Etiquette in Vietnam – Be Nice

There are things in Vietnam that are polite and not polite, that are specific to the culture. Also, it is good to know what should or should not be done in some situations. And learning a few words in Vietnamese will open a lot of doors for you. Here we go, let me explain.

  • Patting or touching someones head is not as serious for the younger generation, but do not do it. It is rude.
  • Do not point the soles of your feet towards any shrine inside or outside the house. ( Buddhist or otherwise) Also do not point them at a person. Once aagain the younger generation do not care so much, but please be polite.
  • When you want someone to come to you and you are using your hand, keep your fingers down. Like you are digging in sand.
  • Do NOT put toilet paper in the toilet. You will find a basket or bin (Yucky) next to the toilet, put it there. Even after a wipe. The pipes in Vietnam are not big enough for paper.There is normally a water gun ( bidet , foreigners call it a bum gun ) next to the toilet, do NOT drink the water. This is to wash your bottom and other parts.
  • Do not drink the tap water, you will get sick.
  • Do not put boiling or very hot water down the kitchen sink. Most houses have thin plastic pipes that will disolve and there will be water all over the floor. Then you have to go to the hardware store and buy more. They will not speak English.I Know from experience..
  • Take your shoes off before entering a house. Sometimes you will be offered house shoes.
  • Cover your tattoos, especially if you are a teacher. Tattoos here still have meanings. Mostly negative involving killing, murder, rape etc.
  • Kissing in public is becoming more acceptable. But try to refrain. Vietnamese consider this is for the bedroom. 8-).
  • Drinking beer is a BIG part of Vietnamese culture and is used to relax after work. Quite often you will see the workers out having a good time, and where are the wives?. But please do not vomit or fall asleep at the table, that is what the toilet is for. Also be pepared to have ice in your beer, it keeps it cold and waters it down. A good idea if you drink 15 beers. You may get asked, “how many beer can you drink”. LIE, say only 2 or 3, it could be a challenge.
  • Vietnamese do not like to lose face. If they do not know something they MIGHT make it up. Check everything.
  • When signing contracts. OMG why do I have to say this. Please read it first and negotiate. If you do not like it, say why and ask for it to be changed. So many jobs.
  • Money talks volumes in Vietnam. Police, hospitals, government departments, motor bike licence, everything. But try to get a Vietnamese person to “give the gift”.
  • Vietnamese think all foreigners are rich. If visiting someone take a small gift ( Food or alcohol, not flowers). It will mean a lot.
  • Get your drivers license if you stay. Avoid paying weekly bribes to the local traffic mafia, i.e. police. And do not drink and drive. Vietnamese are born on motorbikes and a damn sight better than you and although it is common to drink and drive  the death rate on the roads is terrible. We should be educating.
  • Smell nice. Because we eat so much meat and shitty food we smell different and a bit “off” to the Vietnamese.Use a cologne or at least a spray, please. Once you are here for a couple of years you will change your smell. This was the first thing I noticed in Vietnam when I got off the plane.
  • Don’t be mean. It is OK to bargain, but when I see foreigners quibbling over $1.00 it makes me angry. That is their profit and it is normally done by those who think they understand Vietnam.
  • Be polite. Do not get angry. Sometimes not easy but if you get angry……you lost.
  • Be warned. If you are with a large group of Vietnamese out drinking and eating and the end of the night is rolling around. Suddenly, a lot of people are taking out there phones and talking and walking. Do the same, the bill is coming.
  • If you invite someone for coffee or lunch, dinner etc you pay. Even if they bring their friend or family. You invited , you pay.
  • If you invite your GF out, guess what, you pay. Even if she brings her friends or family. It also happens for the Vietnamese so not just trying to get money for nothing. If a Vietnamese person invites someone out they pay, even if that person brings a friend or several.
  • Learn some Vietnamese before you come. A little bit of language will open so many doors for you. The most basic phrases you should learn are…..Thank you, What’s your name, How old are you, What’s your job, I want to buy beer, I want to buy food, How much money, Be quiet, and numbers for counting money.

