Teaching English in Hanoi

by Jasmin Pervera

Hi, I plan to move in Vietnam this coming June.

I am recently Government School Teacher in the Philippines and want to teach in Hanoi. I am 37 years old. I had been teaching for almost 5 years in Primary.

Do I have a good opportunity to teach in Hanoi? Do I still have to take TESL or TESOL in order for me to get landed easily in the job?

I am looking forward to any suggestions that you will give. Thank you so much.

Best Regards,



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Your English is good, Jasmin. There are standard flaws that seem common to many Filipinos but the Vietnamese value Filipinos because their English is usually easy to understand.

The problem you face is schools forcing you into the same category as an English Speaking Vietnamese Teacher. The Vietnamese staff becomes very upset if another Asian person gets a higher salary than them. Schools don't want that kind of in-fighting so usually offer you the same benefits as locals.

Which is a very low salary and you teach the lowest level students, often with little to no English skills. You will get work and I have seen some Filipinos get good money but they do have to fight for it and their lives are more difficult.

Do you have a degree? If you have no university degree AND no CELTA or TESOL, forget about it. Seriously. They want experience from native speakers but will want experience and a degree and a TEFL from you.

If you don't mind earning as the locals do then I suggest you go. You will find work because of your background and experience. Just prepare for a tough battle and a lot of footwork.


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Apr 16, 2011
Follow query Filipino in Vietnam
by: Anonymous

Thank you for some views that you have shared to me with regards in teaching to Vietnam.
Yes, I have graduated Bachelor in Elementary Education and and at the same time a license teacher here in the Philippines. I had been in different kinds of students. I once assigned in Low section in Grade I with a huge number of students that don't even recognized letters and numbers for 2 years and 4 months to be exact and transferred to Grade 5 which all learning areas are being taught.
Is it really important for me to take TESL or TESOL for me to be get hired easily or is my experienced and some actual demo to the students will be enough to show them that I am experienced teacher especially when it comes to the foundation of the children?


Reply from TravelBudgetAsia.com

I only know that local teachers are required to have a TESOL. It was a logical leap to assume you are also in need of it.

My advice is to wait until you get there. Just be prepared, that's all. Your English grammar is not very good judging from the sample here.

"I had been in different kinds of students"

I don't know what that means. Maybe you were not thinking about that when you wrote this to me, so I won't judge you from that.

If you write your cover letter and resume with grammar like you've used here, expect them to ask you for a high TESOL score on your test. Sorry to have bad news.

Just go and forget the TESOL. You can always do it in Vietnam. I'm sure you can get a job but I do think you should expect to be paid as a local teacher with fewer hours.

That is something you can grow as you build a name in Vietnam as a reliable, hard-working English teacher.

Good Luck.


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