Vietnamese American teachers

How hard is it to become a teacher in vietnam, especially if you are a Vietnamese American from California? I don't have any teaching credentials but I did graduated from top University with a business management degree and a computer information system degree.  I can speak some Vietnamese but prefer to speak and teach in English. Ever since I travel to Vietnam two years ago, I always wanted to teach English, Business or Information technology. I'm not sure if you can make a decent living as a teacher there. 

Jul 31, 2014 6:18 AM
Comments · 13

Comment Part II


The payment? It is quite good compared to Vietnamese loans. The fact that foreigners work as English teacher is not due to high salaries, but due to the fact that foreigners are not allowed working in Vietnam. There are some minor exceptions, and one of those is "specialist". Where else than in your native language will you be a specialist? The other alternatives are you are sent by a foreign company to Vietnam - most with a high salary, because you are paid US/European loans; the other would be to invest money and do your own company with risk of high loss of money. So, most foreigners choose to be an English teacher. In the big cities is therefore a very high concurrence. In the smaller ones, on the other hand, the salary is low and infrastructure nearly absent, so living there is very complicated.

I have been teaching English now in Vietnam for 4 years - I am doing that besides my regular job as anthropologist. I have experienced good schools and bad ones. At the moment I am working at the worst school ever. They cheat with salary everywhere and the teaching conditions are ridiculous. I have done a lesson after schedule two days ago: 12 book pages of New English File in 90 minutes. But this is not the place to complain about my school. If you want to teach you should get a TESOL or CELTA first. Courses may be expensive, but it is a good investment.

August 1, 2014

Foreigners are often asked to teach and help out at schools. However, without being racist, most schools and English centres do not really look for a teacher, but more for a kid-sitter and at first for someone as advertisment. Parents only send their children to a place, where a foreigner works. So, the more "foreign" the foreigner looks, the better. As a Viet Kieu you may have some problems - not in all places, but some more conservative ones in the countryside.


The second point. In the past schools in Vietnam asked nearly everyone to teach. Really everyone. Education and level of English did not play any role as long as they looked foreign. The result was a hilarious mix of qualities, because some teachers were educated and able to teach, others not. The Vietnamese government introduced some new regulations now and at least real schools will not take someone without a clear teaching certificate like TESOL or CELTA. The English Centres will do that soon, too. In many places you will not get an acceptance from the local Bureau of Education without any teaching licence. 


to be continued


August 1, 2014

If you have an MBA from say Harvard and have the CELTA or TESOL certificate, I feel like you could potentially network your way into somewhere if you meet the right people, but it depends on the institution. One of my former coworkers told me if someone with an MBA from Harvard wanted to teach at the business school, he'd be like yeah, let them in! No guarantee though.

Have you considered the fulbright teaching assistantship in Vietnam? Looks like no teaching experience required, need bachelor's or masters.


October 2, 2014

Huyen i like your answer the best.  I am not even close to a teacher. I am a trainer at my current position.  A teacher teaches something new to a student, a trainer teaches the students to be more efficient in what they do...


Ultimately,  my goal was to go back to vietnam and give back what my learn and empower the community... unfortunately vn isn't ready for that change.  

August 21, 2014

Hi Kiet,


With my limited English skill, I understand that you want to teach Business Management/Computer Information by English. What's level you're going to teach?


At university level, you don't have any opportunity because of new regulation of goverment. At this level, you need Master degree at least.


At college level (Different from America, Viet Nam College and University have the same teaching contents but different level), your degree is ok but other problem that most of college student can't use English and therefore lecturer use Vietnamese to teach only (Except English techer).


(Pls correct my English fault, thanks!)


At high-school level, Impossible if you don't have certificate of pedagogy university. You can teach at international school but requirements is realy high

August 1, 2014
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English, Vietnamese
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