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Vietnamese Students Are a Nightmare

 
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CNexpatesl



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:36 am    Post subject: Vietnamese Students Are a Nightmare Reply with quote

I'm teaching somewhere in the North at one of the big training centers. My students range from young ages to teens. They are all pretty much very obnoxious and unruly, and misbehaved. I thought kids in China were bad. This place makes China look like a paradise; makes Chinese kids look like little angels. They are loud. Very loud. They come into the class and scream at the top of their lungs, literally. Yelling "OIIIIIII" and other things in Vietnamese. The staff doesn't care. They let them do whatever they want to make mommy and daddy happy. Teenagers who should be more mature are very disruptive and obnoxious. They act up during class, yelling, insulting the foreign teacher in Vietnamese and laugh about it.

This place is a nightmare, and I want out. I can't imagine I'll last long here. Why doesn't anyone warn prospective teachers about how bad it is here? It should be in the FAQ at the top of the Vietnam section. Seriously. I have NEVER experienced anything this bad in China in all my years there. I never would have come here if I knew it was this bad.
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 178
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why doesn't anyone warn prospective teachers about how bad it is here?


I didn't teach children. But there could (and should) be a lot more realism about what it's really like there. But some people are just happy living in the Third World. What can you do?

In 2017, per capita GDP in real terms in Vietnam was $1,835. That puts Vietnam about on a par with Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2010, China grew by $2,769 per capita. That was more than France and more than Switzerland. Vietnam grew by $524. That was comparable to Sudan and Ghana.

Vietnam is a developing country. Children will behave as we would expect children in a developing country to behave.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 518
Location: Phaic Tan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psychedelicacy wrote:
Quote:
Why doesn't anyone warn prospective teachers about how bad it is here?


I didn't teach children. But there could (and should) be a lot more realism about what it's really like there. But some people are just happy living in the Third World. What can you do?

In 2017, per capita GDP in real terms in Vietnam was $1,835. That puts Vietnam about on a par with Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2010, China grew by $2,769 per capita. That was more than France and more than Switzerland. Vietnam grew by $524. That was comparable to Sudan and Ghana.

Vietnam is a developing country. Children will behave as we would expect children in a developing country to behave.


Firstly, Vietnam isn't the "3rd world". It's a developing country.

How does your theory measure up when explaining poor behaviour in developed countries? Do you have any evidence of poor behaviour correlating with GDP apart from this one experience?

I work in a poorer and less developed place than Vietnam, and the kids are far better behaved.

If you're working in Hanoi, I think you might find brattish behaviour is a result of children being the sons and daughters of the nouveau riche, who might be more concerned with showing off their wealth than setting boundaries and having the time to discipline their children.
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bule_boy69



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 155
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Hanoi Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:

If you're working in Hanoi, I think you might find brattish behaviour is a result of children being the sons and daughters of the nouveau riche, who might be more concerned with showing off their wealth than setting boundaries and having the time to discipline their children.



Why is this likely to be the case in Hanoi in particular?
Do (assume you mean private) school students there really have that rep?
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 942
Location: Temburong, Brunei

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:


How does your theory measure up when explaining poor behaviour in developed countries? Do you have any evidence of poor behaviour correlating with GDP apart from this one experience?


Word. For my teacher accreditation, I briefly taught in a very low-performing high school in 'developed' Australia and that was a complete nightmare! Basically, for a lot of students there that I 'taught', the teachers were, more or less, just minding them until they were old enough to go to prison Rolling Eyes.

Anyway, my experience of Vietnamese students was that, in terms of behavior, they were pretty damn good. Of course, others may have different experiences, but, if the above OP's account is indeed the case, then my advice would be to inform management that you find the student behavior at their institution unacceptable and try your luck elsewhere. It's really not worth beating your head against a brick wall and putting up with such nonsense because: 1. you don't have to 2. you're not paid well enough, and 3. there are plenty of other Vietnamese out there who do want to learn. Good luck!
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yurii



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Vietnamese Students Are a Nightmare Reply with quote

Sorry to hear of this experience but isn't it rather the school than Vietnamese students as a whole? Wouldn't it be a bit like me trying one particular French cheese for the first time and saying yuck, all French cheese is horrible. Yes, you could try all of it and indeed hate it, but how do you know?

I'm sure some countries have a bad reputation in terms of behaviour though, so, you got me curious and I happened to see this list based on the following statement:

% of students who reported that the teacher "never or hardly ever" or "in some lessons" has to wait a long time for students to quieten down

https://asset.keepeek-cache.com/medias/domain21/_pdf/media1294/206212-pmmvqja6v1/large/1.jpg it's only OECD countries and sure is quite limited in its question but can provide some useful info. From this I don't think we can start analysing the country's development or wealth and relate it to behaviour. Anyway, according to this list the best countries for being quiet when the teacher is about to speak are:

1. Japan
2. Kazakhstan
3. HK
4. Romania
5. Korea
6. Azerbaijan
7. Thailand
8. Albania
9. Russia
10. Peru


And the 10 worst:

1 Argentina
2 Greece
3 Finland
4 Netherlands
5 France
6 Luxembourg
7 Chile
8 Norway
9 Tunisia
10 Qatar
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yurii



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CNexpatesl, have you tried getting them to line up outside the classroom and can only enter when quiet? What I do in the middle school where I teach is they line up and when they're all quiet (or not acting the fool and so on) they can enter. If some mess around when they walk in I'll get the whole class out again or if when they sit down and one messes around before even taking out his books I'll tell him to take all his stuff and leave the room and enter properly. They hate that as having to take ALL of their possessions is a real pain.

