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EIV in HCMC

 
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robfir



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:50 am    Post subject: EIV in HCMC Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I haven't found anything to help me on this board or Google about an employment agency, "EIV".
I've just been to their office in Bin Thanh and been told a little about the work:

USD17 per hour after tax.
20x45 minute lessons per week to 30-35 students at one of approx. 30 "public, government" schools in Ho Chi Minh City, using SmartBoards and the government's syllabus, which I think I'll be accessing through an internet portal (I'm going for some training on that this afternoon at the "BCIS office (Canadian school)" in District 7).

This all seems very nice to me, but it's my first job application in Vietnam and I've little ELT experience elsewhere so I thought I'd appeal for some advice or experiences here; if anyone has any they would be much appreciated! Smile

P.S. And one other thing: he said I'd likely have some choice in the level of my students - "between levels 1 and 9". I know that I've taught at B1 and B2 on the CEF, but can anyone suggest what framework he's referring to? I forgot to ask him before I left!

Many thanks in advance, Robert.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 452
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Public School Director speak - "30 - 35 students" generally means 45 - 50 students in reality......found this out the hard way back when I used to accept Public Schools as clients.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: levels Reply with quote

Just a guess, but the most accepted standard of grading I know of is the IELTS system, in which 9 is native speaker competency, and 0 means did not attempt the test. However, here, we never teach 9's, in fact, many native speakers would not achieve an overall 9 due to the difficulty of doing an IELTS writing task properly. Even 7's are quite rare here, I have never seen a group of 7's all together, maybe the odd one here and there, most of the VN teachers of English are way below 7. At the other end of the scale, the only 1's you would teach would be kindergarten students with no exposure to English. In reality, most of the population should grade about a 2, most students should grade about 3 point something, with a few 4's and progressively fewer higher levels as you work your way up. This is based on a true IELTS test, and understand that lots of kids can chat at a 4 or so but would grade out lower overall based on their other skills being lower. Everyone should be familiar with the IELTS grading scheme, it is easy to find online.

The big problem with larger groups like that is unless it is a very unique setting, in reality, they will have too many levels in the group, usually about 3. So maybe 25% are totally lost, 15% percent are too advanced for the material, and you are teaching to the 60%. Of course, discipline is always a problem with larger groups, and then the 40% that is bored/lost adds to the problem.
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robfir



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I've been to the training.

Thanks for those warnings Mark and Letters! Perhaps they're just using some kind of in-house grading system Mark, as I agree they can't possibly be realistic IELTS levels.

So I have a few more questions and some things I forgot to mention before, if people wouldn't mind lending an opinion that would be great!

There was no particular selection process, except I suppose my CELTA, conversation and appearance. That doesn't say a lot for the job perhaps, but contrastingly I've heard that Vietnam is so under-supplied with teachers currently that we tend to get snapped up rather than sifted through?

And I suppose I'm a bit preoccupied with concerns about getting paid in Vietnam - I've had an employer hold out on me before, and even when it was only two weeks pay and I was in my home country I didn't find it at all fun...
How does one take steps to ensure they do actually get paid for working here? And is it something to be concerned about? Apparently the small, out-of-the-way, half-reputable looking Vietnamese employment agency, EIV, who I've already heard complaints of regarding their organisation and reliability, should pay me monthly.
I don't mind ever so if they overlook paying me for a few days, but if they just refuse to pay me for a whole month's work or go bust I don't know what I'd do!

And finally: I've got a recent CELTA, only six weeks of experience but in a good UK school, and no degree. Does this job and pay sound about right for someone in my situation? I've seen that most of the best schools here want a degree and two years ELT experience along with the CELTA; but do they often accept teachers who don't meet those requirements? I've secured so many jobs in so many industries for which the advertised requirements excluded me that I take these things with a pinch of salt now...

Again, many thanks!
Rob Smile
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rob,

yeah, likely some in house system, and likely that it is not very meaningful, as they will give a 9 to someone who would score an IELTS 6, so then what score would you give to someone who actually WOULD score 8 or 9 on IELTS. Welcome to the stupidity of it all.

I do not get the feeling that VN is under supplied right now, but there are regional differences. Some less desirable areas (the north and the boonies) will have a harder time getting teachers, also areas that pay less may also naturally have a harder time. I do get the feeling that most of our guys prefer HCMC as their first choice for obvious reasons. Even HCMC may have areas of relative over supply and under supply. You certainly see a much higher density of expats towards the center.

Job search and the hiring process is an interesting subject here, as it is sooo goofy. Anything can happen. Appearances mean A LOT, too much, but that is the way it is. So if you are Adonis, you can get a better job than someone more qualified. Also, add to the mix that a lot of less well managed schools (meaning the vast majority) may PREFER someone who is not terribly qualified, and it just gets goofier. Most of the jobs are doing low levels, and so it is important to hold their attention, enjoy the work, entertain them, have good pronunciation and a high energy level. So most of this is not about high level qualifications. A highly qualified individual I know gets very little response from the lower level jobs when sending out his resume, without any salary requirements noted. The lower level schools just seem to know it is better not to mess with him, and the big majority of his response is from organizations that need a higher level teacher. So, you may just fit the profile of what these folks need. I would never advise getting too excited about any one employer, as just noted on another thread, the average stay on any one job is pretty brief, especially with these lower level jobs and employers.

On the issue of pay, it seems pretty rare for an employer to fail to pay. It is pretty common for there to be misunderstandings where you end up getting less than you expect due to various small issues. It is uncommon for you to get more than you expect. But these seem to be more of a nuisance/insult than a big hit.

Personally, I would never want an agency to pay me. It is goofy enough dealing with the employer, putting a middleman in there just seems like a danger to me. Plus, they are likely making a profit on your labor, as well as the school. It is not hard to find work here if you are capable of doing good work, look good, and have a good attitude. Not that you start off making a huge income, but there is work to be had.

I think for a first job in VN and no degree it is a decent enough wage. My biggest concerns would be why the pay through the agency, it is a bit scary to me, and the other one would be just a general caution that you and everyone should have, understanding that any job may turn out so goofy that you may want to leave it immediately. It really pays to be in a position of strength here, and whenever you need them more than they need you, the tables are turned. As mickey mouse as most of these operations are, it would be embarrassing to have to truly need these guys. We are the professionals, not them.
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robfir



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, England

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Mark, I feel I've a much better understanding of what the future might hold after reading your reply and the MOLISA thread.

I'm living in Phu Nhuan which they're keen on as they don't have many teachers in that area. I met someone last night who worked for this agency six months ago; he told me that although they're often a mire of disorganisation they did always pay him on time and in full Smile

A few of the Vietnamese people I know think there's more pay-security if a contract's been signed, so I may press for one of those (one that doesn't sign my life away!).

So, thanks again for setting the scene so clearly for me, I think I know more or less what to expect now!

All the best,
Rob Smile
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More or less is about right. You can be here forever and still be shocked by events. It is a rapidly changing culture, not just socially, but also inside families and business organizations. It can be a great life, but just do not put too much of your heart (or money) into any one business (or personal) relationship. It may work great for a while and then blow up in your face. You have to be prepared for it, almost expect it, be happy for the experience you had and for what you learned and use that in your next one, which can be better or worse than the previous one.

All in all, we come over here, in a way we are immediately part of the elite. It may not seem that way to us, but in terms of income and special treatment, we really are. But we are also targets for abuse and scams. A crazy life.

Deal with this system from a position of strength. Build up enough funds that you can laugh in their faces and walk away. Show them that you are more professional than they are. It aint hard to reach THAT threshold.
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