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Teaching Job in Hanoi - Hard to find without certificates?
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree that 6 SHOULD NOT be good enough to teach. But in reality, 6 is pretty good around here. There was a story published in the VN press about a year ago that discusses the grades of VN teachers of English here, and gives their actual scores. I need to go thru my files to give exact numbers, but the gist of it is that a teacher is supposed to score like 4.5 minimum in order to teach English in the public schools. The story goes on giving specific numbers of how many reached this level, again, I am just going by memory, but about 80% nationwide do not. Maybe that 4.5 is not the exact number, but I guarantee you it is a lot lower than 6, and that 80% is pretty close to the reported failure rate, they had regional variations, some regions had about 90% failure rate. So, it is rare to find a VN teacher of English in the public schools who can achieve a true 6.

Are you saying that the students entering RMIT have to speak at 8.5 to enroll? I would bet that half the expats teaching English here would not score 8.5. Not RMIT teachers, but the average for foreign teachers everywhere in VN, including all levels. That 8.5 number seems incredible, I have never met a VN who has reached that level without living in the west, they need to almost grow up in the west to get that score. Most of the native speakers would not get an 8.5 on a properly scored test. I also know that the best universities in the west do not require a score that high to enter. I have met quite a few of the top folks in some better universities and high dollar language centers (I mean the owners and directors, not just the teachers) who would be hard pressed to get an 8. No disrespect, but an 8 is highly advanced for anyone who did not grow up using English.

If you want to just be liberal and generous in your scoring and say all native speakers are a 9 (which they are not based on the real IELTS tests), then yeah, maybe some of the VN could then be assigned 8's. But in a properly delivered test, it is not going to happen, as even our own recent college grads from the west would likely mess up enough of the writing part to drop them down to an 8 or lower. Even if your English is flawless, if you do not understand how to discuss the charts, most students will have serious problems here regardless of language skills. Without studying this subject at a fairly advanced level, people are not going to be able to adequately discuss what the chart is showing and will get a lower grade because of this.

Personally, I think this is a flaw with the system. I like IELTS a lot but feel their short grading labels are a bit unrealistic for most bands, or instead they should describe the levels of skill of native speakers, at least at the higher levels.

Band 7 - Good User

Band 5 - Modest User

Band 1 - Non User

To me, these are the worst, as 7 is an excellent score for a non native speaker, and it will get you into almost any university in the world as an undergrad.

Most of the universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand, Unites States for Graduate School admission require IELTS Average band score to be 6.0 to 6.5. Top programs require at least 7.5 score.

So it just seems to me that for non native speakers, 7 is rare, and more than good.

5 is higher than the average VN teacher of English, so to say that is modest seems off base to me. A 5 can chatter away very nicely, will make mistakes but is quite understandable, and also understands us. That is quite good, to me, not modest.

1 is able to use isolated words, so if you can ask to use the wc, ask for food, you are communicating at some low level, so you are not a non user, in my opinion. A Martian would be a non user, for example. I disagree with most (but not all) of these shorter labels they use, but the broader definitions seem mostly good to me, and when judging a student's skill I always default my thinking to the IELTS system. At least this system has some pretty clear definitions. I just do not agree with the short labels, and I think when organizations informally score with these bands (not using a true IELTS test) the results tend to be more generous than the real test would be.

It aint a perfect world out there.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for an interesting post mark. I actually remember reading your point about most Vietnamese teachers in the public school system failing to get a 4.5 IELTS in Vietnam News a while ago. I hate to say it, but if the teachers here were doing a good job in the public schools then there wouldn't be jobs for us. I'd love to work in Scandinavia, but the local language teachers seem to be too good at what they do and there is no need for them to hire foreigners Crying or Very sad. By the way, sorry for the confusion, but the 8.5 IELTS requirement at RMIT is for non-native English speaking teachers, not students.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that clarification. I would have guessed RMIT would want nothing but 9's for teachers (if they did some test), but yeah, can not imagine any school expecting 8.5 for the students, as the majority of native speakers would actually not clear that bar. Another interesting data point, I guess that is the non natives who teach in English but a subject other than English.

I do agree on the VN teachers, really, they should be teaching their own people, especially as they speak VN as well. In reality though, they use VN as a crutch, and teach English in VN, as they are embarrassed about their levels. Always interesting to creep up on a class and hear them going on in VN with just the occasional word or phrase in English that they are trying to reference. This generation of teachers will never get to the point where they can take over from us (in my opinion), but the kids who are 8 or 10 now sound good enough that maybe in 10 or 15 years we could have a real crop. Of course, another real problem is their own system discounts them, and at this time, the best of them tend to go to some other job that pays better, like a foreign company that needs translators.

Well, looks like OP is not coming back, maybe she/he was one of those folks who just tries to get us stirred up, I notice some of our guys love to get all bowed up and start shooting from the hip. Rather interesting about the natives trying to teach English though. Just as a side note, it does seem to me that one big improvement the system could make would be if foreign teachers somehow could use the same assistants often enough that they could work as a team. It can be pretty crazy in a lot of these places where the foreign teacher cannot even understand the VN teacher, and vice versa. Not only would this improve understanding between the two, it would also be very educational for the VN who would then be included a lot more in the process when the foreigner was teaching. As it is now, they pull out and just let him do his thing. This system has so many issues, but I think the VN teachers of English is a very big one.
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Mark, you referred to her as "some kind of hybrid." Unbelievable.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The third type of hybrid consists of crosses between populations, breeds or cultivars within a single species. This meaning is often used in plant and animal breeding, where hybrids are commonly produced and selected because they have desirable characteristics not found or inconsistently present in the parent individuals or populations.

Unbelievable? Perhaps you should familiarize yourself more with the subtleties of the English language.

Of course, it is a lot easier to understand when you say something like she was working in a third rate kindergarten. Is that more the level you are familiar and comfortable with?
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was referring to a school, or what I imagined was supposedly a school, as third rate. You were referring to a person as a "hybrid." Get the difference?

Anyway, kurtz is right, this was a troll and we all got suckered in.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I ... wouldn't judge anyone who tried to emulate me.


But you will judge everyone else it seems.

It's been pretty clear to me after day 2 or so when OP never responded he/she was just trying to get your blood pressure up. Looks like it was a successful attempt.
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biliana



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the OP.

She speaks 5 languages fluently and is a helluva talent. Her grammar is superb.

$10 an hour for a 25 hour week would bring her in 4 times as much as her contemporaries.

She wants to teach. She could make a lot more working elsewhere.

I wish her all the best.
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