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Starting TEFL with CIEE
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Starting TEFL with CIEE Reply with quote

Greetings everyone, Big_H here. While my main goal is always to land a decent position in Japan, it doesn't seem likely to happen this semester. It's still early in my career and as a non-native English speaker, I thought of gaining experience by teaching in Vietnam for a year or two while being sponsored by CIEE.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of teaching with CIEE in Vietnam and whether they had any feedback on how it went.

I'll cease the opportunity to ask also for decent resources to learn about Vietnamese lifestyle.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this topic has been discussed before many many times.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 178
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tigerstyleone wrote:
this topic has been discussed before many many times.
Has it really? From my perspective, Tiger, your posts seem to vary between totally on point to totally cryptic. After reading your post, I did a search for CIEE and found only three threads (this one plus two) in the Vietnam forum and an inference that CIEE was a place where one could find a job teaching Mandarin in HCMC. Is that what you mean by many times? Question

There were 54 threads when I queried all forums, but the ones that I read were positive.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe he meant responding to the other implied question(s) in his post.

Quote:
I'll cease the opportunity to ask also for decent resources to learn about Vietnamese lifestyle.


I am thinking he meant take or use instead of cease. Not to give the poster a bunch of grief over his word choice, but as he clearly states he is not a native speaker of English, the general nature of his post seems to state that he also wants (or needs) to know more about what this work is like for people in his situation, especially in terms of his nationality and level of ability.

We usually see that folks posting here for the first time do not give enough background information to then enable people responding to give good advice, as is probably the case here. This does get you back to the advice of searching the threads for your specific situation, especially if you are reluctant to post it here in full detail.

I do wish we had a thread dedicated to non native speakers teaching English here. I think it would be of great interest and value.
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
After reading your post, I did a search for CIEE and found only three threads (this one plus two) in the Vietnam forum and an inference that CIEE was a place where one could find a job teaching Mandarin in HCMC.


- Thanks TRH, I'd appreciate it if you can point me to those threads since I wasn't able to find them through my own searching. CIEE is originally an organization that sponsors undergraduate students to travel and work abroad in the summer, but they have some side programs for graduates among which is TEFL employment around Asia and South America. I've already participated twice with them as an undergraduate (i.e. not TEFL related) and found out from experience that some of their programs are well structured, but in some others they just throw you in the jungle and let you deal with it.

- Mark, I can understand that you could've dealt in the past with non-natives who spoke English poorly let alone trying to teach it, but to base your whole judgement on a single misspelled word is going overboard. edit: Also thanks, but I'm not inquiring about anything other than past experience in teaching with CIEE and how everyday life in Vietnam is.

I am serious about making a successful start of my TEFL career, so I'm trying to find as much as I can about Vietnam before going there to avoid culture shock in the short term at least. Unfortunately most of what I'm finding is tourism-oriented information rather than the specifics of everyday life there. Thanks for helping out in the thread.
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Dream_Seller



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big H,

I do not live in Vietnam yet.

Get credentials and somehow meet a teacher outside this forum and you will have a clearer idea.

Career based forums seemed to be riddled with trolls, haters and generally negative people. They have something you want, answers. Unfortunately, you will have to learn the hard way by taking risks yourself.

Vietnam is usually not the first place others have taught at. You have about a whopping 8 more contributors on this forum and then that's it...grasshopper silence. There are Russians, Germans and Filipino teachers yet I'm sure they get paid less than Native English Teachers. You will have to sell yourself irregardless of racism and elitism. Viet people tend to be a "classy" bunch.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the negativity and such:

For one thing, many of the long time expats do not like other expats, this is not just about teachers, it is a common phenomenon. We just had some interesting posts on it with a great link over to a story that summed it up nicely. A current thread, easy to find.

One can mistake negativity for realism. This is a very difficult environment. Newcomers come with this great optimism (tourists too) and are shocked by it. That is why we have such a poor rate of return for tourists. So to speak of these issues in a positive way is hard. Ahh, I have seen the moon the last several evenings. In Beijing, they can no longer make out the moon or stars because of the lovely decoration they add to the air. Can't wait til we reach that point as well. How nice.

New posters rarely give the detail required to give back a spot on answer. Is the poster male or female, young or old, does he/she look like an English teacher or an Asian? What is his dialect, his work experience, his financial profile, is he unencumbered?

They ask these general questions hoping to get all the answers, but they do not give enough detail to allow posters to tailor their responses. I do my best to be polite, but in all honesty, one has to wonder how qualified some of these guys are, just based on their writing. We are talking about teaching English, you know. Another profession, it would be a lot less relevant. On the other hand, I would say, your skills do not have to be THAT great to compete at the lower levels, and even some of the higher level guys can slide by with less than stellar knowledge, if they have the right overall profile.