The best app for learning Vietnamese is Mondly. Link provided. I do make a bit of money but use it to help others. I have tried Duolingo and Memrise, but all that is left on my phone is Mondly.

Here is the link. Hover and click. Mondly.

Please remember this is not the USA or Australia or England,  we are guests. If you can get your head around that you will have a ball. Looking forward to seeing you in Vietnam.

Please leave your comments below. I will reply. If you like this please check out my other posts           ==> HERE <==


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

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

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Coping with Covid lockdown

Ho Chi Minh City has been in a partial lockdown for the last 6 weeks. Now the government has announced that all of ho Chi Minh City will be in complete lockdown mode for the next 15 days. wearing masks and social distancing is being enforced.

ESL Teachers ( English as a Second Language)

The teachers that are here are either waiting for the schools to re-open or teaching on line. Some, like me, have opened a second business or undertaken a new job like Affiliate marketing with Wealthy Affiliates.. For those who wish to come to Vietnam you will need to do a couple of things to prepare. First off, get your Covid shots done and along with your normal paperwork (degree, teaching certificate, police and health check) you will need a sponsorship letter from your future employer. When you do arrive you will need to quarantine yourself for 14 days.

Then, when here, you will need to get a work visa and a temporary resident card. The schools normally help with this and depending on the school you can negotiate who pays and how much. Some will pay the lot, some 50/50 and others nothing at all. At the moment the schools are starting to prepare to recruit teachers and the public schools should re-open in September. This is the start of the new semester. The English centers will hopefully open before this.

But we are at the mercy of the governments decision on re-opening schools. Ho Chi Minh city has been the worst hit for covid19 with over 8,000 people being infected. Yesterday, July 8th, were the final school tests and all students in their final year should have sat their exams.

Government edicts on Covid.

Now the government has said to be prepared for the strictest movement restrictions to curb the spread of Covid 19. The P.M has asked all localities (police etc) and Ministries to implement strict solutions to prevent, detect, isolate, suppress outbreaks and provide active treatment and pay special attention to the implementation of social distancing and lockdown. Ho Chi Minh city will also control the entry and exit of vehicles into the city.

Many traditional markets have been closed down and there are food shortages in the supermarkets (those that are open) as well as steep price rises. And people have been advised not to go outside their houses unless absolutely necessary. Any new arrivals into Ho Chi Minh city from other districts or cities must also quarantine for 7 days with Covid tests being done on the 1st, 3rd and 7th day


Tan Son Nhat International airport. H.C.M.C.

Once, Tan Son Nhat Airport ( Ho Chi Minh city) normally received 550 to 720 or between 85,000 to 109,000 passengers every day. in contrast it has handled fewer than 200 flights and 3,000 passengers a day between last Monday and Thursday. Vietnam airlines, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways have incurred short term debts of around VND36 trillion (US$ 1.56 billion).

So, the people and the companies have been hit very hard financially. It will take a long time to recover and for some it is lock the doors and walk away from the business.


School recruitment of ESL teachers.

However the schools are starting to advertise and this is an example of what is being offered.

URGENT: Horizon International Bilingual School is looking for Native English Teachers for Primary level Requirements:- Native English speaker(US/ UK/ Canada/ Australia/ New Zealand/ Ireland/South Africa)- CV& application letter- Teaching Certificates (CELTA, TESOL, TEFL. . .)- Holder of university degree with majors in Linguistics, English teaching, Science or Humanities- Experience in Teaching at least 3 years Benefits:-Free Lunch-Bonus salary at the end of school year-Travel expenses up to $800-$1000-Full salary during holidays , up to 2200 $ salary per month-School will provide work permit and resident card.

You can start looking and if you get a job you can then organise your sponsorship letter and all the paperwork I talked about before.

Prior preparation prevents poor performance.

