How to teach English in Vietnam

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Teaching English in Vietnam

For several years, teaching English in Vietnam has been highly popular. The unique culture, vibrant marketplaces, tropical environment, and friendly people are all reasons to visit.

Vietnam stretches along the South China Sea’s coast and has borders with three other nations. It has become a popular destination for backpackers, vacationers, and English teachers.

Because the locals are eager to learn English, there are numerous options to teach both adults and children.

Currently, most schools are teaching online but once the classrooms reopen you will be expected to be fully vaccinated against Covid.

What kinds of jobs are available?

Having a TESOL or TEFL qualification can provide you a big edge in the eyes of your employer if you want to be an EFL instructor, especially in Vietnam. What kinds of teaching jobs can you get with them, though? Continue reading to find out!

Get Qualified.

Before you start your journey as a teacher you will need to be TEFL or TESOL qualified. You can use a course provided by UDEMY to get your Teaching Certificate.


Teaching Online

Teaching online has become the norm recently as schools are still closed because of the effect of Covid. This has presented some learning curves for teachers who are used to classroom teaching. You can find out some of my favorite tools for teaching online. ==> HERE <==.

Classroom Teaching.

Once the schools reopen there will be an urgent need for qualified and vaccinated teachers. There are job advertisements being placed on various Facebook groups already. Below are the general types of employment you can expect.

Vietnam English Teaching Schools and also HCMC ESL Teaching jobs are 2 such groups you can find jobs.

Language Schools:

Language schools abound in Vietnam’s cities and towns. Finding a job in large cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Min City is surprisingly simple. A TESOL or TEFL certificate, as well as a bachelor’s degree, are required for the best (and highest paying) professions. However, finding English teaching positions as a native speaker is still rather easy.

Teachers pick language schools for a variety of reasons, including reliability, assistance, and professional growth. These institutions normally provide a lot of workshops, training, and managerial meetings for new teachers.

Another benefit is that they frequently offer incentives like contract completion allowances, relocation packages, and overtime as well as covering the costs of visas and work permits.

If you don’t like waking up early in the mornings, this may be a good option for you.

The cons of Language Schools.

Working in a language school has a couple of disadvantages. One is that you need to sign a contract that commits you to that particular company. There can also be a set amount of hours outlined in the contract, but this can also be flexible.

This usually translates to a weekend and a set weekday routine, which may limit your vacation options. Your normal working hours will be in the evenings Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sundays.

Be very careful when signing contracts as there are sometimes penalty clauses for arriving late to work. And with the traffic in the bigger cities, you are going to be late at least some times. It can be very annoying to be docked one hour of pay if you are 5 minutes late.  Read your contract.

Another problem can be these institutions will frequently allow pupils to go to the following level. Even when the student is not ready to advance to the next grade level. This can be aggravating for English teachers as well as pupils’ peers.

Public Schools

Teaching in State schools is another popular route for the EFL teacher to take. The State schools normally get their EFL ( English as a Foreign Language) teachers from private companies. These companies can loosely be termed recruitment agencies at best. At worst, they are just cannon fodder for providing teachers. They advertise heavily on Facebook groups.

Working in State schools comes with its own pros’ and cons’. On the upside, you are working through the day and have the weekends off to explore your new city and surroundings.

The normal hours at State schools are from 7 am to 4 pm. However, you will be allocated classes that run up to one and a half hours in length. If you have no classes you do not need to stay at the school.

Be prepared for a long lunch if you work in a state school, as often the students will have a break between 11 am and 1 pm.

The cons’ of State schools.

The biggest complaint you will hear from teachers is the size of the class. Expect 50 students in your class and anything less is a bonus. So imagine teaching 50 noisy students in a large classroom. There are some tools that make teaching easier that I have written about before. You can look => HERE <== to find out more.

International Schools.

A few years of teaching experience is frequently required for a position in an international school. However, it can provide ongoing career development chances as well as significant benefits such as flight reimbursement and housing allowance.

