Living in Vietnam.

Enjoying the Vietnamese Lifestyle.

What I want to write about today is a bit different from what I normally write about. But, it is one of the most important topics if you want to work or live in Vietnam for an extended period of time.

This article is not so much about what you can find in Vietnam or even what you should bring. But, it is about what you should leave at home.

Ethnocentrism and the Uneasy Traveller

According to the Oxford Dictionary “Ethnocentrism” is the ” evaluation of other cultures according to the preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of our own culture”

Before heading into the topic of a foreign teacher being fired (And what sparked this article) and the debate as to whether he should have been fired or not, I want to cover more on “moral codes” and what makes up “ethnocentricism”

Moral Codes and Cultural Differences.

Moral codes are a set of rules that show how a person should treat others and behave within society. They are learned through interactions with others in society by picking up behavioral standards within your cultural area.

Our moral codes are heavily dependent upon our culture. All these codes may cover aspects of our lives from how we act, how we dress, and how we treat others.

There are some moral codes that are regularly found throughout the world. These would be “though shall not kill” or “treat others as we would like to be treated”

However, each culture has its own idea as to what is right or wrong. These other aspects of moral codes are a direct reflection of the ethical thinking of that area.

Cultural Insensitivity in the Workplace.

I have been living and working in Vietnam for 16 years and I have seen a truckload of cultural insensitivity from both foreigners and Vietnamese. However, the thing to remember is that Vietnam is run by and for the Vietnamese and if we can understand that our life will be much easier.

I have often seen new foreign English teachers come to Vietnam with preconceived ideas telling the Vietnamese teachers how English should be taught. While some of the topics raised by the new teacher may be valid, they should take their time to find out how things are done. Losing “face” is still quite a big thing in Vietnam.

I remember talking to someone very high up in Sacom bank and we were discussing how banks (Being a capitalist entity) survived and thrived in Vietnam and how they dealt with the Government. The gentleman I was talking to gave me an example of how an idea that the bank has is introduced to the government.

First off the idea is planted within the government, at a lower “rank”, and allowed to percolate up to the top. Then a meeting between the bank and the government is organized during which the bank praises the government for its forward-thinking idea.

I’m not saying this is how teaching is, but it gives you some idea about the different approaches that need to be taken.

The Firing of a Foreign Teacher.

There was an incident very recently involving a foreign teacher, a security guard, students, and a Vietnamese teacher.

If it wasn’t so serious it would sound like the start of a bad joke. To start at the end, a foreign teacher was fired after a “scuffle” with a 65 year old security guard. The security guard was checking the names of students who were allowed to leave after the 4th lesson of the day.

At the school above, the 11th graders were allowed to leave as long as their names were on the guards’ list. The guard also checked the name tags of the students who were eligible to leave.

One of the 11th graders was wearing a jacket so the security guard could not see her name. When the security guard asked her to remove her jacket she refused and the guard started yelling at her. This is when the foreign teacher stepped in and pushed the guard over.

The “scuffle” then broke out after the guard was pushed over. Because of the violent acts carried out by both the teacher and guard the school board got together to discuss what should happen next.

The foreign teacher was allowed to continue teaching while the decision was being made about what was to be done with all parties. The head of the English department then asked the foreign teacher to refrain from posting anything on social media.

This seemingly didn’t go down well with the teacher who then started kicking the “teachers’ room” door and yelling at the head of the English Department. He was obviously fired at this stage. But to add one more piece of ludicrousness, the teacher then went onto social media and tried to get the students to defame the school. Trying to incite the students to rebellion.

Who does this guy think he is? he obviously has no regard for any other foreign teachers in Vietnam. Surprisingly there were some who supported this teacher. I did not see the whole story and did not get to talk to anyone firsthand about this, but I think just pushing the 65-year-old over would be grounds enough for dismissal alone. What do you think?

Final Thoughts.

If and when you come to Vietnam, please leave your preconceived ideas at home. We are guests in this lovely country and yes there are things that are different and they may not sit easily with us. However, if you can adapt to this culture (and there is not that much you need to adapt) you will have the time of your life.

Also, remember there are other foreigners and teachers who live here and we get “tarred by the same brush” if we do anything wrong. Vietnam is a very tolerant country, however, it doesn’t take much to influence the Vietnamese that we are insensitive to others feelings.

Thank you.


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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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Vietnams Ministry of Education Bans IELTS Exams.

IELTS suspended from the Vietnamese classroom.

Students fly overseas to take IELTS exams after indefinite suspension in Vietnam” was the headline from VN Express International, an English language newspaper catering to all English speakers in Vietnam.

IELTS is an English proficiency exam that is used to assess students’ ability in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It is commonly used by students in Vietnam to enter foreign schools and universities to further their education. And it is also being commonly used to enter Vietnamese Universities at an increasing rate as well.

To find out more about the course details you can look at

One Students Ordeal.

To give you an understanding of how this has upset the students who have been studying this, here is one persons ordeal.

A young lady had her test canceled by the British Council ( One of 2 bodies that can conduct tests in Vietnam) because of the MOETs ruling to stop tests. She was scheduled to take this test as a final prerequisite for applying to a Canadian college. She lost her fee with the British Council and on top of that paid out an additional sum to fly to Thailand to take her test there. The additional costs were obviously an added burden but she needed her IELTS score asap so the visa to Canada could be arranged.

Following the abrupt postponement in Vietnam, this young lady is one of the hundreds of Vietnamese students who intend to fly abroad to take IELTS tests.

Why has MOET Suspended IELTS Exams?

The British Council and IDP, according to the MOET, failed to obtain their approval documents, and the tests were improperly managed. And for that reason, the testing was abruptly stopped. The British Council and the IDP are the 2 bodies in Vietnam authorized to conduct these tests in Vietnam.

Poorly Planned

The government directive requiring organizations to obtain updated authorization from the education ministry to conduct foreign language exams was issued in June 2018, according to Ho Quang Huy, chief of the Legal Document Inspection Department at the Ministry of Justice.

He attributed the lack of information to the education ministry and claimed that earlier statements from the department would have allowed companies more time to submit their paperwork.

Students who had started to submit their admission documents to study abroad have experienced significant difficulties as a result of the IELTS exam postponement attributed the lack of communication to the ministry of education.