At the same time you may want to learn a little Vietnamese. This is something I highly recommend as it can be helpful in the classroom and in everyday life.My favourite app for learning is Mondly. I have written about this before and you can find more information about this on my website. Click on the link below to find out more.

Mondly App | Best App to Learn Languages – Teaching ESL in Vietnam 2021 (


And if you wish to be fully prepared, you can also organise your technology needs. Once more, click on the links below to find out more.

Product review: Blue-tooth headset/Amp. – Teaching ESL in Vietnam 2021 (

Great Teachers Tool – Teaching ESL in Vietnam 2021 (

As my father used to say prior preparation prevents p— poor presentation.

I hope this gives you an update of what is happening in Ho Chi Minh city and how you can use this time to prepare for when classes start again. if you wish to ask me any questions or you would like to leave a comment I am happy to read and reply to all questions or statements.

I wish you all the best in these crazy times and if you need any help when you arrive (Or even if you are here already) please leave a message and I will respond to your request..


Great Teachers Tool

The new ipad M1 looks awesome.

The Ipad M1 looks like a great classroom tool. Easy to use and powerful. It is powered by an M1 chip which gives mind blowing performance. It has a liquid retina display that provides an extreme viewing performance.It also has a fast 5g wireless connection.

The M1 chip is the fastest device of it’s kind and is designed for next level performance. but for me the deal breaker is it is thin and light and makes carrying to school very easy. Also the all day battery life is perfect.

The 8 core CPU delivers up to 50 percent faster performance which provides faster graphics so you can show high quality graphics at faster rates.Apple says 40% faster graphics which is bloody amazing. The students will love you.

There is an 11 inch and 12.9 inch XDR display which gives an amazing 1000 nits of full screen brightness and 1600 nits of peak brightness. What that means is a true to life color and tone.There is a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio which means detailed content and visual  perfection for your students. Peak brightness on the 11 inch model is not as high at 600 nits but that is compensated by it’s portability. My choice would be the 11 inch model purely because of ease of carrying and set up. The power of these Ipads and the storage capacity is more than enough for work and play..

The Ipad pro comes with a 12mp wide camera and a 10 mp ultra wide camera and is the same for both. And there is a 2x optical zoom and a 5 x digital zoom.It comes with a 5 element lens and advanced red eye correction. Take photo’s in class and use them to help teach English. I record my students and get them to view what they have said. It is a great way to improve their language skills. At a later date, after I get permission, I will upload an example to my website.

The Apple M1 chip has an 8 core CPU and a 16 core neural engine. The 8GB RAM model comes in 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage. The 16 GB RAM model comes with 1 TB or 2TB storage. The base model would be enough for most classroom activities but I would want 512GB of storage.

There is a 4 speaker audio system, but you will still want to connect up to a remote blue tooth speaker because of the size of the classrooms in Vietnam. However if you only work in an English center you will get away with the ipad speakers. Smaller classrooms, smaller class sizes. You also have audio and video calling if you want to teach online. ( See my website for online teaching info. )

All the apps look standard except Music memos, Swift playgrounds and support. And importantly it supports Vietnamese as well.

Why am I so excited. When you sometimes have to take your laptop to school …this is so much easier. Also better than using your phone which I have been doing.But not now.

The cheapest place to buy this that I have found is at Amazon. If you can find it cheaper, let me know. The Apple 11inch Ipad pro starts at $899.00. For me this is well worth the investment as it is only what you should save in 1 month. And the ease of use and portability makes it a sound investment. Click on the Amazon product to find out more.

Thank you for reading. If you wish to comment, please do.


Covid or Classes

Wealthy Affiliates

Covid has closed Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Covid is the new C word. it used to be cancer. ( I am not being flippant, as I have had and survived this ‘C” word.). But in Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam, this has closed the city. The general populace are quite poor by European standards, and 6 weeks off work has made a lot of people desperate. Schools are closed, shops are closed, businesses are closed and people here are hurting. The last 6 weeks have drained peoples bank accounts and wallets. A lot have come to the stage where they can not afford rent and food. Over this time some of us have been able to help those in need.

