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Filipino teachers in Vietnam?
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Kim C



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Hi everyone!

I'm ethnically Filipino, but I grew up and was educated in Canada. I did an internship working with orphanages and as a volunteer English teacher for street children last summer in HCMC. Now I'm thinking of heading back there as a professional English teacher after I graduate in June because I just loved the city and my experience so much. Thinking of getting the CELTA either at Apollo or ILA.

My question now is: I've read a lot on this forum about prejudice against the Viet Kieu, but what about other Asian nationalities? Would I, as a Western-educated Filipino, be able to get a good job? And have you heard of or encountered any Filipino teachers in HCMC? A couple of my Vietnamese friends have had Filipino English teachers at their universities, but I'm just wondering if any of you have any insight.

Thanks! Smile
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will experience some stupid prejudice based on not looking 'English/American'. Schools have to cater to the parents and an Asian looking teacher is less marketable.

There are places which will give you a chance and if you are good you can get on the same salary as the white teachers. But it will take you longer to get a start and this will always come back to haunt you. Don't be surprised if after months of hard work you are replaced by a white teacher who is less qualified and motivated.

I'm sorry to be negative, but I think you should come armed with a fairly cynical attitude but keep a positive outlook - if that makes any sense.

You will get the same thing in Korea, Japan, China and pretty much anywhere really.

If you have a thick skin and really like to teach then I think you could still enjoy some time here. But the racism is a fact of life here.
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Kim C



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your response. Can you give me examples of places that would take me on (and places I shouldn't even bother going to)?
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 543
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Kim C wrote:
And have you heard of or encountered any Filipino teachers in HCMC?


I work with three Filipino teachers at ACET. Good luck and welcome to Dave's!
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: the accent may be the main thing Reply with quote

The accent may be the main thing. Of course, some of the people doing the hiring are not even qualified to know the differences in accent. We have folks from many countries teaching English here, some of them, countries where English is not the main language. I think there are some accents that are preferred, and others that are accepted but not preferred. We have lots of folks in the U.S. who grew up there, but because they came from another country, and English may not have been the primary language at home, maintain a bit of a foreign accent. So, managers often do prejudge, and the top of their list will be someone born to an English speaking family who grew up in a preferred English speaking nation. Yet there does seem to be a shortage of qualified native speakers, so we have people of many nationalities teaching English here. I think if you are here, can do the work, and meet their expectations in terms of personal presentation and qualifications, you will get work. I think it is unavoidable that we will all be stereotyped in ways, like people from my country are probably considered great targets for financial scams due to our perceived wealth. I would expect any person who looks Asian to be automatically considered to be a less than top choice for teaching English, regardless of his/her skill. This is especially crazy for the VK who are native speakers of English and have the advantage of also speaking VN. Still, they look Asia, so the parents will never have the same perception about them that they have about the Anglo.


The VN have opinions on all the countries in their region, some good, some not so good. It is amazing to hear them all talk about the poor quality of Chinese products, and the superiority of Japanese products. They know the quality of their own products as well, they are not fools.

In my opinion, ones personal goals for being here are quite important. I continue to think that there are better places to teach if your goals revolve around income, most cultural reasons, or helping people. We have a very high turnover among the people who come over and try, and a low rate of return among the tourists. I suspect most folks who come here to teach are pretty disappointed with the reality of it all, unless they had really done their homework and knew that this place was just right for what they were looking for.


http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=93171

By the way, here is a discussion about this topic in the Cambodia forum. The person in question is not a highly qualified English user/teacher, but the comments relating to discrimination and prejudice are relevant over much or all of this region.
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Kim C



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Kim C wrote:
And have you heard of or encountered any Filipino teachers in HCMC?


I work with three Filipino teachers at ACET. Good luck and welcome to Dave's!


Thank you! Can you comment at all on how they are treated, by the staff or their students?

Mark, thank you so much for your reply. Fortunately, I have no traces of a Filipino accent whatsoever. I received very good feedback when I was teaching English at the NGO, so that gave me motivation to come back. But then again, I suppose there is a difference in terms of how the management treats you between doing this voluntarily and actually getting paid for it...

Basically, my overall goal is to return to Southeast Asia, get reconnected with the region, and gain some work experience here since ultimately I want to move back -- no specific country in mind, either. Vietnam seems like the best choice at the moment for me because I do have solid connections, I have work experience in HCMC, and I really love the city. I did hear from some Vietnamese friends that Filipinos are known for their good English, and I just wanted to cross-check that with everyone here, since you all know the ins and outs of the trade. (And because they might just be really pushing me to come back Razz)
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yogurtpooh



Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely not impossible to find work here. I'm sure you will, but you might get paid less and face more uphill challenges than say your white counterpart. Personally, I think you might have more of a difficult time than a Viet kieu because the locals aren't as ignorant as the boards make them out to be here. I'm Vietnamese American and I look more Cambodian than Vietnamese yet I'm able to land jobs at language centers that I've submitted applications to. The whole "I'm Vietnamese looking they'll discriminate against me" is blown to pretty large proportions here. All the schools that I've been in contact with have told me they preferred the fact that I can speak and understand Vietnamese. As far as I know I get paid the same if not better than an older or whiter counterpart.
Looks and appearance goes a long way here. Try to be as western as you possibly can and I'm sure you'll find work. I think Korean operated English centers are the most discriminatory against Asian (Viet kieus)- at least from my experiences.