Is This The Only Reason?

There have been other reasons suggested as well as the above for the abrupt termination or suspension of IELTS testing.

Online Scammers and Leaked IELTS papers.

The only two IELTS testing organizations in Vietnam, the British Council and IDP, caution applicants against falling for online con artists who sell “genuine” exam papers.

IELTS test papers containing answers that were claimed to be “genuine” have cost “candidates” millions of dong. As more and more colleges prioritize IELTS as a requirement for admission, the demand for the credential is surging.

IELTS was just a requirement for admission to a small number of colleges in 2017. But when more than 30 colleges added it to the admissions process last year, the number went up.

Many con artists claim that the day before the examination, candidates will receive the “genuine” test paper. The money quickly vanished after the “applicant” pays for the “genuine” test paper.

Test Too Difficult for Vietnamese English Teachers.

It has been discussed by some “foreign” teachers that now that Vietnamese English teachers must sit and pass the test for their jobs, the content has been found to be too difficult for them. With some people going even further in their responses. Albeit this is not necessarily the opinion of this website.

Editorial Comment by Marty Hoare.

We can all be certain of one thing. This IELTS drama is more complicated than what we are seeing in the news.

Without providing a reason, the BC has abruptly stopped all IELTS exams till further notice.

The local media alerts us to problems with the exam itself the very next minute.

It’s rather safe to presume that the BC and MOET have gotten into a battle over something.

I wonder if the requirements and evaluation of the IELTS have anything to do with that.

I also wonder if it has anything to do with the terrible results of the most recent IELTS tests that Vietnamese English teachers had to take and pass.

The likelihood that the abhorrent and embarrassing results of the English Vietnamese teacher testing for MOET, and the local education sector more broadly, has caused this fight.

Promises for a Quick Fix.

On Saturday, the education ministry declared that in the upcoming days, it will give IELTS and TOEFL approval priority over all other foreign language competence exams.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, the choice was made to remove obstacles for candidates who want to sit for these tests. In order to get ministry approval to resume the testing, it has asked pertinent units to finish papers.

The postponement, according to the education ministry, was caused by organizations not finishing their approval documents and improper management of exam quality. If all of the required documentation is submitted, the approval procedure should take about 20 days, according to deputy education minister Nguyen Huu Do.

Let us hope that whatever the issue that started this, it will be resolved quickly so there are no more problems for the students affected.

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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

English Language Centers Facing Shortages | Editorial.

Vietnams English industry is suffering from lack of good teachers and poor administration.

Why Do Some Centers have Staff Shortages?

You could be forgiven for thinking that in Vietnam we are still in the throws of lockdown because of the lack of ESL teachers in language centers. Surely they didn’t all pack up and went home during the pandemic?

Some independent education experts speculated that the recent problem affecting English language schools in Vietnam may be caused by the institutions’ delayed response to changes in the preferred teaching strategies of today’s students.

Independent specialists debated that while modern trends in foreign language learning are growing both in Vietnam and around the world, many Vietnamese English language centers appear to have fallen behind because they cannot adapt to the new waves of change.

Higher Costs Hitting Home.

The Apax Leaders affair, ( They were once well respected and have been around for roughly five years), is one of the most recent scandals involving an English language school.

The current situation highlights a number of issues that many other English-speaking locations are facing in the post-pandemic age. That is higher costs, especially office rent, and little increase in tuition fees from the students and parents.

A center’s rent could be hundreds of millions of dong (100 million dong is approximately $4,200 US), and the majority of landlords are unwilling to lower their rate. Also, the global market is searching for native foreign English teachers, but they are hard to come by as many have gone home during the pandemic and found other jobs. Money Conversion by “XE-Money Converter

Language School Closures.

Overall I would estimate that between 40% to 60 % of language schools have either closed or dramatically reduced their size. Many have stopped renting high-priced offices and moved to cheaper ones. They also used smaller spaces instead of large properties to save money. A lot of this happened while still passing on the higher charges in fees, understandably illegal.

Some companies share their offices with partners. They keep only some parts for teaching and sublet the rest for purposes other than teaching, although this is also not allowed by law.

Additionally, many married immigrants have established “schools” inside their homes that can significantly undercut such businesses with higher prices.

While other schools, like Apax, are allegedly going through “re-opening procedures,” it is unclear whether they will actually reopen. Will it be another case of “take the money and run”?

A Shortage Of Qualified English Teachers.

I have been living and working in Vietnam as an EFL teacher for the last 15 years and I have never seen it this bad before. The pandemic drove people out of the country and the non-slackening of visa or immigration rules has made Vietnam to be a less friendly entry point than some other countries.

Add to that the closures and fly-by-night practices of some schools and you have severely dented the reputation of many language schools in Vietnam.

There are a lot of online communities and Facebook groups that have seen continued publishing of unfulfilled jobs. This has led a lot of the English Centers to lower their standards and accept people with rudimentary English language skills. It is almost like stepping back 15 years to the less controlled environment that was still current then.

It is common to see 20 or 30 jobs for a teacher that can’t be filled. The English teachers who remain get bombarded with calls and offers to teach. At one stage I was getting 10 calls a week for different job offers. however, the offers all tend to be around the same hourly rate, more than likely due to the points raised here.

It’s Time to Relax Administrative procedures.

The need for foreign teachers has grown in the post-pandemic era in line with the rise in student enrollment, although there are significant administrative roadblocks.

Obtaining a work permit for a foreign national is currently quite challenging. This makes it difficult for many language schools to afford to hire enough foreign instructors. And the teachers that are coming through are from countries that were not in favor (For English Teachers) before. Like the Philippines and South Africa.

Regarding this situation, authorities should adopt flexible policies and expedite procedures. In this way, the teacher shortage issue might be quickly resolved.

Money or Education.

Vietnamese language schools frequently place more of an emphasis on business than on education. Quite frequently, I would witness parents barging into the centers and lamenting the abject failure of their child’s external exam. A consequence of the school’s policy of forcing students—whether or not they are prepared—through “the system.”

They 9The schools) simply want to increase the number of centers as soon as possible to achieve expansion. They spend money on marketing and increasing sales to attract as many learners as possible. The parents don’t see the rows of telemarketers calling potential students.