But there are no teaching jobs in HCMC unless you wish to teach on line. if you look at my other posts I provide a list of schools and sites where you can apply to teach over the web. However if you have a school (like me) things become a bit more challenging. ( I will provide a post at a later date how to set up your own school). My fixed costs are about $1,500 per month, not including wages. So I am hoping for a quick  resolution  to open our schools again. 

But at the momeny there are no positions available for teachers in Ho Chi Minh City. At the same time the government is cracking down on those “teachers” who have expired visas and even illegal visas. There are some unethical companies that will supply a visa for the right amount of cash.  

  The bad news and the good news.

The bad news is you can not get into Vietnam and even if you could there are no jobs available in Ho Chi Minh City. We are still in lockdown mode. My wife, Nga, and I were unlucky enough to live in the first district ( They are called districts not suburbs) to suffer from lockdown. It has now been in effect for the last 6 weeks and will probably extend out for another 2 weeks. During this time the number of covid cases has risen every day. We had a “hem” ( A small alleyway) only 2 streets away that was sealed off because the people there had covid. The police had the “hem” sealed off and a police officer posted outside to make sure nobody entered or exited. A bit too close to home for me.

The “good” news is that schools and private ESL (English as a Second Language) schools are now advertising for teachers to start from July (optimistic) to September ( More realistic). September is when the new school semester starts. So I believe this time frame makes more sense. There have been no official announcements as to when teaching and classes  will start again. The other “good” news is that because there has been an exodus ( I have a sudden urge to play some Bob Marley) of teachers the demand for teachers will be high. I am already getting a lot of schools contacting me. Also the pay rates should rise. I have seen some recruiters offering $25 $27 per hour.Most recruiters and schools talk hourly rates. The standard has been between $17.00 to $22.00 per hour. So supply and demand will benefit those who can get here or are here. All wages should be advertised in Vietnamese dong ( the official currency) although a lot still advertise in US dollars. This is technically illegal. 1 US dollar equals 23,000 dong.

If you are already looking for a teaching position there are some things to be careful about. Firstly beware of recruiters who offer upfront bonuses. You will be paying for it in reduced hourly rates. The more professional campanies offer bonuses for completing a 12 or 18 month contract. Secondly, read your contract ( It should be in English as well as Vietnamese). I have read some very bad conracts in the last 15 years. There are some schools that have a penalty clause. If you are late for class (read 3 minutes or more) the school can penalise you by deducting 2 periods of pay. So, if you are late for 3 minutes you may have your next pay reduced by 1 1/2 hours. Again..three minutes late and one and a half hours of pay taken out. And with the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City being diabolical in morning peak hour, it is common to be late for class at least some days. Power English are experts in this field. Also if you have been quoted in US dollars be careful that the conversion rate is accurate. All too often I have seen the conversion rate lower than it really is.  In my other posts I have provided a list of English Facebook groups which can provide you with a wealth of information about recruitment companies and jobs. Another thing to think about is teaching in public schools lucrative enough? Now we have covid induced holidays as well as normal school holidays the amount of time you are teaching might be as little as 8 months a year. Make sure you have another revenue avenue to cover those months where  you do not have a day job. Working extra hours at a private school is well advised. Do not think you can just walk in after you have done your 8 months in a public school and expect to be employed. Put in a few months prior to you wanting a night/ weekend teaching job. Once again I have provided information about private verse public schools and money and times as well as class sizes etc. So please read and decide what you want to do. Another way to earn extra income is to become an Affiliate marketer. I have done this with a company called Wealthy Affiliates and it is a great way to earn extra income on line from home.  

If you are serious about coming to teach in Vietnam it is a great idea to learn some basic Vietnames. It also helps you immensely in the classroom. Choose a language learning sight like ” Mondly” to give you the basics in Vietnamese. 

Please leave a comment about this. If you like or dislike anything about the subject matter please contact me or leave a comment. Thank you for your time.  

