teaching English over 60 in Hanoi

Hello All

Do schools hire native English speakers over 60 to teach?

If you have any comments/suggestions, it would be most appreciated.

I think legally now, plus there is a government crackdown on foreigners working illegally at the moment.

MasterofDisaster :

I think legally now, plus there is a government crackdown on foreigners working illegally at the moment.

What does this even mean?  Yes they do or no they do not?

thanks THIGV for commenting. BTW I do have a visa, and am legally allowed to work.

fbower :

thanks THIGV for commenting. BTW I do have a visa, and am legally allowed to work.

Note that a visa does not legally allow you to work.  Perhaps you meant that you have the requisite qualifications (Bachelor's degree, TEFL cert, and police check) which is good.  A work permit is what allows you to work legally.  You, or properly speaking your employer, obtain the work permit after you are hired. 

As far as your original question, there certainly is age discrimination in Vietnam and as far as I know there are no laws prohibiting it.  Another thing that reinforces the attitude may be that 55 seems to be the normal retirement age for local Vietnamese teachers.  One way to overcome this prejudice would be to indicate your intention to stick around for a while.  An awful lot of younger teachers, not just so-called "backpackers" don't seem to stay in one place for long.  If you feel confident of your abilities, you could also indicate a willingness to do public school work.   I am rather perverse in that I not only like public school work, but I also like middle school, a level shunned like the plague by many teachers.  Be flexible and be prepared to keep looking.  Even if you face refusals, you will succeed.  By the way, it is not customary in Vietnam to send a courtesy rejection letter.  No response means no job, so keep looking.

Fifty-five is mandatory retirement age for women and 60 is for men, not just for teachers but for all segments of the workforce.  Therefore, people over 60 years of age will find it impossible to get a job in public sectors and it's not because of age discrimination (although that does happen.)

If the new proposal receives the stamp of approval this year (very doubtful), we may see that by the year 2028, women will be able to work until 57 and men until 62.

Thanks everybody for the great advice and information. so although there may be age discrimination, what about volunteer teaching part time? I understand it may be easier to find at an English Language Centre. It may suit me better, I prefer to teach in the morning and have the rest of the day to myself.

Your comments are most appreciated.

fbower :

Thanks everybody for the great advice and information. so although there may be age discrimination, what about volunteer teaching part time? I understand it may be easier to find at an English Language Centre. It may suit me better, I prefer to teach in the morning and have the rest of the day to myself.

If you really want to work weekday mornings only, public school teaching is the way to go.  You work in each class one day a week and focus on speaking and pronunciation while the Vietnamese teachers work on reading, writing and grammar.  With a few very rare exceptions, public school teaching is not direct employment.  You work for a language center which has a contract with the school system.  It can be tough.  Class size is an astounding 50 students, and the kids know that you do not have the cudgel of grading that their local teachers hold over them.  You need to be able to encourage their own motivation to learn.  Some classes will be a real pleasure and others will be hell on earth.  I have a friend who works exclusively in one public school which gives him weekends to be with his wife and step-daughters.  He does however have the temperament, being a retired school teacher from Australia.  Regular language center work is either nights for adults and older teens, and weekends for the children.

As far as hours, you are paid only for actual "face time" and not even the 5-10 minutes between classes.  Thirty hours is pretty much full time although I know some who did more.  Despite the efforts of my employer to get me to do more, I liked to stay around 20 hours/week.  Whatever you do, never mention or consider volunteering.  Vietnamese language centers are for-profit businesses and do not need or deserve volunteer labor.  Once you have an established job, maybe volunteer work at an orphanage or other similar venue may be appropriate.

Ciambella :

Therefore, people over 60 years of age will find it impossible to get a job in public sectors

That may be true but please note that public school employment for native English speakers is indirect.  I worked from age 63 to 66.  Over time, I think the schools will wake up and hire directly, but until then most work is on contract through private centers.  I heard indirectly from a friend that one school in Thu Duc was hiring direct but that was the exception to the rule.  The principal probably had his neck way out.  Here is my reason:

Students pay an extra fee to be in native speaker taught classes.  My friend, who I mentioned in my other post, was paying 80,000 VND/month for each of his two step-daughters (for another teacher of course.)  This gave us a unique ability to see what the numbers were.  80.000 VND may not seem like much but for 49 students this came to 3,920,000 VND (about $184) for four 45 minute classes (3 hours) a month.  This is about 3 times what the teacher was paid.  Even with a reasonable margin for the center (placement, payroll costs etc.) that still leaves a lot of cash on the table, about $110/class/month or about $5000/month for a good sized school, which I suspect was being divvied up by school administrators.

THIGV and Ciambella

Thank you  both for your informative replies. Although there could be challenges, which I  am willing to take on, it does not seem impossible to obtain work via a learning centre in the public school system.


I see there are many posts online for native speakers; however my feeling is it is best to be there and check things out first hand before making a commitment. Age does offer an advantage, older people are often more reliable and responsible. Committing to 3 months is feasible, and I will offer that up as advised. I am coming early Jan 2019, and realize there is a big break for Tet, which I look forward to being in Hanoi for.

Please let me know of any reputable Language Centres that you know of. I have excellent references and no criminal record.

It would be nice to meet you at some point in Hanoi and compare notes on how things turn out.

Best Regards,

Fiona

Suggest that you will likely work for at least a year.  Even the backpackers last 3 months.  If you get a work permit, as you should, the school most likely will include a one year contract in the packet.  Don't worry, its not really binding in any practical sense.

I think you should consider applying teaching job for an English center. Because if you have a certificate like TESOL/TEFL/CELTA or any other similar certificates and have no health problems, I think there will be many English centers who would hire you with high salary.

My mother decided to follow me to Vietnam and she graduated college with a degree in education.

I signed her up for a TEFL course and she just got a job teaching in Hanoi at the age 58, the most important thing is the color of your skin it seems.

edit: also you need a 4 year degree.

What sort of visa did your Mum arrive in Hanoi with?

Did she find her job when she got there and her employer arrange the work permit?

Sorry for the late reply, I'm in the middle of my travels.

She came in on a tourist visa, the employer will arrange your work permit and visa accordingly after a contract is agreed upon. From what I've read some companies will try to skimp on the permit and visa, be persistent and make sure you talk about this prior to signing a contract.

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