For most Vietnamese, if a school looks good with nice chairs, televisions, and all the latest equipment, it must be good. They don’t necessarily see the poor quality of the teachers behind the scenes.

Additionally, they open additional locations with the majority of their earnings. Therefore, it is uncertain whether they have qualified teachers, the ability to provide services, and the financial management skills to effectively manage for the future.

The Need for Change.

After the epidemic, learning habits shifted globally and in Vietnam, but many Vietnamese English centers do not appear to be adjusting to these changes.

Modern students do not fit the mold of traditional classes held in large, spacious venues.

These conventional approaches are too expensive, and the benefits they provide are not adequate compensation. According to what I have observed, this has caused a significant disparity between the investment and the enrollment of students during the post-pandemic period.

During the coronavirus epidemic, many students discovered the possibility to learn online and stopped attending traditional classes. And it was successful because it cut down on the students’ typically time-constrained commute time.

Final Thoughts.

For students of all ages, online courses have been made available in Vietnam by a number of significant English education providers, including the British Council and others.

Centers can choose how many online and offline units to offer based on the time that classes are offered, but they cannot continue to offer entirely offline courses as they do at the moment. With the combination of teachings, the schools will be able to return to the right side of the ledger book and, ideally, prioritize student instruction over monetary gains.

For English centers, it is now vital to integrate online and offline courses since otherwise, failing schools will keep opening and shutting all the time.

For more editorial content read “Marty Hoares” ” Vietnams ESL Sector, a Series of Disappointments

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.

Free Alphabet Video for ESL Teachers in Vietnam.

Is Teaching The Alphabet still Relevant?

In my opinion, a big fat yes. Just like a well-constructed house needs “good foundations”, an ESL student needs good linguistic foundations’ for their second language.

In addition to learning to identify and name the letters both in and out of order, students also need to learn the sounds that go with each letter.

Start with the fundamentals. Don’t try to teach each of the 26 letters at once. Simply practice 5–6 letters at a time, giving your students a chance to see, hear, and interact with each letter in different ways.

The ABC’s should be taught through a range of strategies and materials because children learn via all of their senses, even if the books are excellent, don’t just rely on them. Learn the letters by using ABC blocks, coloring sheets, ABC mats, or even play dough or in this case video. Mixing up the lesson will make it more interesting.

The most important piece of advice is to enjoy yourself. Make learning with you fun for your students by turning it into a game. You can read some more material about this in my previous post;

“Is Learning The Alphabet Still Important For ESL Students ?”

And Here Is a Copy Of the Front Page of My English/Vietnamese Alphabet. If you wish a PowerPoint copy sent to you please leave a message in the comments. Thank you.

English Alphabet for Vietnamese.

All of our students strive to sound as natural or as close to a native speaker as they can. The alphabet is a fantastic subject to study and master! They must thoroughly understand and be aware of the letter sounds. A fantastic technique to advance those fundamental abilities is to be able to follow the letters while listening to a native speaker.

One of the reasons I created this alphabetical English/Vietnamese video is because of this. It is currently in MP4 format, but if you’d prefer a PowerPoint version, tell me your email address and I’ll send it to you as soon as I can.

Or, you may wish to view it via YouTube.

YouTube Logo

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.

Are ESL Teachers in Demand in Vietnam?

There is a strong demand for Native and Non Native English teachers in Vietnam. The new school semester is about to begin.

Taking my students to the zoo in Ho Chi Minh City

The Effects of Covid on ESL.

As livelihoods were snatched by the Covid-19 pandemic, many foreign teachers ran online classes at cheap rates to survive, while others left Vietnam.

After living in Vietnam for 15 years and being married, my options were somewhat limited. I had been teaching in both public schools and had my own students. Covid kicked me in the proverbial teeth. Schools and language centers were shut down and I, like many, had to teach online to survive.

Others, left for their home countries ( Some, never to return) or battened down waiting for the lockdown to cease. Some gave up the teaching profession as they refused to be vaccinated.

ESL Teaching Pre-Covid.

In a country that was among the world’s nine countries that pay the highest salaries to ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers, who could earn up to $2,000 and more per month, many ex-pat teachers were then in a distressing situation.I had one friend who ran out of money and ended up walking the streets for a week. (He had no computer so could not teach on-line.)

As English is compulsory from sixth grade across Vietnam and in large cities like Hanoi and HCMC, many primary schools opt for English programs for students and demand high proficiency. And because of these Government directives, the ESL industry had thrived in Vietnam in recent years, with jobs offering high salaries available all year round.

But the year-long pandemic and prolonged lockdown changed the table. Over the last few months, the tables have changed again.

ESL Teachers in Demand.

Vietnam has kicked off the constraints of Covid and the government is back pushing English in public schools again. Tourism and the rumored relocation of some major businesses from China ( Apple, Samsung, and LG) to Vietnam are behind this.

It implies that if locals speak English, the country will be able to draw in more tourists, businesses from other countries, jobs for the locals, and competitive economic growth

Іf уоu vіѕіt аnу eхраt Fасеbооk grоuрѕ оr ѕіmрlу Gооglіng tеасhіng Еnglіѕh іn Vіеtnаm, іt wіll ѕurеlу оvеrwhеlm уоu wіth the plethora of јоb оffеrѕ. Whеthеr уоu dесіdе tо lіvе іn Наnоі оr Но Сhі Міnh Сіtу (Ѕаіgоn), оr еvеn іn ѕmаllеr сіtіеѕ lіkе Dа Nаng, оr Nhа Тrаng, уоu саn gеt уоurѕеlf а јоb еаѕіlу.

The Good, The Bad and…

Тhеrе аrе lоаdѕ оf рrіvаtе Еnglіѕh сеntrеѕ аnd рublіс ѕсhооlѕ thаt аrе dеѕреrаtе tо gеt thеіr hаndѕ оn а fоrеіgn tеасhеr.

Ноwеvеr, thеrе аrе а fеw uglу truthѕ уоu nееd tо knоw аnd рrераrе уоurѕеlf.