You’ll primarily be teaching English to Vietnamese youngsters who are either ex-pats or rich. These schools are typically placed in well-off residential suburbs.

Obtaining a list of schools from online groups or ex-pat directories can help you find these schools. Keep in mind that, unlike language schools, these positions are normally only accessible throughout the summer months of June through August.

Private Tuition.

Teaching private English courses in Vietnam, particularly in the larger cities, is quite simple. The biggest benefit is that teachers have far more flexibility and earn far more per hour than those who work in language schools.

Finding pupils is as simple as advertising yourself in local papers or online on a regular basis. Because most parents still do not understand English, it is preferable if you have some Vietnamese language abilities.

Or employ an assistant to help you in your marketing attempts. Teachers can also rely on word-of-mouth and publish notices in neighborhood hangouts to get good results.

Teaching private English sessions can be unpredictable, and it can be difficult to make a living doing it full-time when you first arrive. Some teachers use private tuition to supplement their classes or online teaching activities.

But once you have been here for a while you will attract students who will look for private tuition. It is not uncommon for some reputable teachers to work full time in their own business and make substantially more than teaching in the schools.

Open Your own Language Center.

A natural progression is to move from private tuition to opening your own language center. Create your own language school.

Setting up your own language center is an excellent idea if you want to pursue business in addition to teaching. You’ll be the boss as well as a teacher, allowing you to still pursue your passion for teaching.

Your company location can be your own house or a rented space. Having a TEFL or TESOL degree and teaching experience will assist you greatly in attracting students.

You would need to set up all the necessary legal requirements for running a school in Vietnam. There are a lot of English-speaking lawyers who can help in this matter.

Become a curriculum designer

Many English centers have openings for this position. This is more of a management position. Planning and creating the curriculum and particular courses, coordinating the teaching schedule, and conducting teacher development seminars are all common roles.

Become an EFL Textbook Writer

You can utilize your knowledge and experience to design and sell textbooks and supplemental materials. Many book publishers want to work with experienced teachers since they can benefit from your expertise and experience.

Qualifications Needed.

Officially, a native English speaker with a bachelor’s degree is required to obtain a work visa in Vietnam. In addition, a criminal background check is required. A TEFL or TESOL certificate and work experience is becoming increasingly required.

Work visas can be arranged in-country and it’s still allowed to arrive in Vietnam on a three-month tourist visa and look for work. When you find a job your new employer will normally assist you with the relevant documentation. A health check will also be needed.

Your new employer may or may not pay for your visa, therefore it’s a good idea to set aside some money ($50-$100) for this expense.

The cost of a visa varies depending on the kind and length of your stay. Make sure you include official documentation, such as your university diploma or teaching certificate. And it is preferable to have it notarized at your local consulate or before you arrive.

There are or were some schools that flouted the law ( Regarding paperwork ) and have got away with it for a long time. It is still possible to find employment without qualifications but is becoming increasingly harder to do so.

N.B. With the rise of Covid, it has also become necessary to be fully vaccinated if you wish to return to classroom teaching.

Find out about “resolution 105′ ==> HERE <== and how it affects teachers.


Choose the type of teaching experience you want. Most full-time employment will require you to work 15-25 hours a week in the classroom, plus prep time. Other language schools will hire part-time teachers, expecting you to tutor or work at a variety of locations.

Your lessons will typically last 45 to 90 minutes, and you will frequently teach five classes per day, five to six days per week.

When lesson planning, office hours, and other activities are factored in, teachers should expect to work 30-40 hours per week in full-time jobs.

The schools are planning to start reopening from December, so hopefully, everything will be getting back to some form of normality soon.

Who Am I?

My name is Stephen and I have been living and teaching in Vietnam for 15 years. I have my own school as well as providing fully qualified teachers to schools in Vietnam.

You can look at my house in Vietnam below.

My House on YouTube


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There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

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