ESL lesson Plan | Beginners

Starting Out.

When you first start teaching you have a lot of questions rattling around in your head. probably the first and biggest is can I do this? You have done your training and maybe you have even done a demonstration lesson for your employer. But nothing quite prepares you for your first day of teaching. can I do it, will the students like me, will I be a total flop?

It’s like going on stage for the first time and battling those butterflies. There are techniques and methods you can use to make that first day and the days after that easier. The best piece of advice I got was to go our and enjoy myself, have fun.

If the students see you having fun they will be drawn in and enjoy themselves too. I remember the first day and I made a basic grammar mistake. Of course the class pounced on it. What did I do…..I said, good I wonder who was going to pick that up. After that we laughed and now 15 years later I have my own school.

Lesson Plans are a must.

There are some things as a new teacher that will make your life a lot easier. And that is HAVE A LESSON PLAN. It doesn’t have to be written out in all it’s complexity with it’s i’s dotted and it’s t’s crossed. But you do need a general guide as to what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. ( This should have been covered in depth in your teacher training).

Normally the school where you will teach will have a curriculum and book for you to follow. If they are good they will inform you as to what page /pages you will teach. ( Normally only 1 or 2 pages per lesson)


To start your class you will normally do a warm up. Getting the students relaxed and help them to think in English. It could be a quick game  – ABC food or ABC body parts or Clothes. You go around the class and the students have to name a food or body parts/ clothes in Alphabetical order. For example A – arm, B – Bottom, C – Chest, D – Dress etc.

You need a full retinue of games , you can look on the web or talk with other teachers about what they use.

and then you are into your lesson.

Making a lesson Plan.

Before you start decide what type of lesson you will be doing. A review, a skill based lesson, a book based lesson or one entirely on your own.

If this is your first lesson you will want to do some form of introduction. The depth that you drill down will be dependent on the age of your students. Ideally you should have lesson plans for different ages and different skill levels. At it’s most basic your lesson plan will be for;

1) Kindergarten, quick and fast with lots of changes to keep them interested. Most classes are only 30 minutes long/

2) Children, Fun based activities, lot’s of games but some formal book based learning. Does not need to be quite as fast paced as kindergarten.

3) Teenagers. ( Secondary school) A couple of games, I like to do 1 at the start and 1 at the end of the lesson. More focus on book learning.

4) Adults. Can be a little bit more risque with the comments. More focused on on learning and covering all the skills.

You need to think on your feet in the classroom. If you see something not working , move onto something else. as much as a lesson plan is essential do not be bound by it if it is not working.

The steps I take in designing a lesson plan are;

1) Decide on your objectives., whether it is…

– Leaning new vocabulary.

– Learning new grammar.

– Practising speaking

– listening skills

– Writing skills

2) Outline your lesson Plan..

a) Waiting for your students.

b) Warm up / game.

c) Hand out worksheets or take out books.

d) Group work.

e) Individual work

f) Mark worksheets in class and collect.

g) Wrap up / answer questions or play a quick game like hangman or stop the bus etc. ( Laugh and Learn)

Most classes are 45 minutes long unless you have a double period. Then your class is 11/2 hours long. Also put a time of how long you think each section will last. Have 2 more parts to your lesson plan in reserve in case you need them.

3) Activities.

What activities or games or work sheets ( Or a mix) are you going to use to achieve your goals in section 1 ( Objectives)


Create or find materials to support the classes learning experience. It could be flash cards for younger children or puzzles or worksheets. To start it is easier to find these on line ( is a good site) but later you will want to create your own.

5) Have Fun.

The most important part when you get into the class is relax and have fun. You have done the hard work, now enjoy the rewards.


Once you have done the first 10-20 lessons you will feel much more comfortable and can start practising with different teaching ideas and methods. I remember that I counted my first 100 classes( LOL ) and after year 2 I tried to count how many I had done but I had lost count long ago and was enjoying the classes.

I still enjoy doing a rudimentary lesson plan but I know if you put me in front of any class I can pluck out a lesson that will be relevant and enjoyed by all.