Most schools play by the book and get people with the right qualifications. That is everything from police and health clearance forms up to a University degree, however, there are a few that won’t care so much about your qualifications but more about your accent and the color of your skin. Or to clarify that, the whiteness of your skin.

The Ugly.

Racism is quite the norm when it comes to ESL teachers and it always makes me sad when I see a perfectly qualified black African teacher placed 2nd over an unqualified white backpacker.

Nоn-nаtіvе English speakers who are not native speakers will face a bigger challenge in finding the job they are looking for, but it is still possible. If you are well qualified, you should look into larger companies and international schools because they are more professional and interested in your qualifications than the color of your skin.

ESL Teacher Pay in Vietnam.

It is generally advertised that the pay rates for ESL teachers in Vietnam can range anywhere between $1200 – $ 1800 U.S. or $2,000 – $2,400.U.S. depending on whether you have just started or whether you are qualified with a few years of experience. And what levels have you taught before etc.

After working and having my own school in Vietnam for the last 15 years it still appears that those advertising they still haven’t worked out an easy way to show pay rates for foreigners.

An hourly rate works best for those schools that are more upfront about their pay scales. Then when the teachers weekly hourly schedule is worked out then you know exactly what you are earning.

Normal Pay Rate.

The normal pay rate is between $18.00 to $30.00.per hour with each class running for about 1.5 hours.

There are 2 types of teaching for ESL, and that is the public system or Government schools that generally pay less and are daytime hours, Monday to Friday. And then the private schools or academies that run in the evenings and the weekends.

Obviously depending on where you are in Vietnam will have an effect on the pay scales.

You will find out some more about the education system in Vietnam here at……….

The Vietnam Education System and ESL | Stephen (

Native and Non-Native Speakers.

Native English speakers are deemed to be those who have passports from the U.S.A, England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand with South Africa coming somewhere in between the Philippines and the U.S.A. But generally, any Europeans will be seen as Non-Native speakers. And similar to the Filipinos they will be paid at a lesser rate.

For example, if a “native speaker” was being paid at 450,000 dong per hour the non-native speaker would be paid around the 370,000dong rate. n.b. All pay rates should be quoted in Vietnam dong ( Even though it is not) by government decree.

My Daughter-in-law back to school in 2022

School Holidays

Vietnamese students often attend school for only half of the six-day school week, which starts on Monday and ends on Saturday. However my daughter-in-law attends an International school and only goes 5 days a week, but full time. And she has just finished her close on 3 month holiday. Generally, private or international schools have a five-week summer break in July and August.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the academic year normally lasts from September to May. While a typical school day only lasts for half a day, the school week starts on Monday and finishes on Saturday. The 15th of June marks the end of the academic year. The summer break lasts from June 16 to August 7.

Desperate Recruiting Measures.

After 3 months at home, the students and especially the parents are ready for public schools to start again. And even though there has been “Summer-school” everyone is ready to start a full-time curriculum again. And there is now a pent-up demand for teachers for the next semester.

So from now until the schools start again, there will be a big drive for teachers for public schools. This is often filled not only by the schools but also recruitment agencies who are desperate to get people on board. And when people are desperate, corners will be cut. The enforcement of University degrees and even English teaching licenses may well take a back seat until vacancies are filled.

Where to Find a Job.

Vietnam loves Facebook, and so do the recruiters. There are a large number of Facebook groups you can join or you can work via “Teacher Placements” to find a position for you. Whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Here is a small list of Facebook groups for jobs.

Foreign English Teachers Vietnam.

Below are some links that can help with your teaching.

How to teach ESL to Kids.

How to teach ESL to Teenagers

How to teach ESL to Adults.

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.

How to use Gamification in the Classroom.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of turning a classroom and normal activities into a game. It is a basic concept that uses a practical, applied, and totally hands-on approach to learning to increase student engagement, modify views and attitudes and develop abilities.

It necessitates imagination, teamwork, and fun. There are a variety of ways to include games and gameplay into the classroom to increase learning and deepen student knowledge.

Why Use Gamification?

‘Gamification of learning may help you generate dynamic, instructional, and entertaining content regardless of your audience or topic matter.’ It’s not meant to transform work into a game, but it does tap into the psychology that motivates people to engage.

One of the main advantages of gamification is that it makes learning more interesting and instructive, owing to its interactivity. Role-playing and competitive components offer an immersive element that, when done right, may make learning more enjoyable.

How Gamification works.

Finding the determination and endurance to complete a challenging assignment might be difficult at times. Gamification encourages people to participate in a process by making it more pleasurable. As a person becomes more involved in a course or project, their favorable feelings toward the experience grow, and they are more willing to engage on their own.

Gamification has grown in popularity in areas like health care and the workplace during the last decade. Gamified learning has also been a popular teaching approach as students embrace technology in the classroom at a greater rate than before.

When employed in schools, however, gamification, like any other method, has advantages and disadvantages.

Gamification Traps to avoid.

When implemented incorrectly, gamification in the classroom can lead to students being driven by prizes but disinterested in the learning process, which is the exact opposite of what is expected. It’s critical to grasp the distinction between internal and extrinsic drive in order to avoid this.

Intrinsic motivation occurs when students love studying for the sake of learning, such as the thrill of grasping a new concept or mastering a new ability. When pupils are motivated by external rewards or penalties, this is known as extrinsic motivation.

By selecting intrinsic rewards as a teacher, you can help students avoid being extrinsically motivated.

Instead of throwing a class party, consider devising prizes that will encourage pupils to build a passion for learning English or any other subject that is being taught.

Ways to Gamify your classroom.

How can we re-imagine and accelerate the learning experience by leveraging this pervasive and compelling gaming phenomenon? Here are a few ideas for gamifying your classroom, whether it’s online or in-person, to increase participation, cooperation, and learning.

Adapt old-school games for use in the classroom.

Scavenger hunts, bingo, dice games, hangman, and Scrabble have all been around for a long time and can be used in the classroom. Place vocabulary words on bingo cards and see if students can match the words to the definitions after hearing them.

Students can play Scrabble together in groups by spelling out responses to content-specific questions. Consider a scavenger hunt. If students are online, you may give them a list of items to look for around their house, which they could then present on Zoom or during a Google Meet.

Online games.