If all fails, JUST LIE!! Just say your parents are Singaporean!
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 543
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Kim C wrote:
1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Kim C wrote:
And have you heard of or encountered any Filipino teachers in HCMC?


I work with three Filipino teachers at ACET. Good luck and welcome to Dave's!


Thank you! Can you comment at all on how they are treated, by the staff or their students?


From what I've seen the same as all the other teachers Cool.
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Kim C



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yogurtpooh, thank you! I'm so glad to hear your point of view on this, and I'm relieved to know that it's not as bad as people make it out to be. I know conversational Vietnamese as well, so hopefully that can work to my advantage. Can you recommend any schools that I should look at?

1st Sgt Welsh, you just made my morning. Thank you. Very Happy

I think this has been thrown around the boards a lot already, but given my background and the fact that I'll be a recent grad soon, do you guys think I should get the CELTA here in Canada or in HCMC? I figure that being in the city itself to look for work would be beneficial, but my folks would prefer that I was guaranteed a secure job first before leaving the country.
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yogurtpooh



Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chances of you finding full time work without setting foot inside Vietnam won't be that easy. The truth is, very few people find 20 hours from an online interview. Even if you first come here, I highly doubt a school would hand over that many hours to you. You would be lucky to get 10 hours or so. You might and probably should work for more than one school. If I were you, I would get the CELTA in Canada and then move over here and start knocking on doors. There are so many language centers- especially near the airport it seems, that don't advertise online that would pay decently. Sure, with a CELTA, you can always try your hand at ILA or Apollo or whatever, but why limit yourself?

Many people might suggest to take the CELTA with ILA or Apollo in the city... that actually might be a good option- they might hire you if they like you. In my personal opinion, even though it's more practical for you to get the hands on training with Vietnamese students, I know the Vietnamese mentality is that a foreign certificate... lets say one completed in Canada.. despite being exactly the same, is still better than one completed in Vietnam. I could be very wrong with this, but I would think they would take you more seriously. At least I would.

Anyways, chances of finding or securing a job is slim- and you might end up in an area of Saigon that you might not like. Come here first. Look at the area. Look at the school and then decide from there. It's not hard to find work. I've recently interviewed and landed two gigs right after the New Years without any hassles even though everyone says it's slow after Tet and that Vks get discriminated etc etc. In the end, it'll just depend on you, a little luck, and the demand. You'll be fine no matter where you take your CELTA.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 543
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The above post by yogurtpooh hits the nail on the head IMHO.
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Kim C



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much again for all the info! I truly appreciate it. Very Happy

Just out of curiosity, if one wanted to get an expat job other than teaching ESL in Saigon, does anyone know what sorts of jobs are available?
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toiyeuthitmeo



Joined: 21 May 2010
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of the good jobs for expats that are not in ESL are highly-qualified positions with multi-nationals that were found whilst in ones home country. Oil and gas is a big industry with plenty of expats making loads of money, as are the fields of big brand marketing and distribution, insurance, and big brand factory manufacturing. In the cities, mainly HCMC, the service, entertainment, and hospitality industries offer a fair amount of expat work. Buying and running a bar or restaurant is not impossible, but it is an industry notorious anywhere in the world for it's difficulties and potential of failure. Hotel positions are sometimes filled by expats, mainly in managerial roles. Chefs, normally with demonstrated talent and experience, but sometimes any old chef, are sometimes in demand at hotels and western restaurants. Entertainers at western venues are almost always expats, and very often Filipino when it comes to bands. DJs and bands are often expats, but many of them are doing there music as a side thing to some other job. The ability to make a good living as an entertainer here is questionable, but I know of a handful who are doing it. There are entrepreneurial opportunities here as well, such as starting a retail store, western-orientated specialty store (a wine shop, for example) a factory, a consulting business, etc, but VN red tape as well as the questionable status of the world and domestic economy can make this risky. There are some NGO positions filled by expats, but many require good knowledge of Vietnamese.
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flyingmonkey



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Kim C wrote:
Thinking of getting the CELTA either at Apollo or ILA.

Be aware that ILA discriminates against Asians.
http://tuantran.org/home.html#april182002
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Rincewind



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Ho Chi Minh City

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Filipino teachers in Vietnam? Reply with quote

Quote:

Be aware that ILA discriminates against Asians.
http://tuantran.org/home.html#april182002


Ummm... that blogpost is almost 10 years old....

Anyway regarding the OP's inquiry, I can confirm that Apollo does hire teachers whether Viet Kieu, Filipino, or of Chinese descent.
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