All the best on your journey.

Tell me any stories you may have of your first day in class. Or if you haven’t got there yet, what do you expect.

I love hearing your stories and will reply to any messages left as soon as I can.

Resources for teachers

Who Am I? 

I am a teacher who has lived in Vietnam for 15 years and now have 2 schools. My name is Steve and I love traveling, Teaching and learning about new cultures.

You can see my house in Vietnam below on YouTube.

You Tube logo

Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

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

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.


IELTS or the International English LanguageTesting System is a test for study, migration or work. Over 3 million people take the test every year. IELTS ic accepted by over 10,000 employees, universities, schools and immigration departments around the globe.

The test measures the language proficiency of those who want to work or study in countries where English is the native language spoken. This includes the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Having a good mark in these tests will help with the immigration process.

There are 2 IELTS tests a test taker can choose from. This includes IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both test types assess the test taker’s ability in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English. The academic module is taken by those who want to enter undergraduate or post graduate studies for professional reasons. And the general module is taken by those who want to enter vocational or non degree training programs. Or for admission to secondary schools and for immigration purposes.

Both modules are made up of 4 parts. Listening, Reading, writing and speaking. The listening and speaking are the same for both modules but the reading and writing tests are different.

 IELTS is available at more than 1,600 locations worldwide and is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP, IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English..

Teacking IELTS can be very profitable but because of the rigidity of the course and the content that must be covered it can also be somewhat boring for both the student and teacher. At the moment in Vietnam there seems to be a push from the parents to start IELTS training at a fairly young age. This is something I will not do as there needs to be some degree of life skills for the average student. I would be hesitant to offer this to anyone under 15 ( Dependent on maturity) I did have 1 student who was very good and at 14 years of age passed IELTS at the band 7 level.

IELTS test scores range from 1 to band 9. Each band represents the level of attainment of the student.

IELTS test scores

IELTS results are scored on a scale of 1-9. The score that your students need to achieve will vary depending on the individual institution requirements.

Band scoreSkill levelDescription9Expert userThe test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.
8Very good userThe test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
7Good userThe test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
6Competent userThe test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5Modest userThe test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.
4Limited userThe test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.
3Extremely limited userThe test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
2Intermittent userThe test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1Non-userThe test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
0Did not attempt the testThe test taker did not answer the questions.

The IELTS academic module for test purposes is broken down into;

1) Listening;  Approximately 30 minutes with 40 questions in four sections

2) Reading; One hour with 40 questions in 3 sections.

3) Writing; ! hour with 2 compulsory tasks.

4) Speaking; 11 – 14 minutes with an examiner covering a range of topics from the familiar to general questions.

Tips for students

In your IELTS speaking test it is best to use a wide range of vocabulary to show off your skills when you are asked to describe your favourite and least favourite book and any other question asked.  


Could you teach IELTS 

Technically there are no requirements to become an IELTS teacher, however teaching IELTS means you need to have a level of knowledge of the English language and how it is used. You need a very good range of vocabulary and a strong grasp of English grammar. If you believe you have that or at least can learn on a steep learning curve then you the possibility of being able to teach IELTS. On the personal side it is very rewarding when you see one of your students pass the exam and travel to another country or get the job they want. It can also be rewarding financially with returns of $50 to $100 per hour not uncommon for a good teacher. On the downside there is a lot of marking and homework. And as mentioned before because of the format of learning it can be boring. Try to break up the study with coffee breaks and dinner now and again.

There are many professional development opportunities for teachers and you can find plenty of support materials on their website, ( blog and YouTube channel.

So if you want to develop your skills and become an IELTS teacher the pathh is open for you. If you wish to leave any comments please feel free to do so.

Resources for teaching

The official cambridge guide to IELTS

“>Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS book with answers and audio CD

Cambridge IELTS 12 Academic students book with answers. With audio. IELTS practise tests.

