbom:

It's a bit like saying every truck driver can not teach you how to drive a truck  :top:

It's a bit like saying every truck driver can not teach you how to drive a truck .

Perhaps care in your choice of instructor is required.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/9dfNdD3Hpy8/maxresdefault.jpg

The fact of the matter is that an education is hugely beneficial. However, a strong backing (which is not common in Vietnam) from an education company that vets your lesson-plans and ideas and a conscientious approach does account for quite a lot, given the circumstance.

In principle, yes. I would not like to be taught by someone that does not have a teaching-degree. But in Vietnam the "good" choices OFTEN are:

1. Expensive university educated teacher (usually a business major) that doesn't mind anyways and that has no checks on them because they are educated and completely legal (even though most have a degree that is irrelevant to the field).
2. Vietnamese teacher that (mainly in the outer districts of HCMC), due partially to a lack of exposure that is alarmingly common, can barely communicate in English (they do however have near perfect grasp of the rules of grammar). These teachers have strengths but one of the main areas of language requested by headmasters and parents is exactly pronunciation and other areas of spoken-English.


Given the options that are OFTEN available, I think an uneducated but fluent teacher with a will to learn how to teach properly from peers and experience is a more than adequate option.
Before you say anything, I am one of the these that had the same view originally but was convinced by my father and mother that both have a good twenty years of experience each of teaching in the west to do this.
I spend every day feeling like I am cheating by teaching without a degree (and only a partial TESOL). However I know that my attitude and my experience of going through two very good public education systems (Swedish and English) myself makes me more than sufficient for the job if I just make sure I do more than many of the educated but lazy teachers that care HALF as much as me about doing a proper job.




------


So yes, you should try and teach if you have the right attitude. Read, ask teachers that you know how to prepare yourself. However, I would advise at least starting a TESOL.
You don't need to take less than 15$ an hour. I started on 17$ which is pretty low. Be humble about your lack of education, but don't r*pe yourself before you have even signed a contract.

i just realised how old this is. Haha. Woops.

its true

It's old but still a good topic.

I've met many teachers without degrees or TEFLs that are terrific teachers.

I think the real issue is how to respond to people who ask about coming here to teach when they have no experience and no credentials.

Some like me advise against it, others say go for it. I could point out that that is counselling someone to commit a crime in a foreign country.

As long as no-one is blatantly lying- you'll be arrested and deported before you even get to teach a single class, or come on down, you'll be rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

I say to each his own.

VN sets the rules. Korea and China for example all require a work permit and will occasionally catch and deport illegal workers according to some expat forums anyway. I don't know anyone personally who has been deported. I did know a couple guys in Korea who had to teach in one of the teachers apartments for an afternoon because while they did have work permits the chain had them working at a location not on their work permit and the inspectors were coming to the school that afternoon.

I once heard a story that some guy who, like many teachers, had a private student. One day while entering the apartment building he was nabbed. Apparently his Korean girlfriend turned him in. Maybe that's a different topic.

That's it for deportation stories from me.

I think the risks are there, like you say. But I do think that they are somewhat overplayed. At the end of the day, if you REALLY want to teach, deportation is not a big deal. Deportation means you may have to consider somewhere like Cambodia, where there are very few enforced laws when it comes to this area of society.
I think it all comes down to attitude. If you have an attitude that screams: "Get rich quick". Stay away, don't come. Go away. If you want a job that is fulfilling and where you can improve peoples lives, come.


Btw, working without a work permit in an English Centre is not against the law. You have to have a degree and work permit to work in public schools. However, with some finesse from the employer, you can work (kinda) legally as long as your job is not technically "teacher".

lolpol8912 :

At the end of the day, if you REALLY want to teach, deportation is not a big deal. Deportation means you may have to consider somewhere like Cambodia, where there are very few enforced laws when it comes to this area of society.

I find this statement rather incredible.  Perhaps as westerners we tend to assume that we will be granted visas or even visa free entry for any country that we wish to travel to, but I suspect that a record of deportation in your passport would certainly raise red flags in many countries even if it doesn't in Cambodia.

lolpol8912 :

Btw, working without a work permit in an English Centre is not against the law. You have to have a degree and work permit to work in public schools.

Where did you get this information?  Granted, public school work does provide the authorities with an easier point of enforcement as they can check the list of names of those working against work permits issued,  I have never heard from anyone that work at a center does not require a work permit.  Your school may be getting away with using teachers without permits at the center but they will be scrambling when they get inspected.   In fact, check my post #92 (Page 3) at this link:  http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … =3#3638221  as it relates directly to just such a situation.

Any non-citizen who works for wages in Vietnam, whether a Chinese laborer working on a highway project or the manager of a foreign bank, needs a work permit.  Note that you did not state that working at centers without a permit is "not uncommon" or "often overlooked by authorities."  You said that it "is not against the law."  If you can cite a change in the law then I will take back what I have said here.

Vietnam is very different. It also has special needs.

* 10th grade students doing homework after 10 pm?
* Grammar up and down the Ying Yang? (While a language should be fun)
* why wouldn't a friendly young person without an atrocious accent help the locals start speaking?

