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Teaching Job in Hanoi - Hard to find without certificates?
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 540
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riding One wrote:


The market in Hanoi is much more competitive for teaching. Teachers that are considered 'average' or 'below average' should not come to Hanoi. The community is small and word gets out quickly if someone is considered 'not good' or have does not take it seriously.


I'm not really sure on this one. However I should state that my personal experience is only really limited to one school as I've worked at the same place the whole time I've been in Vietnam. ACET Hanoi actually pays about two dollars extra an hour over ACET Saigon because apparently it's harder to find teachers up there. I also just had a quick look at the job section of a very useful and popular website for expats in Hanoi and the ESL jobs advertised, [although admittedly some are of dubious quality], goes on for over 10 pages.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 458
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

inhanoi wrote:
That's right, "educator." Keep spreading your inaccuracies, gleaned from many late nights on De Tham Street.


That's right, inhanoi....keep on a-trollin'.....
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

inhanoi wrote:
Sig, she's not teaching, she's babysitting.


Just because you are not qualified or capable of teaching early childhood, does not mean everyone else also isn't.
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Riding One



Joined: 25 Jul 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Riding One wrote:


The market in Hanoi is much more competitive for teaching. Teachers that are considered 'average' or 'below average' should not come to Hanoi. The community is small and word gets out quickly if someone is considered 'not good' or have does not take it seriously.


I'm not really sure on this one. However I should state that my personal experience is only really limited to one school as I've worked at the same place the whole time I've been in Vietnam. ACET Hanoi actually pays about two dollars extra an hour over ACET Saigon because apparently it's harder to find teachers up there. I also just had a quick look at the job section of a very useful and popular website for expats in Hanoi and the ESL jobs advertised, [although admittedly some are of dubious quality], goes on for over 10 pages.


Hi Sgt Welsh,

Good to read your posts as always.

Interestingly but not surprisingly ACET Hanoi just cut pay using a indirect method.

The teacher shortage of the past is gone. I believe it's partly (or largely?) the result of the economic downturn in the West. More University grads are doing the CELTA and teaching EFL. Many only stay for 7 months or a year and then move on to different things in life, but there are always new arrivals.

Enrollments at all of the big schools are down. Seriously down.

So more competition among teacher for the decent jobs.

As for the better jobs, and honestly, I will say decent jobs, competition is tight.

As for the jobs adds on the that site you mention a new arrival must be very, very, careful. A large portion of those jobs are not only bad, but teachers have actually not been paid.

I recommend only working for the established and well-known schools.

If you have not heard of a school that is posting an ad in Hanoi you should avoid it. Of course, ask around, but when you do you will not find anyone that has worked there. Also, avoid new start-up schools. Go with the known schools with a reputation for actually paying you for the work you've done.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 791

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: MY TAKE Reply with quote

Pretty easy for guys to get hyped about folks coming in and trying their hand with no degrees or no certs. Of course, the more of this that happens, the more it will tend to depress wages generally. We could also consider the folks who are not native speakers of English coming over as well, or the folks coming from countries that are only nominal speakers of English. Pretty natural for us to wish it were not so, but it is. Amazing to me to see places hiring folks who are actually Italians, Spaniards and a few others because they LOOK like English speakers. Such is the nature of the industry.

Anyway, without really passing judgment on all that, I would just say to the OP that if she is avoiding the TESOL certification based on financial considerations, then sounds like a double or triple whammy to me. If a person does not have a degree, h/she needs the TESOL more than others, it only takes a month, and if you have NEITHER the degree nor the TESOL, you are really discounting yourself DESPITE whatever skill you have. Maybe even quadruple whammy as OP is not a native speaker of English. Anyway, WHATEVER your qualifications are, anyone coming over here should never come in a position of financial weakness. You want to be begging other teachers for money to go back to wherever you are from? I've seen it happen, it is a pretty sad position to be in. If you cannot afford the certificate, in my opinion, you do not have nearly enough financial wherewithal to be moving over here in the first place. It can be a nice place to live, IF you have money. It is pretty dismal for folks who are just scraping by. Maybe if you are used to living in poverty it would not be so scary, but for guys who grew up in the west, moving down to living like the natives here is a pretty sad situation to be in.

