Posted March 07, 2014 by

Aspiring English language teachers – Vietnam awaits…

Peter Goudge

Peter Goudge, Managing Director of the Australia-Vietnam School of English and Teaching English – Vietnam

There are very few lines of work where it’s possible to see tangible results for your effort in a relatively short period of time – teaching English in a developing country like Vietnam is certainly one of them.

If you have an internationally recognised TESOL certificate, a clean criminal record and reasonable health, there’s a paid English teaching job in Vietnam waiting for you. While a university degree coupled with a TESOL certificate will certainly open more doors, the demand for native English speakers with teaching skills means there are plenty of opportunities for people without a degree.

Even though the number of English teaching jobs that are available in Vietnam outstrips the number of native English speakers who are available to fill the positions, most schools are reluctant to employ teachers who aren’t already ‘in-country’. There’s no doubt that fronting up in a country like Vietnam without a confirmed job is a bit of gamble, but it’s a road that many people have successfully travelled down before – including me. Taking a risk or two surely adds to the adventure.

The vast majority of aspiring teachers rely on the internet to identify and apply for English teaching jobs because it doesn’t require much effort, but there’s a problem with this strategy in my view – time! It can take 2 weeks (plus) from when you submit your curriculum vitae (CV) via the net to an actual start date. This assumes of course your CV stood out in the first instance among the 100 or so other CV’s the school or recruiter received electronically for the same teaching job.

My tip is very simple, but it works: 1. run off copies of your CV; 2. identify schools within a reasonable distance of where you’re staying; and 3. physically call into the schools and ask to speak with the Director of Studies.

If the Director of Studies is unavailable, ask for his (or her) name and leave a message noting that you called-in – and your phone number. If the Director of Studies doesn’t call you within 2 days, call the school and ask to speak to him (or her) by name. If necessary, leave another message.

With this direct approach, in most instances, you’ll land some teaching hours within a day or so. You’ll then be the one who’s seeing tangible results for your efforts. Enjoy!

About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director of the Australia-Vietnam School of English (AVSE) and Teaching English – Vietnam. Both companies are located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Peter Goudge now lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.

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