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Is it worth a try?

Hello.
I have just relocated from the Hanoi section of this forum in order to get opinions from those living in HCMC.
As I stated in my topic, 'Too old?' in the Hanoi section, I am an English teacher with a degree and a TEFL certificate. I am 51 years old and have been teaching for most of the past 10 years.
Last week I was in Hanoi seeking work. I walked around the city with a bag of CVs, hoping to find language schools to ask for Head of Studies, hand over my CV and ask for a job. This method has worked perfectly for me in Europe.
But I didn't find any, so I contacted some by telephone. They said I should send my CV by e-mail and await a reply, even though I was in Hanoi at the time.
I had one request to come in to a school, but, unless I totally misread the situation, they seemed surprised at how old I am and after a cursory interview, said goodbye.
I am considering coming to HCMC to look for work, but will I have the same result as in Hanoi?
Or...I could stay in Europe where my cold-calling attempts pay dividends.
Any thoughts?

I'm 54 , I work at a private school , public school and language centre . I frequently knock back work because I'm too busy  .  Best to be on the ground here . Join The groups related to teaching , whilst this forum has some jobs , it's nothing like what's available on the other groups

As I have said elsewhere on here, I am not an English teacher, but there isn't a week goes by without I get asked to teach English. So I gather from that, there is plenty of scope for qualified teachers. I don't think age matters either.

I take your point, Matt. When I'm established in HCMC, work is likely to come my way.
However, I would like to have a job lined up before I arrive, and stay in a cheap hotel, so that I can then look for better accomodation and begin to be established.
I'm building up a list of language schools, which I will visit, CV in hand, when I have a trip to HCMC within the next few months.
By the way, Happy, I've tried joining TEFL-orientated forums and even that is more complicated than I expected. The first I tried, probably the biggest available, wont send me a confirmation e-mail. I've tried twice, to no avail. I don't use a proxy. I tried a smaller site, same story. I tried an even smaller site, with hardly any respondents, and was accepted. I'll see what comes of it.
The idea's continuing. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Ramble235 :

By the way, Happy, I've tried joining TEFL-orientated forums and even that is more complicated than I expected. The first I tried, probably the biggest available, wont send me a confirmation e-mail. I've tried twice, to no avail. I don't use a proxy. I tried a smaller site, same story. I tried an even smaller site, with hardly any respondents, and was accepted.

Which 3 forums did you attempt, ramble? I will try to sign up too.  If you want to keep them secret, you can pm me. thx

Hi Ramble, please contact me via email maybe I can introduce some schools to you for applying your CV.

Goodluck!

At 51 you should be OK but you will not be snatched up like someone half your age.  That is not to say there is no age discrimination.  I arrived at age 62 and went 3 months without even an offer even though I have a BEd and teaching experience.  But I did start working, and my school didn't want to let me go three years later.  The problem for an older teacher is getting your foot in the door.  You will see posts in which people say yes, there are old teachers at my school, but they may have gotten old while working there, or at least while working in Vietnam.  Once you have a job, do a good job and the resistance seems to go away.  Later I was offered other jobs, which I declined, by other school owners whom (who?) I met casually.

Even if you don't put your birth date on your CV, your graduation dates will reveal your age.  Walking in works better if you are older.  And dye your hair as Vietnamese men do. :top:

THIGV :

At 51 you should be OK but you will not be snatched up like someone half your age.  That is not to say there is no age discrimination.  I arrived at age 62 and went 3 months without even an offer even though I have a BEd and teaching experience.  But I did start working, and my school didn't want to let me go three years later.  The problem for an older teacher is getting your foot in the door.  You will see posts in which people say yes, there are old teachers at my school, but they may have gotten old while working there, or at least while working in Vietnam.  Once you have a job, do a good job and the resistance seems to go away.  Later I was offered other jobs, which I declined, by other school owners whom (who?) I met casually.

