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Vietnamese Lessons?

 
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TamLu



Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Vietnamese Lessons? Reply with quote

What would you guys recommend as to how to approach learning Vietnamese? Private tutor? Go to a class?

I've looked some up, and it was quite steep, the cheapest I could find was $10/hour. Not sure if I could afford to learn Vietnamese at $10 an hour considering I'm not too optimistic on how much I'll be getting paid when I get to HCMC.

*I'd preferably like to learn in Southern dialect so I don't run into too many comprehension problems when I go back to the states and try to speak with my family. And the northern accent just seems kind of harsh to listen to.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can find people who will take your money, for sure. You will also find that if your English is middling to higher, and your teaching skills are adequate, that there are people who will hang with you just for the chance to be around native English. A good private tutor of the English language is worth a lot, some of these schools charge as high as 50 bucks an hour for their affluent customers who have some urgent need to improve (usually a kid about to go to the west). So in a natural give and take, your helping with English is worth far more than someone helping you with VN. Considering the wages of VN teachers compared to English teachers, I think it is not necessary to pay for instruction, they are getting a lot more increase in value picking up English from us than we are picking up VN from them.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In relation to finding a teacher for Vietnamese. I have a young lady here in Vung Tau who is moving to Saigon to complete her studies. She charges 100,000 vnd per hour, she also speaks English very well, so there are no communication problems. I usually do 2 hours at a time with her which seems to be really helpful. If you want her contact please send me a message.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, based on the quality of professional teachers I've experienced, I'd say don't waste money on a professional one-on-one tutor. Download a copy of Pimsleur to get the basics and pronunciation down, and hire someone to talk to you a couple of times a week only in Vietnamese. 100k an hour seems like a good deal for that. For self-study, the University of Social Sciences does a good book and CD, which you can buy from their uni book shop. You can also go to classes, which work out at about $2 an hour. I certainly wouldn't rely just on that, but it might give you some material to practice in your one-on-one speaking.

Oh, and whatever you do, don't buy Teach Yourself Vietnamese. An absolutely appalling book.
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LarueLarry



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:34 am    Post subject: learning Vietnamese Reply with quote

What do you guys look for in a learning Vietnamese language book?

I've had Teach Yourself Vietnamese for awhile and use it as bathroom reading now. I like Pimsler b/c they just drill you on their audio. I also us Elementary Vietnamese written by Binh Ngu Ngo, which I like, though there's not enough audio.

Any recommended texts?
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Context and audio are the most important things for me. I briefly went to Saigon Language School, but their book was a joke. The grammar points were presented just as grammar points with no kind of context and the vocabulary was presented as a list of unrelated words with an English translation. And there was no CD, of course.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some Vietnamese teachers I've worked with have said they'll teach VN. I suspect I'd be happier paying someone I work with who knows me somewhat than a language mill. Seriously. You'd pay the same kind of crap institution that you work for?
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although there are obvious applications of the laws of supply and demand, I think the issue of pricing Vietnamese lessons presents an ethical dilemma particularly for ESL teachers. It may be that there are many unqualified people willing to offer Vietnamese lessons, but assume one found a well trained and qualified instructor. Is his or her time worth any more or less than yours?

My university changed the name of its ESL department to SLS for Second Language Studies because they had so many graduate students who were teaching languages other than English, such as French in Japan or Japanese in France. The permutations of course are nearly endless and the skills and methods are the same. If the qualifications are the same, should the money differ? There is a new thread that came up today asking about pricing of private lessons. It should be interesting so see how much we expect compared to how much we are willing to pay for the reverse.
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TamLu



Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for answering my questions thus far. You all have been really helpful and I really appreciate that. Sorry it took so long to reply, been adjusting/recently taking the CELTA, so I've been a bit busy.

And TRH, I don't think it's necessarily an ethical dilemma. I feel like it all comes down to personal preference , motivations for doing so, and what you're willing to pay. I think the last one is the biggest factor, with the first 2 being being variables of the 3rd.

Personally for me, I'm not learning Vietnamese for a primarily functional value, such as getting a job or something. It's more intrinsic than that. It'd be nice for me to learn some Vietnamese, but it certainly isn't necessary, even though it is one of 2 big reasons I'm here.

So for me, it makes sense that I would pay someone less than I would be making (which I'm still in the dark about considering the people here have no problem identifying me as Vietnamese). It's not a job skill I'm trying to learn, it's not going to make me more money, so for me, I don't have any ethical qualms about paying them less.

