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A Saga of a Vietnam TEFL Newbie's Experiences in 2 Months
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: A Saga of a Vietnam TEFL Newbie's Experiences in 2 Month Reply with quote

RustyShackleford wrote:
One of my goals with coming here was to improve my teaching abilities and being able to teach at a college with full control and everything...


What exactly do you mean by 'full control and everything'?

While I had 'full control' over what and how I taught in college and public school classes I taught in China, I received very little, if any academic or material support. Most such jobs don't even care if you have a TEFL and the pay is much lower than private language schools. Classes in excess of 40 students are common and forget about placement testing. Needless to say, there's little academic accountability so no one cares how well you do as long as you show up. That doesn't sound like you.

Teaching EFL at a uni in China simply requires any random degree--unless you're teaching content in which case your degree matters. In Canada, Europe, the ME or any other developed nation, an MA TESOL or other advanced qual is needed.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My boss is a foreign PhD with years of experience in a few countries and provides me with excellent support and ideas. I do agree that the accountability can be limited, but we do rigorous placement testing, and my classes average on 15-20 students with my smallest being 7 and my largest being 29.

I find myself in a far more favorable position than in Japan where almost every single idea I had was shot down with "Oh but it's too difficult for the students." Here, I am encouraged and required to push, and I bloody love it.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RustyShackleford wrote:
My boss is a foreign PhD with years of experience in a few countries and provides me with excellent support and ideas. I do agree that the accountability can be limited, but we do rigorous placement testing, and my classes average on 15-20 students with my smallest being 7 and my largest being 29.

I find myself in a far more favorable position than in Japan where almost every single idea I had was shot down with "Oh but it's too difficult for the students." Here, I am encouraged and required to push, and I bloody love it.


After teaching in China, mostly kids the past number of years at private schools, I grew tired of the lack of accountability and professionalism. I now want to switch back to adults and Vietnam and Thailand seem like the best Asian places to do so--the only places that offer the DELTA program which is what I may consider after I complete a CELTA in January.
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Dekadan



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, RustyShackleford, pretty impressive. You really hit the ground running there! Congratulations!

I realize that you're giving advice on how to handle Vietnam cheaply as well as informing everyone of your progress, but there is one thing that I would respectfully disagree with: motorcycles. You suggested that other new people get one right away to save money. The traffic is a different beast in Vietnam, especially the big cities. Perhaps you took to it with an affinity, but I would suggest someone find a regular, reliable xe om driver to get a feel for how things work first. I knew too many people that had crashes and I had too many close encounters on the streets there to recommend anyone get a motorcycle right off the bat there. That is not something that people should try to save money on, you've only got one life, don't underestimate the traffic there!

Otherwise, everything else is incredible and I wish you the best of luck for your time in Vietnam!
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks and you're right - it IS important to go on a few ride-alongs to get a feeling for how traffic works, potential pitfalls etc. I rode a bicycle in Japan in traffic A LOT so, once I figured that the moto was basically just a really big, faster and potentially more lethal bicycle, it was cake.

I just got fed up with the xe om driver provided by my landlord a) not being able to speak English, and b) the driver not coming on time when I had a split-shift at another language center campus 15 minutes away and my break between classes was only like 30 minutes, thus arriving 20 minutes late.

The next day, I asked my driver to take me to a rental place, gave him five times the asked-for fee as a token of gratitude, rented a moto and never looked back.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: Received Working Permit/Temporary Resident card after signing contract in September with no problems after proper paperwork.

With the new regulations that came into effect in November, keep in mind your story may vary from my own. For now, I'm happy and consider myself blessed that I had such a smooth landing without much of the jerking around I hear too much about.
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1st Sgt Welsh



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Rusty and thank you for a very interesting and helpful thread.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RustyShackleford wrote:
With the new regulations that came into effect in November, keep in mind your story may vary from my own. For now, I'm happy and consider myself blessed that I had such a smooth landing without much of the jerking around I hear too much about.


What new Nov regulations? I'm confused. I thought the 'jerking around' for work permit/res card started Jan 1st when apostilled/authenticated notarized police check and degrees became a requirement.

So Rusty, did you have to leave country at any time between signing the contract and receiving your work permit/res card? Were you on a tourist visa that whole time... and does it usually take 3 months to process a work permit/res card or was most of that time spent in getting apostilled/notarized docs?
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They basically changed the WP rules to say that to get a WP you must have employment before you arrive in the country (no more tourist visa and then converting) However I dont really think they have been able to do it even now. Its meant that costs of Visa extensions have gone up by the sounds of it - but some of the bigger schools deal with that for the staff so it's not really hit me.

I think its worth understanding what "law" really is here though. By that I'm not being cynical and just saying you can get what you need if you have the money, I'm saying that often laws are brought in for other reasons than their direct implementation being something that is actually desired. (I realise that sounds a little esoteric, but I don't want to turn this into a cliche discussion on the vietnamese legal system.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their embassy alone gives me the impression they're a law unto themselves. I found it incredible that a convenient Visa on Arrival would be cheaper than an embassy-issued one.
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that's really it. I mean I think it makes sense that VOAs are cheaper. I suspect entry from China has its own "issues" due to the situation. In terms of the law comment I think its more to do with a statement of intent on the future of WP's rather than an actual law that will be enforced strongly. If you know how VNese legislation works they seem to bring laws in in waves, the Helmet law is a prime example, as is the soft movement towards foreigners being able to own land.
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