Even if you don't put your birth date on your CV, your graduation dates will reveal your age.  Walking in works better if you are older.  And dye your hair as Vietnamese men do. :top:

Whom!

eodmatt :

Whom!

Thanks for the help.  You see we Americans don't speak the Queen's English.  We have an entirely different language of our own.  It's call Mercan.   ;)

Two countries divided by the same language  ;)

Its amazing how many people who run schools think that you must speak American English,rofpml.

colinoscapee :

Its amazing how many people who run schools think that you must speak American English,rofpml.

eodmatt and I were simply having a good-natured back and forth but since you bring it up, here goes. 

First anecdotally:  A Vietnamese English school teacher once commented to me that she did not see why they were expected to teach British English and use British books when "We all want to speak with an American accent."  On another occasion, a parent waiting for his son to come out of a Saturday class told me that he preferred Filipino to British teachers because they spoke with an American accent.  This may be disputable but their accent is much closer to US than UK.

Second:  Where do their relatives live statistically?  1,799632 Viet Kieu, 41% of the world total, live in the US.  That climbs to 59% if one excludes ones living in other ASEAN countries.  A total of 1,979,757 live in the US or Canada while 219,723 live in Britain, Australia or New Zealand.  That is a 9:1 ratio.  Quite simply they want to speak the way that their cousins speak. 

Third:  Vietnamese trade with the US is more than 6 times that with the UK and about 4 time that with Australia.  The foreign businessmen that they have contact with speak with US accents.

Fourth:  There is an overwhelming effect of US culture (no matter how low brow.)  My most fluent public school student told me that she had never attended a language academy on weekends but had learned from the Disney Channel.   Her accent definitely reflected that fact, for better or worse.  Look at the choices on your TV.  BBC World and Premier League football may be the only places to hear a British accent.

I have given prior thought to why British teaching, and Cambridge in particular, are so predominant not just in Vietnam but worldwide.  In part it may be that the British have been at it longer and in more places.   Go back a century and teaching English was part of a colonial effort to "civilize."  There was a similar conscious effort by the US to teach English in the Philippines and reverse Spanish influence.  The despicable phrase "white man's burden" was coined by an Englishman, Rudyard Kipling, but it was in reference to role of the US in the Philippines.  Another factor is that British focus is on TEFL or teaching  English as a foreign language outside of English speaking countries, while the American focus and books seem to be mostly oriented toward TESOL, or English for speakers of other languages.  Many US books include exercises based on the US immigrant experience, and are not suitable for use overseas. 

Interestingly, only 3% of the population of Great Britain speaks with Received Pronunciation which is the scholarly term for the standard pronunciation as spoken in the south of England.  I guess almost all of us are speaking some other corrupt variant.

My apologies to the OP for taking us so far   :offtopic:

Yes I understand the statistics, the point was the accent. It's not just an Asian thing, it is also common in Arabic countries. I work online in many Middle Eastern countries and the same topic comes up, I just advise them to be a better student of English than worrying about an accent.

If they want to speak with an American accent, move to America. Living in Vietnam, they will only ever speak with a Vietnamese accent

Colinoscapee:  I may have misunderstood your comment and if so please accept my apologies.  In my classes when there were clear differences in US vs. UK spellings or pronunciation, I used to make it a point that both were correct.   However, I seem to recall IELTS instructions say that the student may speak with an American or British accent but not both.

I truly feel that communication and not exact grammar or pronunciation is what is most important.  I had an IELTS student who sadly never could hit 7.0 speaking because she frequently confused the adjective and adverbial forms of words.  Despite that she was perfectly understandable.  I found it very frustrating.

Where are you Ramble?

Are you still in this topic or not?

Do you think about starting a Teaching Business? We could find some else native English teachers, then start the business, I'm good at organizing the classes. What do you think? Or someone here interesting in the idea? We can talk ;)

Contact me at xxx, let's see if we could go further together!

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