OOOPS, edit. I see you ARE a VNEZ, or some kind of hybrid. If you are living here and have parents backing you up, then it is not so scary, you are already here and just risk not doing well, you do not have the risk of being stuck all by your lonesome over here. Still, the VN I see trying to teach as if they were native teachers usually are doing well to reach 8 bucks an hour, and at your age, I would guess you would be doing very well to get that. I still think the more certifications you get the better, you know how these folks love those red stamps and all, and with their native people they want a degree even more than they want it from the westerners.
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend the OP at least does an IELTS test to show to ppl to demonstrate that you are a proper native speaker. That might clear the air as getting a 8 or 9 in IELTS is near impossible for most English learners here.

Not so sure about the decline in hours. At my school we're still going well and I still get people offering me extra hours on a regular basis. Then again I have a CELTA and 3 years experience and I'm an examiner.
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expay Luke: "Just because you are not qualified or capable of teaching early childhood, does not mean everyone else also isn't."

You know nothing of my qualifications. I'm simply stating that this young woman JUST GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL and has NO QUALIFICATIONS. She is obviously working as a TA at some third-rate kindergarten.

It's unconscionable, the poor advice she's getting here.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 791

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She is obviously working as a TA at some third-rate kindergarten.

We don't know that. Plus, regardless of where she works, I do not feel the need to insult her. Notice she already lives here, so it is not like she has to take a huge gamble. She may just be trying to better herself, in which case we can at least be polite with her. I did not see HER do anything to insult US.

This is their country. If I did not like the VN, I would ask myself what am I doing here? Sooner or later their own people should be getting paid at least a decent wage to teach. In the Phils it is already pretty much futile for a westerner to try to get a job in ESL. Yeah, maybe the locals are not at the very highest levels (in the Phils OR VN), but not much is over here, and so the difference is often lost on them anyway.

There is some program that the natives can take that lasts about 2 months and gives them a teaching certification. They have one in HCMC very close to the zoo, it costs very little and it does give them a qualification. If a native gets that, gets a TESOL, and can document superior English language skills with tests with high scores that are not achieved thru purchasing them, and h/she speaks VN as well as advanced English, that person should have the basics for being able to move beyond being a bia hoa waitress.
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh, I think she's German, Mark. A German teenager.
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"They have one in HCMC very close to the zoo."
How ironic.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 791

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my mum and dad are Vietnamese but I was born and bred on German ground.

I am fluent, although not perfect, in German, Vietnamese and English...


She states she was born in Germany, but does not say how long she was there. She further states her ethnicity is VN, and that she is living here now, and does speak the native language. She is certainly an unusual case. You can call her VN, you could call her VK, but whatever she is, I do appreciate that we are all respecting the impressive language skills she has developed, and her desire to help her own ancestral people. I think it is great that we have the insight to realize that people who do have the ability to speak their native language (VN) as well as English have a very big place at the ESL table. It is impressive that we foreigners can let go of our petty superiority complexes and welcome this young lady to our midst.

OP, I think if you are truly serious about teaching English, you have to get used to rudeness, discrimination and jealousy from various directions. The VN can be rude to the VK, as you know, everyone can discriminate against women, the young, and also ESL will discriminate against your Asian face regardless of your skill. As you have probably already noticed, some expats who are facing reality will also be jealous of your natural skill with languages generally and view your profile as a threat. We do have lots of non native speakers of English from Europe here now foisting themselves off as English teachers and driving down wages, so anyone who adds to the numbers here is a threat, regardless of that person's skills and natural abilities.