“>Cambridge grammar for students IELTS book

My preference is to keep with the cambridge books as they are the official books used. 

Product review: Blue-tooth headset/Amp.

Two of the most important things you can have in the classroom to help you are;

1) A Bluetooth headset Amplifier.

You need your blue tooth headset amplifier to make life easier in the classroom by projecting your voice loud enough so that it is heard. In Vietnam it is quite common in public schools to have class sizes of 50 students plus. You want to be heard by every student because as soon as some students don’t hear you, they will start talking. If they start talking then you will get everyone wanting to talk and you have just lost control of your class. Yes you can use your natural voice but over time this puts a strain on your vocal chords and you will start to lose your voice. Who said teaching wasn’t fun. I recommend a headband style headset.. Also I recommend anything that has an output of over 25watts.

Product Review: Blue Tooth Speaker.

2)  Blue tooth speaker

A blue tooth speaker is also a very necessary item for you in the class room. You can connect your phone to the blue tooth speaker and run any audio content directly from your phone to the speaker. You can save your audio files in Google drive then play them when needed. I generally prepare everything the night before and am ready for class in the morning. Once again I prefer anything over 25 watts output and there are some very good speakers on the market at the moment for a fair price.

So there you have it. The two best classroom tools that over the years have saved my voice and saved my sanity. There are a variety of different products on the market and these are but two you can use. I have used them and they are good. But you may wish to use something else, and that is great too. Find something that you like and are comfortable with.

If you wish for further recommendations please don’t hesitate to contact me:-)  Any feedback is also welcome.

Covid + School openings in Vietnam: May 2021

English schools in Vietnam are still closed as well as the public schools. Kindergarten, Primary, Secondary schools and Universities are all closed.

It’s June 7th and we are in the middle of a two-week lock down and we are not allowed to go anywhere, except for essential services.

More than thirty cities and provinces have now entered the second week of on-line teaching.

Most of my colleagues have either taken on line teaching jobs, gambling on crypto currency rises and falls or looking at drop shopping or Affiliate Marketing.

Officially as of May 2021, the Ho Chi Minh City peoples’ committee tightened restrictions across H.C.M.C because of rising covid 19 infections. Go Vap district ( Close to the airport ) and Thanh Loc ward are under two weeks lock down with no more than two people being allowed to meet and normal two meter social distancing policy in place along with the compulsory wearing of masks in public.

And the rest of H.C.M.C is limited to the meeting of up to 5 people, 2 meter social distancing and visits to only essential services as well as the mask. Ho Chi Minh City restaurants are limited to only providing take away food and the Airlines have been asked to reduce domestic flights.

However, who would want to go away at the moment. If you go to an area the government has ruled an “affected area of risk” you will need to quarantine or self isolate yourself for 21 days upon your return. And you may also be asked to return up to 2 negative Covid tests during or after that period of isolation.

Districts that are affected by covid are;

District 1; District 3; District 7; District 12; Binh Thanh District; Go Vap District; Hoc Mon District; Nha Be District; Phu Nhuan District; Tan Binh District; Tan Phu District; Thu Duc. ( I live in Go Vap which is one of the 2 Districts under lock down).

The national tally of Covid cases is now 8,747 and the death toll is 53. We received a phone call yesterday saying one of our students had come down with Covid. It sounds terrible but luckily for us it had been over 3 weeks since we had last seen her. I am sure she will be OK as she is 19 years old and falls outside the riskier age groups.



Vietnam International Flights

Travel Updates and Restrictions.

Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreigners since March 2nd 2020. This was posted by Dezan Shira and Associates on June 2nd 2021 . This measure will not apply to diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts and skilled workers.

Vietnam Airlines and Viet jet had resumed some International flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with South Korea, Japan and Australia. So people could go home if they wanted or had to.

What is important for any future teachers traveling to Vietnam? Any foreign employee who wants to enter Vietnam should ensure they have a sponsor who can help in getting the necessary paperwork. And assist with the 14-day mandatory quarantine when arriving in Vietnam.

