Teaching English in Vietnam in 2016 for David Nguyen

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I tried teaching English in Vietnam to see if I could do it for a living. Teaching English is not my passion so I stopped. I am doing something else right now which is my passion in the country I was born in which is Canada. 

I hope the following information is helpful for anyone thinking of teaching English in Vietnam.

Location and Time:

Paid school where families have some money to attend in Long Xuyen, An Giang, Vietnam in 2016

Length of Teaching in Vietnam:

Very short: taught only for 2 weeks almost everyday and was allowed to return to the school if I wanted to continue teaching. Trial run.

Classes Taught:

Four levels back-to-back in one day. 1. Youngsters (3-6 years), 2. Primary (6-11 years), 3. (11-15 years) and 4. High school and Young adults (15+ years)

What the expectations are as an English Teacher:

  1. Teach like a Westerner (using idioms, cultural references, open mindedness, free speech and independent thinking)
  2. Talk only in English
  3. Use games and activities
  4. Individually cater to each student while teaching everyone to do their best
  5. Teach English so they can continue further studies in whichever subject overseas. Overseas studies at the best institutions is the goal. Some students want to work at the best companies in the world after finishing school. Seriously reach for the top. 
  6. Prepare for school testing and international tests
  7. Always do your best to teach. Students want to see you do your best every time. So prepare and rest before going to class.
  8. Use new games and activities each lesson. Ask fellow teachers for new types of activities they use and research online. Scour the web for activities you can adapt to your classroom.
  9. You are expected to be the expert and run the show as a Westerner.
  10. You can not really rely on fellow teachers to help you teach if you get stuck or lack experience. They will help you but they will be disappointed if you have no prior teaching English experience.
  11. You should try to be very social and creative with your talking and thinking. Improve each time. Take the time outside of work to improve
  12. Think and answer on the spot
  13. Some students really need the help, some students breeze by, some students are learning just for fun so cater to each
  14. The principal and fellow teachers will watch you while you teach in the beginning. They want to see what you are capable of so do your best to be thorough.

What I Learned:

I am a computer technician so I did not continue teaching. It took me 4-5 hours each day to prepare materials each day. You have to love teaching English to do this and be able to push each student to do their best even when they don’t want to. You have to show the positive, optimistic side to learning English to the student so they continue to learn it (Learning English allows you to travel to English speaking places, work at big international companies, work and live overseas, study at Harvard/Yale/Oxford, be smarter and wiser knowing multiple languages, think like a Westerner, most learning materials are written in English so you need to learn English).

It was a good experience teaching. You get to see amazing things like the resilience and tenacity of teachers and students who want the best in class and the world. It definitely changed me to work and do things with more push than before. I saw that I was lacking so I changed after this experience.