I do suggest if you have chosen this as a career, you have to make a few moves to solidify your position. Certainly you have seen that just a few of the VN teachers of English do well financially, and very few are highly skilled. So I would definitely go for a TESOL cert, probably the CELTA, as the cost is about the same for all of them, and the CELTA will prove that you actually know something, the other one just proves you paid your money and stayed awake some of the time. I would suggest you explore the teaching cert that the natives can get from the native schools which costs less than 100 bucks. We have one in HCMC, I can reference the name of the school if you need it, but as you are in HN, you should certainly look there instead. This 2 month course gives you the sacred red stamp and some legal qualification to teach lower level English. My final suggestion is to consider working for a time with a highly skilled expat teacher who can tutor you directly. Probably better to find a nice lady if you can. That person can take an interest in you and bring you up to speed on techniques and realities pretty quickly, and give you exposure to the issues encountered in the various scenarios she faces. I know that working with a talented young VN and helping him or her move from normal levels of pay and the mindless work they often do to becoming a talented professional is one of the greatest rewards we expats can aspire to, and beyond income production, should be our highest goal. I cannot imagine why we as educators should have this opportunity and instead of embracing it try to find ways to belittle those who aspire to success.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 540
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Riding One.

Personally, I think there is definitely a place for non-native English speakers to be teachers. This is providing they know the language well enough (i.e. capable of getting an IELTS score of 8.5 or thereabouts).

Firstly, allowing capable non-native speakers to teach sits well with my sense of basic fairness. Lets not forget that, as an industry, we rely on English being considered the 'international language' so, as far as I'm concerned, we should practice what we preach.

I also think that non-native teachers are probably going to be more naturally emphatic to students' difficulties in learning English because they have done it themselves. Moreover, many of them would have been exposed to an assortment of EFL teachers during their studies and they know, from a students' perspective, what works and what doesn't. Also their knowledge of grammar has been studied, not just acquired, and, when it comes to some obscure grammar point, many fluent non-native speakers, I suspect, can probably do a better explaining it than a lot of people who post here, which includes myself Embarassed.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 791

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think there is definitely a place for non-native English speakers to be teachers. This is providing they know the language well enough (i.e. capable of getting an IELTS score of 8.5 or thereabouts).

Totally agree with this post, except the 8.5 level. I suspect the majority of native speakers would not get an 8.5 on a proper IELTS test, as they would flub the writing tasks, especially relating to the charts. I would not even be surprised to see some of our native speakers (the ones who are pretty casual about their work) who are teaching English here to grade out at a bit less than 8. It is rare in the extreme for any non native speaker to reach 8 on an honestly graded IELTS test. I have seen lots of VN who have are working in language centers trying to do the work of the expats, making 8 bucks an hour or so, some of them could only achieve about a 4 on speaking and listening. It would be rare for even the best of them to achieve an overall 7. My guess is this is about where the Filipinos and the assorted Nigerians/Europeans we have here would mostly score, no disrespect intended, for each of us: we are what we are. It would be good if the OP would clarify what her level really is. If she is a true 8 (or even a 7), speaks good VN, and is only 18, then she should have a bright future in ESL (in VN).

On the other hand, looks like OP only put up one post and then disappeared. She may just be one of these phantom posters. I think sometimes we have folks do this purposely, not sure why, maybe they want to see if they can get some of our guys to go into meltdown, which often seems to happen. Real or not, the result is important, we have about 60 views for every post, as I recall, and so a lot of folks who do not take the time to post (or are afraid of the insults) still can get valuable insight into what it is like here, including seeing what some of these expats are really like.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 540
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mark. The 8.5 IELTS score is what is required by RMIT so I was pretty much guided by that. I'm not an IELTS examiner and you seem to know a lot more about it than I do. Having said that I've taught a lot of students who have scores of around 6 and their English, IMO, is nowhere near good enough to teach in a classroom environment.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 400
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troll T.T
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