If only qialified would mean good

I knew a young Filipino who had worked in NYC. Excellent English and a born teacher. Engaging lessons and all. OTOH, I also know many fellow countrymen who may have Masters degrees in education. But their English sucks

The market needs all kind of teachers as most folks cannot afford the high end teachers. and those qgents are as much to blame as the fly-by-night opportunists trying to make a quick buck.

Yeah I think we want to be careful about the 'come on down' 'everybody's doing it' or this new one 'it's legal to work illegally' BS.

But maybe we can say that a lot of public school teachers in particular are just not enamoured with pretty boy or pretty girl showing up to play hangman or otherwise BS-ing their way through 35-45 or even 90 minutes because they haven't got an inkling of a clue about the subject matter let alone teaching. Language centre teachers don't have a lot of options. In fact some of them may not be qualified.

Vietnamese teachers get paid significantly less and have to take classes at (reputable hence pricey) language centres while struggling to meet rising government qualifications and even bias.

You're an experienced qualified plumber. Your company hires someone from Chile and pays him 10X your monthly pay just because he's from Chile. The guy can't solder a joint. But he's willing to entertain the companies clients while you do the actual work. You get nothing out of it whatsoever except extra paperwork and all the grief when students get nothing out the experience.   

Bachelor degrees do mean something. So do TEFLs, even online ones. They are not trivial.

Bachelor degrees prove you can learn something, they indicate you know the difference between knowing something and thinking you know something. Exams tend to illustrate that nicely. The piece of paper you get after 3 or 4 years and thousands of dollars proves it emphatically. A TEFL shows you have at least been introduced to the concepts and lexicon of the teaching material and teaching. This not trivial.

TEFLs or equivalent involving actual observed teaching hours show that you have actually been shown maybe even taught how to teach in a classroom. This not trivial.

Being deported from a foreign country for committing a crime is not a joke. It's a fine that can be as high as 5X one months net salary, it's sitting in a room at the airport or worse from the moment you are caught, while they empty your bank account until they escort you onto the plane. It's possibly what border officials are looking for when they flip through your passport or study their computer screen. This most certainly is not trivial.

You cannot legally teach in Vietnam without a Bachelors and a TEFL cert. full stop.

If only qialified was a real word.

If only the simplest definition of a sentence wasn't: 'A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.'

If only every teacher in possession of a bachelors degree and TEFL cert. had that high paying job at that expensive school that the people of Vietnam couldn't afford.

More BS.

The degree and TEFL are entry level qualifications.  They do not guarantee you a job. They are the minimum quals you need to apply for a job here. Teaching is an art, if you aren't a competent teacher you won't hold onto a job no matter what your qualifications are.

You could be the best teacher in the universe but if you don't have the minimum quals you cannot work legally in Vietnam and you will never get a job at a reputable school.

There are homeless foreigners here. And there are more than a few who cannot at this time and may never scrape together the money to fly home.

You cannot legally teach in Vietnam without a Bachelors and a TEFL cert. full stop.

I think you will find that the law changed and they now accept 5 years of documented experience to get a WP. This is of course subject to the interpretation by the official who is dealing with your application. Each provence is different, so there is no way to say it's uniform across the country.

That's not true. There are many ways for a manager at an English Centre to employ a "teacher". One being, to not employ a "teacher". This is a workaround with little, to no, risk to the employee.

People will be using this site as practical advice. If you are worried about legalities, don't try to teach in a high school (although it is possible). Teaching in an English Centre with a manager that understands your lack of credentials is VERY doable and accepted as long as your face is white.


That's the reality, sad as it is.

That's BS.

You can get work in many reputable schools, just not in the centre of HCMC. If you are a foreigner with a degree and a TESOL and you are not completely useless. You can get and keep a job with ease.
It's more competitive in the centre of HCMC, but if you travel even a few km outside of the centre, you will find many schools that are more than eager to employ anyone that is on time and loyal.

lolpol8912 :

People will be using this site as practical advice. If you are worried about legalities, don't try to teach in a high school (although it is possible). Teaching in an English Centre with a manager that understands your lack of credentials is VERY doable and accepted as long as your face is white.

That's the reality, sad as it is.

The reality of any situation is fine as far as the forum is concerned but encouraging or assisting anything illegal is not, even if it's common and ignored by the authorities of the country concerned.

Just a note to assist posters when typing their words of wisdom. :)

You cannot work legally in Vietnam without a work permit.

There is no magic Hogwort's door.

You will be at the mercy of anyone wishing to take advantage of you just like illegal immigrants in any country.

You cannot rent without a contract signed by your employer, you cannot open a bank account. You have to pay to renew your tourist visa every three months.

You cannot report a crime committed against you. Your employer can fire you, refuse to pay you or withhold pay on a whim and you have no recourse.

Being an illegal worker in any country, no matter your skin colour is not a game.

The whole point of not getting or enforcing work permits is to have the upper hand on you. Don't get sucked in by the nameless sirens who owe you nothing.

You cannot rent without a contract signed by your employer, you cannot open a bank account. You have to pay to renew you tourist visa every three months.

Never had a a problem with these.

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