Students adore Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, Gimkit, and Blooket, the newest online trivia and games platform. Teachers can use these free platforms to design multiple-choice questions that students can answer on their own devices.

Teachers can also construct content-specific questions to serve as pre-assessments, quizzes, or exit tickets by selecting from the thousands of quizzes already uploaded on these sites.

Breakout EDU also features an online learning collection of digital games, riddles, and ciphers that teach critical thinking.

Kahoot: For both formative and informal quizzes, Kahoot allows instructors to create their own multiple-choice questions. Students were required to participate by answering timed questions and were ranked based on their speed and correctness. It’s available through the Kahoot! app or a web browser.

TEDEd: TEDEd is an online video library with an accompanying app that allows instructors to build interactive video lectures based on their course themes, complete with quizzes, discussion prompts, and other activities.

Gimkit: Gimkit allows instructors to construct their own game shows that students can participate in and answer on their own devices. Students work through question sets at their own pace until they master them, ensuring that they have thoroughly grasped course contents.

Find out more about my favorite online tools here ” Teachers tools to make life easier

Award badges of honor

Badges can be used to recognize mastery and accomplishment. Badges, which go beyond grades because they indicate more than just academic progress, can be used by teachers to recognize student accomplishments and mastery.

Students strive toward earning various badges in order to demonstrate mastery of a subject, standard, or ability. Once students have learned a specific ability, badges can be distributed digitally or displayed in the classroom for all to see.

Battle the boss.

A “boss” is a villain in video games who the hero must beat in order to rescue the day. The same as the monster at the end of each level in the original Super Mario game, which must be defeated before proceeding to the next level.

Teachers can design their own boss battles and quests using questions from any curriculum area on the gamification platform Classcraft. Teachers can also build their own fictional boss by utilizing Google Forms or Google Slides to create boss battles.

Freshworks can help.

Who are Freshworks, and what do they do? They are a company that will assist you in making the move to creating a loyal online following or improving your classroom experience.

Freshworks makes it simple for teachers to delight their pupils. They achieve this by employing a new strategy to designing and delivering cost-effective and user-friendly software-as-a-service.

They design technology that everyone can use, making it simple for you to create a stimulating learning environment in your classroom.

Find out how Freshworks can help you by clicking ” Freshworks for fun


Students can fail, conquer, and persevere by using games. They are given a sense of control over their learning.

your students will have influence over the decisions they make, and the more ownership they have, the better.

Instant feedback and little rewards (or large rewards, such as winning) are effective motivators.

If you like the notion of using points and badges to motivate your students, gamified learning might be for you.

However, if you have trouble prioritizing your time when it comes to course development, gamification might not be the best option. The secret to success is to start modestly and give yourself plenty of time to plan.

Are you using gamification in the classroom and is it working for you, let me know.

Who am I?

My name is Stephen and I have been teaching EFL/ ESL for over 15 years. I have my own school and I am both the author of this article and the owner of this website.

You can check out my school here, prior to opening, after being closed due to Covid.

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.

How to Improve English Listening Skills for ESL.

The Four English Learning Skills.

When learning a language, there are four abilities that we must master in order to communicate effectively. Listening is usually the first skill learned when learning a new language, followed by speaking, reading, and lastly writing. The four “linguistic skills” are as follows.

  • Listening: People who are learning a new language hear it spoken first.
  • Speaking: At some point, they attempt to repeat what they have heard.
  • Reading: They later see the spoken language symbolically represented in print.
  • Writing: Finally, they write these symbols down on paper.

Today we are going to cover the listening skill and how to help your students learn this skill quicker.

The Listening Skill

There are a few things that make mastering listening difficult. It is not enough to have a vast vocabulary and solid grammar to understand speech and recordings in English.

You must also know how to pronounce English correctly. And that is not enough either, accents and styles of talking bring their own problems.

Each speaker lends their own quirks to the language: their accent, how clearly they speak, and how quickly they talk. Even if you have a high level of English, comprehending a native speaker can be difficult if you have never heard them speak before.

It is not made any easier by the language itself.

There are many terms in English that change significantly in spelling and sound. And then there are some words that sound the same and are spelled the same yet have different meanings and can only be recognized in the context of the whole dialogue. It’s nearly impossible to recognize such words in conversation if you’ve only ever seen them in a book.

How to improve your Students Listening Skills.

If you want to improve your students’ English listening skills, you must utilize a strategy that is most effective for them. Some people study best in a classroom setting, while others prefer to practice alone.

You may develop your students’ English listening skills quickly if you’re in they are in the proper environment with the right tools. Some may like learning in groups and some may like learning alone.

Are you ready to begin? We need to figure out what type of learners your students are first.

Learning Styles.

The following are the three primary types of learning situations:

You’ll need to talk with your students about which option they prefer.

Independent lessons. This entails studying English at their leisure. If they are easily distracted in a classroom, are too busy for a traditional class, or have to move around a lot for work, this may be a good alternative for them. Online lessons work well with this type of student.

The classroom. If they enjoy talking with other students, are uncomfortable alone with an instructor, or have difficulties focusing on their own, this might be the choice for them.

Individual Tuition. If they’re hesitant with other students or find it easier to ask questions of a teacher or discussion partner, these lessons might be for them. Teaching one-on-one presents its own problems, mainly solved by good preparation and good content.

Whatever style of learning your new ESL student prefers, there are ways you can organize lessons for them and boost their listening skills progress.

Tips for students Listening outside the classroom.

Make a schedule for practicing on a regular basis.

For example, aim for a manageable amount of time each day to listen to something in English, such as 15 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes before breakfast, or 15 minutes in the evening

Indulge your passions.

When you’re listening to something that interests you or that you appreciate, you’re more likely to be inspired to learn. If you want to watch movies, that’s OK. But keep in mind that you won’t be able to see the person speaking in an exam.

So nonvisual listening is also an excellent practice option. Short audio news bits are frequently found on podcasts, online radio stations, and foreign news websites. Select the stories that spark your interest.

Practice on a regular basis.

You will hear more if you listen more. Return to a text you’ve already listened to and practice listening for new ideas. If you are studying with a book, this can be a terrific way to listen to the texts. Keep track of new terms and phrases you come across; this will help you improve your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills.