I found with some classes if I don't make them line up in advance they enter too chatty and it's not a good start (I teach in France). But maybe these students in your case wouldn't pay attention or even refuse and if staff don't care the battle is already lost. If that's the case: urgent meeting with management?

By the way, some of this teacher's videos are good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u086rr7SRso&index=3&list=PLLgNlYqmIEbe21LtyOpdYitalBQokwhDK
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1249

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To some degree it depends on the school, but the fact is with VN's developing economy and growing middle-class, the majority of today's VNese city kids are really quite spoiled by their parents and relatives.

The other problem is they really do seem to study too much in regular school and be under pressure to get good grades, pass the entrance exams, etc. So, when they get to English class, they're really ready to explode.

The English schools are also benefiting from the economic progress because every kid MUST study English and the parents are willing to shell out big đồng. And the big selling point for most schools is that English classes are FUN. All our foreign teachers are "active" and "not boring". They bring ukeleles to class and sing songs, they play games, they make balloon animals, they turn flips and are a laugh a minute!

Naturally, the most commercially-oriented schools pack them in; some kids may even have to share a chair. This of course leads to a mob mentality amongst the kids, and it doesn't matter if a kid can't speak English or has serious behavioral/mental problems. Their parents paid the tuition fee, so they're in your class.

Anyway, what the Sarge said is all you can do. Shop around and check out some other schools that have smaller kids classes and/or can offer you some adult (very rare these days) and/or IELTS classes. IELTS is the other big market after kids because most VNese want to study abroad, so they MUST have a good IELTS band score. Becoming an IETLS guru is the main way to avoid teaching kids.
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bule_boy69



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 155
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject: School kids in VN Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
The other problem is they really do seem to study too much in regular school and be under pressure to get good grades, pass the entrance exams, etc. So, when they get to English class, they're really ready to explode.


you are talkin about extra classes in a language school here i believe..


How are they in English classes in mainstream schools where grades count in general?

I'm sure it varies from school to school and between classes within schools, but any observations useful.

I have been in situations where the foreign teacher was not recognised as an authority figure by kids who were far better behaved with a local, and very few sanctions available. similar to the OP's situation from sounds of things... and have no desire to repeat the experience.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1249

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
you are talkin about extra classes in a language school here i believe..


Oh, yes, by 'regular school' I meant the primary and secondary educational system and 'English class' means the language schools. Basically, their English classes at a language school is their only taste of freedom away from their real teachers and their parents, so they make the most of it by turning it into a social occasion and (jail)break from reality.

Quote:
How are they in English classes in mainstream schools where grades count in general?


Some language schools send foreign teachers to public schools, which as far as I know, is a part-time arrangement that likely involves disciplinary issues with large classes. The main advantage is that it's M-F day-time work, whereas language schools almost exclusively operate during evenings and weekends.

There are also some "international" schools (not fully accredited) where foreigners teach an English-language curriculum as a member of staff as well as a few actual accredited international schools for those with the proper qualifications. My impression is that teachers still face some similar challenges there.

Quote:
I have been in situations where the foreign teacher was not recognised as an authority figure by kids who were far better behaved with a local, and very few sanctions available. similar to the OP's situation from sounds of things... and have no desire to repeat the experience


Me, too. When I taught in HCMC, I just taught test prep classes, which was great and in Thailand I taught ESP classes in various unis. Unfortunately, smaller cities in VN don't seem to have many opportunities other than kids, kids, kids...
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Painting in broad strokes aren't we? 1 experience, with 1 school, in 1 town, with 1 type of students = ALL Vietnamese students?

I wonder what generalizations people make about your entire country after just meeting you.

Anyways, you're going to get bad students anywhere. I had a fairly bad experience teaching in a private school in Hanoi, but found some students who were gems amongst the entitled brats. After moving to Danang, I found Vietnamese students to be the most respectful and fun students I've ever had.

I'd say there's a bigger problem with your school than your students. Get out now... no reason to subject yourself to that psychological abuse.
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Action



Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 17
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: Student behaviour Reply with quote

With regard to the OP's dilemma with ESL students I have observations of my own to share.

We are loosely called "teachers", mostly based on the premise that we can speak our native language better than anyone else. (God forbid anyone gets around to challenging this).

In fact, for the most part, many of us are little more than a presenter. Simply a guide to facilitate the progress of the institutions "syllabus" within a given time frame by engaging students participation.

Having taught all ages of group classes of most Asian nationalities, I often had cause to question whether bad behaviour related to my particular skillset?

My experience improved when I managed to engage the majority of students attention.
This is not an easy task, but pre-reading the textbook from a students viewpoint and continuously varying my preparations to maintain the students engagement worked.

There are many personalities among students, these are the tools we can use to manage (divide and conquer) classroom behaviour!
The adage "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" springs to mind, lol.

Even troublemakers can be engaged, just discover their interests and patronise them orally during class, this weakens their position as class clown since I was now sharing 50% of their casual speaking time.

Once a few students become engaged we can defend them and build our fragile alliances based on praise relative to their previous worst behaviour.

Happy days Laughing
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