If folks do take the time to read in depth on this site (another language skill that one can infer may be lacking from some of the new posters, or maybe they read fast enough but they just do not take the time), you can get a quite accurate picture of life here for some of the unique situations we are in. Obviously, this is mostly about HN and HCMC. Some guys live in the center and chime in occasionally, they seem quite happy. The boondocks is another world for most of us, we drive through it sometimes, but very few of us live outside of these cities. Life for the natives, we see it, but we live outside of that. We write about our lives, but we can never know what the natives truly go through. I have lived with the VN for years, heard the stories of things that happen to all of them, and realize that I am immune from that, because I am not one of them. The life of teachers vary wildly, based on many factors. Again, most new posters do not address those factors sufficiently to enable a good guess as to how they would fit in and what their outcomes might be.

Personally, I am not really changing my feelings on this place as time goes on, it may be getting better actually, for the right situation. For a westerner who has some money in background and can live with or without the job (the best profile), this can be the best time of your life. Very positive. For the average teacher, I think they stay about 6 months. Similar to the tourist experience. Maybe worth the effort, maybe not, probably not something they want to do long term.

Your mileage may vary.
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Dream_Seller



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you. When in HCMC I felt the standoffish nature of the expats there.

Once I move there I have no care to mingle with expats as I don't want to develop bad habits that can undermine my goals for moving there.

I'm not much of a social animal either. I always listen to my gut when talking to others.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_H wrote:

I am serious about my TEFL career


What country is your passport?

Is it USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, N. Ireland, NZ, OZ, or SA ?
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dream_Seller; Thanks but I don't see the replies as being that negative, but you're right to some extent. One can confuse negativity for realism but I don't think that's the case here, more of starting off on the wrong foot; a few bad first impressions from other non-natives and first time posters can do that. There are other threads with helpful info on this forum and even my own thread. For instance, while Mark didn't answer my question, he helped this thread to yield a useful discussion about inter-expats relationships.

Vietnam was not my first choice either and as mentioned in the OP, my aim is to ultimately settle in Japan with an educational role. Plans change, but for now I'm planing to stay for a year or two in Vietnam to found some basic experience before moving on. It's a shame that I can't find much about everyday life in Vietnam even in this forum -let alone my thread's questions-; but lots of technical paperwork and legalities helpful posts though. It doesn't matter, I'll keep surfing for answers.

Tigerstyleone; I appreciate your input, but for creativity's sake I hope that you're going somewhere else with this than what I have in mind when you combine that particular quote with your question. I am a native Egyptian.
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Dream_Seller



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google "Vietnam" + "Kyle". He's Viet Kieu (Viet from Abroad).

His blog is #1 on Vietnam, no comparison.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_H wrote:

Tigerstyleone;I am a native Egyptian.


If you are Egyptian then I assume you have an Egypt passport.
You cannot get a work visa from Japan or Vietnam to teach English.
You might want to consider China.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You cannot get a work visa


yeah, but, how many teachers here are living without work visas and work permits? Most, right?. Sounds like the gentleman would be lumped with the nominal speakers of English (in the eyes of the employers). Depending on his appearance and his song and dance, he may get him some work on the low end. Compared to wages in Egypt, it may seem like high cotton. I don't think we westerners are really qualified to say what that life is like, our expectations are not the same as folks from Africa or Asia. I know an African, an Italian, a Malaysian and a few others who are getting by.

We really should have a dedicated thread for non western teachers, maybe include the westerners who are not native speakers as well. We have a lot of them, and more and more are trying to break into this deal. Some of them are quite serious about their work, often moreso than we are, coming from our pampered backgrounds.

Someday the VN are going to have to wise up and realize that English teachers do not necessarily have to look English. I recently read that English is the first language to have more non native speakers than native speakers. Interesting to think that perhaps more Chinese speak English than Brits, huh? Certainly more Indians do.

The experience is so different for these folks, I would encourage them to open a unique thread, as the advice for a westerner is very different from the advice for these folks. I don't know too much about their outcomes, but I know that a lot of them bunch up with their own people, as they have lower incomes and so they end up living more like the natives do. We had a post recently talking about some Nepalese who are working here in some "volunteer" organization, presumably teaching English out in the boonies. Would love to see what that is like.

Anyway, best of luck, and best wishes to all of you trying your hand at this. The lower your expectations and needs, the more likely you are to be able to make a go of it, certainly at the low end, maybe at the high end as well.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MIS,
I understand your sympathy. However, you know how parents feel about it and why. Moreover, it's illegal and he's putting himself and his school at risk.

As you said, he will get only the lowest of the low end jobs, some may not even pay him. He is risking getting scammed and conned along the way. Remember the Filipino who posted a while back and that horror story? Same could happen to him.

I'm sure he can also find a job in Japan too, but how is he going to get a "Specialist in Humanities" work visa?
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 178
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tigerstyleone wrote:
Big_H wrote:

Tigerstyleone;I am a native Egyptian.


If you are Egyptian then I assume you have an Egypt passport.
You cannot get a work visa from Japan or Vietnam to teach English.
You might want to consider China.
Where do you get this information? I don't see it in any forums or law firm pages. It is official legal policy or do you feel it is "de facto" policy? Perhaps if you are correct, which I am not entirely sure of, it would be better if the OP replied to your original query about what passport he has. It is entirely possible that he could be a native Egyptian with a UK passport.
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