Use subtitles for TV programs and films in English. Your learner will pick up a lot of English just by watching or listening to English-language shows or films. Avoid dubbed shows and listen to the original soundtrack instead.

Tips for teaching Listening skills.

When teaching listening skills it is a good idea to pre-plan your lesson well. This is one way I teach English listening skills.

Introduction and Discussion.

Introduces the listening topic’s theme. If your listening topic is food, for example, you may ask your students what their favorite food is and when and where their last restaurant meal was. And, more importantly, did they have a nice time?

Alternatively, if your theme is travel, you may ask students to list five things they take with them when going on holiday. It’s preferable to have students discuss the question with their partner for a few minutes before immediately eliciting some responses from the class.

Pre-Listening Exercise

After that, assign a pre-listening exercise to the students. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Predicting what will happen by providing an image on the topic or outlining the benefits and drawbacks of various options are two of my faves. For example, if the topic is going out to restaurants, what are the benefits and drawbacks, as well as any potential problems?

This will serve as a natural transition into the listening activity.

Listening for the first time.

First, get the pupils to listen for the broader picture. If you utilized a pre-listening exercise, you can have them check to see if their predictions were correct. Give them some basic true or false questions at the end of the first hearing. This will determine whether or not they comprehended what they had just heard.

And it will help you, as the teacher, evaluate your students listening skills.

You can also get the students to paraphrase what they have just heard.

Have students compare answers with a partner and then quickly go over them together. Don’t spend too much time with this because they’ll listen one more time before more discussion.

Listening for the second time.

Give students some more challenging comprehension questions after they have listened again, double-check answers with a partner, and then with the rest of the class.

If required, you can spend a little more time discussing the responses than you did in the previous phase.

Another option is to read the text out loud slowly and have the pupils record what they hear. Remember, this should only be used by people with fair to good writing skills.


There are always some words that are difficult to pronounce for your students. You will want to focus a little on pronunciation.

Choose the words that your students had problems with pronouncing and write them on the board. A good way to help your students with pronunciation is to break the difficult words down into syllables. For example; Pro/nun/ci/a/tion.

Keep it Fun.

My classroom ethos, whatever level of the student, is Laugh and Learn. Mix up your lesson with some listening games and your students will be only too happy to learn.

One of the best games that involve the students and get them to concentrate on the listening skill lesson is “How many times”

It is very easy and you simply choose one word from the text or script the students will listen to and count the number of times it has been said. After listening you ask the students how many times has the word “the” been said. ( It can be any word ).

Make sure you have counted correctly as it can be embarrassing if you get it wrong. This works best if you have a transcript of the listening exercise.

Sit back and watch them intently read the transcript to win points for their team. Yes, I turn it into a full-on game.


Remember that the best listening tasks for ESL students are those that are just slightly beyond their level. This is how students improve their listening abilities.

Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. A fun teacher who assists them with their studying will be well-received by the students.

My name is Stephen and I have been teaching ESL for over 15 years and have my own school. I also place teachers across Vietnam into both private and public schools. I am also the author and owner of this website.

You can check out my school on the YouTube link below.

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.


The top 10 Websites for new ESL teachers

Teaching ESL.

If you’re new to teaching English, you’ll need to find the greatest teacher materials to help you get started. With the widely available lessons and PowerPoint on the internet, teaching ESL has never been easier.

Teachers can use these ESL websites for assignments, lesson plans, and game ideas. It will halve the time you spend preparing to teach.

Even if you’ve been teaching ESL for a while and have a lot of resources, it’s always a good idea to go back to the basics and revisit the websites that were helpful when you first started.

My top 10 ESL websites.

Lantern Fish/ Boggles World

Many ESL teachers throughout the world consider Lantern Fish to be one of their favorites. I still use it after 15 years in my sector for a variety of reasons. For the busy instructor, it includes a variety of worksheets and lesson plans.

Worksheets on grammar, vocabulary, speaking, reading, listening, writing, and pronunciation are available to download.

You can also create your own worksheets and download or print crossword puzzles and “wordsearches” for those last few minutes in class.

Busy Teacher

BusyTeacher is greatly useful since it saves you hours of preparation time and helps you become a better teacher.

About 17,300 free printable worksheets and lesson plans are available to assist in the teaching of English to children and adults, beginners through to experienced students.

There are sections on vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Almost always, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for here.

MES English

MES-English is a fantastic resource for teachers of young students of all ages and levels.

It provides free online worksheet tools and templates that you can use to create and print customized resources for your classroom.

All of the images from MES can be used to create spelling, reading, and writing tasks, as well as crosswords, wordsearches, flashcards, mazes, and other classroom games.

There are also talking worksheets, worksheets for introducing grammar points, a phonics workbook series, reward certificates, clip art to design your own worksheets, song sheets, nursery rhymes and chanting cards, and vocabulary building worksheets.

iSL Collective

ISL Collective is a global network of language teachers who freely share their own worksheets. The site is designed for all language teachers, whether they work in schools or provide private tutoring.

For teaching English classes, there are over 70,000 ESL, EFL printable worksheets, activities, and exercises.

In addition to English, training resources are available in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

English Club.

English Club is an all-in-one ESL website that covers all aspects of the language from beginner to intermediate.

They even go up to near-fluent levels, so if you try one of their more complex ESL crosswords, you could find yourself fumbling a little.

From their webpage, English Club offers two options: Teach English for teachers and Learn English for students.

ESL Games Plus.

ESL Games Plus provides learners and teachers with engaging online games. Their learning games are primarily designed to teach ESL to children and teenagers. Grammar, vocabulary, sentences, listening, and pronunciation abilities. And are all taught and practiced through activities.

Students learn English vocabulary, sentence structures, grammar, listening, pronunciation, and phonics by playing educational games.

This website has a large number of ESL activities available online. Memory games, spelling games, interactive board games, hangman games, and many others are examples. They also have games for iPad, iPhone, and Android phones and tablets.

Dream English

Dream English songs are used to teach English to youngsters all around the world.

DreamEnglish has a song for almost everything. He’s a touch odd, but he has a knack for writing songs that are appropriate for children.

He also has fantastic music videos for each tune. If the song contains key language, you can sure he’s included it prominently in the video. This is an excellent location to look for songs that can assist your children to learn English.