Plus, there's just an abundance of Vietnamese people here, speaking Vietnamese, and from what I gather, Vietnamese lessons are not in great demand, so there's that factor as well. English is just more marketable as a language than Vietnamese.

Their time to me, is certainly not worth less than mine, but what they're offering during that time is. I think of it like different specialties in the medical field. Not all of them are getting paid the same, some less, some more.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don't get me wrong. As I stated in the beginning of my post, it boils down to supply and demand which is what TamLu seems to be saying too. I just threw the question out there as food for thought.
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TamLu



Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, I hope that my post didn't seem defensive, that wasn't the intention, was just adding to the discussion.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get all the bright students you want to talk to you in exchange for the exposure to English. Go down to the park at PNL, hang out and get covered up with these kids seeking free lessons from us. Tell them what your exchange is and sort em out. They are doing well to earn $2 an hour upon graduation, you know what our time is worth. Personally, I would not pay at all, we are doing them quite a favor when we chat with them in English for free. Not to be uppity about it, most of us gladly give our time away to sincere students, but I just think that they should return the compliment, and plenty of the most motivated ones will. Yeah, you can find people who will take your money for this too, and good for them if they can get paid for it.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
It may be that there are many unqualified people willing to offer Vietnamese lessons, but assume one found a well trained and qualified instructor. Is his or her time worth any more or less than yours?

Have you ever found a well trained and well qualified Vietnamese instructor though? To international standards? I've been taught by someone with a masters from a Vietnamese university, and the teaching methodology was non-existent, and the lesson plan was the book, which clearly wasn't looked at until we got into the classroom (which I don't blame him for, because I wouldn't spend hours planning if I was getting paid so little). And the school itself has no resources for learners.

I couldn't afford to hire myself privately, but I'd certainly pay what my students pay for classroom learning if I could guarantee that the teaching was up to standard. There is a Vietnamese school that charges these wages, but a friend of mine went there for a course, and he said that it's no different. If it was a proper, modern, communicative style of teaching from people who knew what they were doing, they'd I'd happily sign up.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
TRH wrote:
It may be that there are many unqualified people willing to offer Vietnamese lessons, but assume one found a well trained and qualified instructor. Is his or her time worth any more or less than yours?

Have you ever found a well trained and well qualified Vietnamese instructor though? To international standards? If it was a proper, modern, communicative style of teaching from people who knew what they were doing, they'd I'd happily sign up.
I guess my proposition was a bit too hypothetical. A bi-lingual Western educated Viet Kieu who has taken the vaunted CELTA should be at least as qualified as most foreign teachers and also be trained in communicative teaching. As has been discussed here many times these instructors work at a discount to other foreigners, whether it is justified or not, but in theory they should be as good as we are in reverse. I found this question insightful and telling:
VietCanada wrote:
Seriously. You'd pay the same kind of crap institution that you work for?
I guess we could ask the same about ourselves individually. Would you pay yourself for what you do?

Craiglslist was mentioned on another thread so I looked and found two amusing advertisements:

First (16 Sep):
My name is Giang Bắc
i'm a English/ Vietnamese teacher who've been taught for 2 year . Curently i'm working at VATC (Vietnamese American Training college) as a english teacher and tutoring Vietnamese more than 10 months and I would like to teach with 4.5usd/per hour.
contract me at xxxxxxxxxxx
or mail at xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com
for more informations or for Trial-lession

Second (9 Sep):
Hi there,

I would like to teach vietnamese for foreigners who are in Ho Chi Minh. I'm not only teach you writing, speaking, reading and also sharing vietnamese culture and people with you. Active teaching method is provided.
I'm a young local girl, have just graduated and having a teaching licence. I do not mind teaching at your place or mine. I live near by Thao Dien.
Teaching is my passion so price is acceptable and schedule is flexible depends on your time.
Please feel free to contact me.
Hope to hear from you guys.
Cheers,

If I were a 30 year old single guy, I certainly know which one I would contact. Wink
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xees



Joined: 25 Mar 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, you're unlikely to get a good Vietnamese teacher who is a good teacher. I've studied with a teacher who actually worked in a school teaching English / Vietnamese and she wasn't very good.

But saying that, the contact time I had with the teacher and the fact that the language is all around me really helped. For me, I never had good teachers but I had lots of contact time and a person to ask lots of questions to and someone who would patiently practice with me.

After learning for about 8-9 months I stopped studying with a tutor and used all the natural resources (you live in Vietnam!) to help improve all of my skills. I can now say that I'm fluent in Vietnamese.

The important thing is the amount of contact you have with a teacher and their ability to help you do what you want to achieve. Living in Vietnam is the main thing.
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