Vietnamese authorities will charge a quarantine fee for anyone entering Vietnam from September 1. Foreign nationals will be required to pay for their own medical treatment if needed. International arrivals who opt to stay at government quarantine facilities will be required to pay at least VND 120,000 (US$5) per day.

The latest is that inbound flights are suspended until June 14th. Any person coming in is subject to a 21-day quarantine. Outbound flights will continue. This statement was released by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam 3 minutes ago at 10.50 am 7/06/2021.

Advertised jobs and what do they mean.

Jobs are being advertised on Facebook now. There are a few looking for on line teachers working for companies like Bling ABC and  other on line English schools. You will find more information on Teaching ESL in Vietnam 2021 – Great Teaching jobs in HCMC – ( about on line schools. There are also companies looking for teachers to work in China, Thailand and the Philippines.

There are also a few looking for teachers for positions that are supposedly current. I can only think these classroom positions are in areas that are outside of an “affected area of risk”

You will find a list of Facebook groups on my website that show most of the groups addresses. A few of those are Real English Teacher Jobs, Foreign English Teachers in Vietnam and English Teacher Jobs. Below is an example of what is on offer.

Apollo English Junior centers are still hiring!

Apollo are currently looking for energetic, creative and dedicated young learner teachers to join the Apollo team. Classes starting in June & July. Classes are currently online now.

We will transition back to face to face as soon as the situation improves. We always have opportunities available for qualified candidates

Teaching positions are available at the following locations: Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Bien Hoa, Binh Duo…

Personally I would be very careful about coming to Vietnam at this stage until the schools have reopened. And when you do come make sure you bring enough funds to either survive a downturn in the market or a quick flight out. In the meantime we are all suffering from cabin fever and covid 19 fallout.

This might be the right time to look at an on line business like Affiliate Marketing with Wealthy Affiliates or even drop shipping.

Whatever you decide, things will return to normal. Don’t listen to the nay sayers.


Mondly App | App to Learn Languages

    Mondly | The fun, easy and effective language app.

I think one of the best apps for learning English is Mondly. There are two versions you can use. You have the free version or the premium version. With the premium, you get a 7 day free trial on activation. After that it is ..

 1) One month for 69,000 Vietnamese dong or US $3.00 per month.

2) 12 months for 29,999 Vietnamese dong or US $15.00 per month

There are currently 70 million people learning 41 languages worldwide. You can download the app free from the App store.

Learning with AI is even better,

Look here at “Learn a New Language with AI”


1) 50 Topics to learn. These topics cover; Core vocabulary, Family, Countries and Languages, Romance; Seasons and Weather: Preparing a Trip; Travel;  Vacation activities and Public transportation. Helps you  prepare for the most common situations.

2) Forty one real conversations to give you fluency in your chosen language.

3)  Thirty six vocabulary builders to install words fast.

4) Grammar features and Conjugation tables to shortcut your progress.

 5) Quick daily lessons for constant improvement.


1) Being able to learn in any of your comfort zones. Learn in a relaxed environment. i.e. your own kitchen or den  wherever you find yourself.

2) Quick coverage of in depth content. Has the ability to cover a large range of training in a short period of   time.

3) Free new training everyday means new vocabulary and activities everyday. Should never be boring.

4) In depth, timely training gives clarity to content. Comprehension goes hand in hand with new vocabulary.

5) The greatest benefit in my opinion is learning quickly “on the go” where you can practise as you learn.

Additional learning experiences. 

Mondly Kids. Kids have so much fun “playing” Mondly Kids that they forget they’re learning a new language.

Mondly AR. Enjoy the immersive experience of learning a new language in Augmented Reality.

Mondly VR. Your own virtual language learning assistant. Anytime. Anywhere. The most advanced method to learning English.


Using apps like Mondly are a great way of additional training. I think by bringing together two or three styles of learning you will definitely be ahead of the pack.

Mondly was named “Editors’ Choice” in Google Play and “Best New App” by Apple.