There are kindergarten songs, sing-a-longs, flashcards, worksheets, and more.

You can download free mp3s of children’s songs and chants. Lyrics are available on all free song pages.

Merriam Webster Learner Dictionary

This dictionary will provide ESL students and teachers with clear and simple definitions. Simply insert a word into the search box to get a definition and an example phrase. When you’re trying to explain something, no more rambling and trying to explain in a long-winded fashion.

British Council; Learn English Kids.

Learn English Kids is a fantastic resource for both kids and parents. The students will have a variety of learning alternatives, including games to study vocabulary, grammar, writing, spelling, and punctuation in a fun and interactive way.

Worksheets, flashcards, crafts, and coloring pages are also available at Learn English Kids. They provide support to parents, as well as articles on a variety of themes to assist your children, videos on how to use English at home, and face-to-face training.

An excellent resource in whatever Country you work in.


This free English learning website and app is designed for youngsters aged 13 and up. It’s a fun and interactive approach for older students to improve reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities.

Duolingo’s lessons are packed with core methods; it tracks your progress, provides feedback when you get an answer wrong, and keeps your child motivated with a lives’ system that requires you to start again if you lose all of your lives’.

My top Websites for teaching online.

Teaching OnLine

For both the teacher and the student, online teaching and learning can be boring. However, with a little forethought and the use of some of the tools accessible, you can go from zero to hero in no time.

Thousands of digital education tools have been created to provide students greater choice and improve the learning experience. These tools encourage collaboration and promote teacher-student communication.

At the same time, both the teacher and the students will find the lessons more engaging.

These resources can be found on several of my favorite online teaching websites. OnLine Teachers Tools.


ESL websites are fantastic for getting some fresh ideas to help you make your classes exciting and interesting. With a little casual surfing, you can find a variety of worksheets, handouts, entertaining exercises, and interesting activities.

These ESL websites are excellent for both you and your students, whether you’re a rookie ESL teacher or have plenty of experience in the classroom.

I have used these websites personally and still find them a great tool for both the classroom and online. Share these entertaining and educational ESL websites with your students to introduce them to a new method of learning English in class and at home.

My name is Stephen and I have been teaching ESL for over 15 years and have my own school. I also place teachers across Vietnam into both private and public schools. I am also the author and owner of this website.

You can check out my school on the YouTube link below.

My School

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.

Vietnamese culture in the classroom for ESL teachers.

This is about the importance of learning about the cultural difference in business and the classroom.

The importance of Vietnamese culture in the workplace.

Getting a job in another nation requires more than just finding a job and working hard. It’s also about getting a sense of the country’s cultural and business environments.

Adapting to the country’s business culture is, in essence, one of the most important talents to learn and one of the least discussed. If not handled correctly it can lead to miscommunication, frustrations, and uncomfortable situations.

It is necessary for those doing business or working in Vietnam for the first time to become acquainted with the country’s unique culture and traditions. Those who do will have an easier time finding work in the country.

Vietnam Cultural Traditions.

Understanding the business culture of Vietnam might help you connect with colleagues and avoid cultural misunderstandings.

Vietnams traditions have a long history throughout Southeast Asia. Learning about these traditional, well-respected cultural norms will make working in this country much easier.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important aspects of Vietnamese business culture, including some basic business conventions and etiquette.

Vietnamese greetings.

While English is becoming more popular, Vietnamese remains the most widely spoken language, with 86 percent of the people speaking it.

If a foreigner tries to learn simple phrases in Vietnamese, such as “xin chao” (pronounced “seen chow”), which means “hello,” the Vietnamese will be appreciative.

Saying hello and farewell is usually done with a handshake and a small bow of the head. Also, note that Vietnamese names are written in the following order: surname name, middle name, first name. Learn Vietnamese with the Mondly app.

Some basic Vietnamese cultural points.

Seniority and respect are prominent notions in Vietnam, influenced by Confucianism’s hierarchical structure; most Vietnamese believe they have a responsibility to respect those who are older than them.

Vietnamese people are very punctual
, especially in business and in the classroom. However, a 5-minute lateness tolerance is usually acceptable.

Outside of the office, Vietnamese people typically need to create personal trust in order to improve teamwork and collaboration.

Attire: Due to the hot heat, Vietnamese people, particularly those from the south, dress informally. Suits and ties aren’t as popular as they once were, but wearing a t-shirt and trousers to class is a no-no.


“Face” is incredibly significant in Vietnam, as it is in many other Asian countries. While being candid and straightforward is a positive trait in the West,

in Vietnam, open dissent or raising issues in public can be perceived by the receiver as “losing face.” “Face” is a notion that approximately translates to “represents a person’s reputation, dignity, and prominence.”

Foreigners should be conscious that their words or behavior may accidentally cause a loss of face.

The most important thing to remember is to treat your coworkers with respect. If you have any recommendations or concerns, it’s preferable to discuss them in private.

Personal questions.

Many Vietnamese will ask questions that may seem personal to a foreigner. Discussing one’s family and personal life is normal and is seen as a sign of friendliness and interest.

Now we have covered the basics let us look at the culture of the classroom.

learning classroom Culture for the ESL teacher.

English is currently regarded by the Vietnamese as a language that can lead to personal achievement and worldwide opportunities. This is why the present generation of young learners want to learn English as a second language.

This necessitates parental involvement in the learning process, as they encourage their children to study hard and do their best in order to get high grades. When you work as an ESL teacher in a Vietnamese school, you may observe this.

You may also want to look at Culturally Responsive Education by Cynthia M. Douglas, PhD.

The classroom culture.

The Vietnamese place a high priority on promptness. Every day, you should arrive on time for class. However, teachers may be late due to inclement weather or traffic. In Vietnamese schools, there is also a dress code.

Although there is a lot more to say about this, the key point is that they dress conservatively. Depending on the school you attend, business casual is preferred or something a little more casual and relaxed.

Also, if you have a tattoo, cover it up as tattoos are still associated with criminals in Vietnam.

East vs. West.

Students at Western schools volunteer to respond to a question. Vietnamese students Vietnam, on the other hand, wait for the teacher to summon them. Pupils who answer when they are not called are penalized by their teachers.

