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Let's talk about lunch breaks.....

 
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ckiddart



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Let's talk about lunch breaks..... Reply with quote

How do lunch breaks work in Vietnam? How long are they, in general? Do people, meaning Vietnamese people and all of you TEFL teachers out there, bring their own lunch to work? Do coworkers grab lunch together? Do people sneak in a nap during their lunch break? Are you too busy to eat lunch because you have to prepare for a class or grade papers or something like that? And is having a snack in between class ok? For example, if someone was feeling really drained and they needed a little something like nuts to tide them over?
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Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 6611
Location: Need to know basis only.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Inappropriate postings have been deleted.

If you think we tolerate insulting and belittling comments here, you obviously have us confused with other boards you visit. Future comments along these lines will earn you a permanent ban to include your iSP.

Snollygoster and Texas_blu, please do not feel that you are excluded from this warning.

The reality is that you are very much within the warning's parameters.
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inky



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 283
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have a misconception how class scheduling works here. If you teach at a language school, most of the classes are going to be offered at off-hours (evenings and weekends) since most of the students will have jobs or school obligations. So lunch isn't an issue generally. And if you teach in a 'Uni-level' situation, those folks take lunch breaks all day.

Frankly, the rest of your questions are way too particular, yet also of very minimal concern, to be addressed seriously. The shock of arriving in Vietnam will wipe away any concerns about whether it's okay to snack on some nuts in between classes (it's okay, by the way). I wonder if you're so concerned about broader issues (like getting TO work, as opposed to being AT work) that you don't know where to begin.

Don't worry, for most people Vietnam is really a very friendly, easy place in many ways. Your school will help you, and you'll quickly meet other teachers who were in the very same boat a few brief oarstrokes away. We all remember.

That's not to say it's for everyone. There are easier places in the world to begin an ESL stint. Just don't sweat the little things, it's all quite natural and pleasant. And oops, I forgot to mention the students. They are for the most part absolutely wonderful. They are why most of us are here. Are they why you are coming here?
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ckiddart



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, I guess you are right about these questions being too particular. But these are just some of the things that go through my head. Sometimes I definitely end up thinking about details and 'what if's' and questioning too much when I really should just see how things play out when I get to that point. I do this before I start every new job, I 'what if' and wonder and then once I jump in and start working things just happen and I wonder why I ever wondered so much about things in the first place. I think it is some kind of family trait, my sister is like this too.

Am I going specifically for the kids? Yes and no. I want to go to see and experience a different culture and part of the world. I enjoy teaching, though I have never taught specifically ESL, and I figure teaching is a skill that you can use anywhere in the world. Do kids (and I hope to teach kids if I can) play a large part of why I enjoy teaching? Certainly, in many different ways. Would I be totally upset if I ended up teaching adults in the evenings? No. It might feel a little different, but many aspects of why I like teaching will still be there. I like to see people learn, grow, change, challenge themselves, fail, succeed, and move on to pursue future goals, and if I can play a positive part in that experience, than that is great. And if all of that can happen in a different country, I say 'why not?'.

And Inky, what do you mean by getting to work as opposed to being at work. Are you talking about the literal commute to work?

And you are right. Perhaps Vietnam would not be the easiest country to got to for my first ESL job. And I am certainly looking at other countries as well.
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lucreziaborgia



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ckiddart, Vietnam is a fabulous country; and you will be challenged from the time you wake up until you fall asleep - every day you're here and for as long as you're here. The comment about getting TO work refers to the traffic so be prepared.
My advice to you is to take taxis while you're familiarising yourself with the local bus service in whichever city you're in. Riding a motorbike or taking xe oms is a dangerous activity and becoming more so irrespective of what you are told by others who live here.
Ask around as to the most reliable taxi company and familiarise youreself with the fare structures. You can pm me if you want and I'll give you the names of the best taxi companies in Hanoi and HCMC. You need to learn elementary Vietnamese to negotiate your way around daily issues that are usually associated with being overcharged. This is to protect yourself.
Ask your students or land lady the price of fresh fruit and vegetables if you intend to buy from markets or on the street. These prices fluctuate daily due to supply and demand however you will more than likely be charged triple than local people or experienced expats living here. The same applies to cigarettes and any other commodity you need to buy on a regular basis.
Once you learn the language at a functional level and familiarise yourself with the essentials of living here; you'll have an extraordinary experience.
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sbjenn27



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inky, could you elaborate a little bit on why Vietnam might not be the easiest place to begin an EFL experience? Is it the cultural differences? the level of support you receive from your employer? the language? something else?
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbjenn, if I may...

Vietnam is a wonderful place to start your ESL experience. The students are uniformly motivated and polite, and if you are coming from a western perspective you will be delighted.

Employers of course vary, but don't let the occasional tale of woe on Dave's stop you from coming here. If you get a good school it's a fantastic place to teach.

Boot
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inky



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 283
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant to say that it might not be the easiest place to begin living overseas. I agree with 'Boot' with regard to teaching in Vietnam, inside the classroom, as you could see from other things I've written on this forum. In your particular case, though, you seem to be overly-concerned about small details (snacks, for example). It just seemed to me that the noise, pollution, traffic and general chaos outside the classroom might cause difficulties for you. This was just an impression I got from your questions. Inside the classroom (indeed, inside most schools), things will be fine.
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sbjenn27



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're not my questions...they were questions from the initial poster. I just wondered about your statement, that's all. Thanks for clarifying.
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