Furthermore, it is common to see a teacher sitting at their desk, drinking or eating in class, playing games, or performing other personal things.

However, as an ESL teacher, I can assure you that this is not the case. Vietnamese students Vietnam are accustomed to seeing teachers as authoritative figures., so making friends with teachers is not a normal option.

The students.

Vietnamese students will tell you how confined their lives are. However, this is the standard in the country. They have a very competitive job market, which means that if you want to succeed, you must stay at the top of your class.

Vietnam has changed over the course of its war-torn history. It now boasts a thriving economy that provides incredible chances for its kids – but only for those who work hard.

This entails extended school-days, as well as the prospect of evening studies. Many Vietnamese students learn English as well, as it is now a prerequisite for those who complete higher school.

Outside the classroom.

Vietnam’s culture is deeply influenced by its rice paddies, mountains, oceans, and rivers. As a result, they consider it impolite to refuse to eat or finish your food, particularly if you are a visitor at someone’s home and they have prepared a meal for you.

If you are invited to someone’s home, try not to put too much in your bowl. Also, don’t forget to praise your hosts.

The Vietnamese are also open about their society’s difficulties. The subject might be anything from traffic to pollution to academic cheating to corruption.

Remember that when foreigners begin to criticize, they find it a bit arrogant and may take offense. Like anywhere, it is best to get to know your hosts before talking about anything controversial

Find out a lot more about etiquette in Vietnam in my previous post. Etiquette in Vietnam.


Vietnamese culture is vivacious, inviting, and welcoming. It’s no different from other countries in that it’s full of nuanced details that take time to grasp.

However, unlike in current Western societies, Vietnamese culture places a strong emphasis on family, even into adulthood.

Family reputation and well-being are extremely important to the Vietnamese. This indicates that each family takes pride in supporting their children to succeed in school and in their careers.

Being aware of cultural differences will make a big difference to your stay in Vietnam.

Who am I?

My name is Stephen and I have lived in Vietnam for 15 years and have my own school. I am also the author and owner of this website.

If you would like to see a bit of Vietnam click on the YouTube link below.

My House in Vietnam

Privacy Policy

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.


What is it like living in Vietnam as an Ex-Pat?

Vietnam has grown in popularity and it is now widely acknowledged as a safe place for ex-pats to live and work. The pleasant weather, inexpensive cost of living, vibrant culture, and gradual improvements in Vietnam’s infrastructure all attract ex-pats. 

These are some of my thoughts and experiences about living in Vietnam for the past 15 years.

My experiences living in Vietnam.

When I first arrived at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city the first thing I noticed was the smell. The locals smelled different, and that is because they do not eat so much beef and have a more mixed diet.

And I was told later that it is the same for Vietnamese. The Vietnamese can smell the meat coming out of foreigners pores.

That was more than 15 years ago. When I first came it was after the breakup of my first marriage, and I wanted to see a completely different culture.

The first time was a 3 week holiday and I  traveled from Hanoi to Halong Bay then onto Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and then Ho Chi Minh city. it was during this time I fell in love with the country.

                                                           You can find out more about Vietnam here.

A brief return home.

I returned home and immediately decided to get a Tesol degree so I could teach English in Vietnam. That was the start.

Returning to Vietnam I secured a teaching job promptly after a mishap in Hanoi. I had been offered a job in Hanoi where it was said to be close to the city. 

My introduction to Vietnam

I flew up to Hanoi and was met at the airport by the school owner, who then drove me around for ages under the pretext of buying books. Just when it was getting dark he took me to his school and my promised accommodation.

The school was 2 hours from the capital and in the country. My accommodation was an unairconditioned room with a hole in the wall. it was a rather sleepless night battling the mosquitos. 

Two days later I packed my bags and headed to Ho Chi Minh city. I arrived in HCMC and got a job in the first week. 

This is when I knew I would be in for some very interesting experiences.

The next few years. 

The next few years went in a blur of working, meeting new friends, and having a great time. I established myself as a well-liked and known teacher and worked in various schools. I even spent 9 months working in Pleiku in the highlands of Vietnam.

During holidays I also traveled to Cambodia and Thailand. It is very cheap to travel around South East Asia and I made the most of it.

Outside my house in GoVap, HCMC. My photo.

Fast forward to today.

I am now living in Go Vap in ho Chi Minh city. A district that does not have a lot of foreigners in it. I have some amazing stories and have been on some incredible adventures. 

But quite often it is the unexpected things that take your breath away. For example, coming home one night I ran into this outside my house. My neighbors were celebrating TET with a dragon dance. 

The dragon dance originated in China about 2,500 years ago. The Vietnamese dragon dance is not just seen as a dance. It is a form of displaying martial arts, as the performers should be Kung Fu masters. 

Without the Kung Fu component, it would be seen as just a soulless puppet performance.

TET holiday

Tet is the big holiday of the year with a lot of activities and things to do. If you have only been in Vietnam for a short time it may seem boring because most activities are done at the home.

Tet Nguyên Dán, more usually abbreviated to Tet, is Vietnam’s most prominent and well-known holiday and festival. The name Tet Nguyên Dán means “Feast of the First Morning” in Sino-Vietnamese.

The dates of Lunar New Year vary from year to year, although it usually falls in late January or early February. Tet Holiday is considered the perfect time for family members to return home and gather together.  

For Vietnamese the Tet Holiday is an opportunity to relax and enjoy life after a long year of hard labor; as a result, people forget about their problems and concentrate on the festivities. They will also spend time shopping and visiting pagodas and temples during this time.

Tet is a time to relax, eat and enjoy life. And shop. district 1 in HCMC. My photo.

Pagodas and temples.

It is the sights, sounds, and smells that make Vietnam such an amazing place to visit. Often at night, you will hear the monks chanting when you are safely tucked up in bed. They will be up early and stay awake late and it is enchanting to listen to as you drift off to sleep.

Buddhism in Vietnam 

Buddhism, mostly of the Mahayana branch, is the most widely practiced religion in Vietnam. The exact date of Buddhism’s entrance to Vietnam is unknown. 

However, it is most likely around the year 200 of the Christian era. It arrived by northern routes from Central Asia and southern routes from India.

Types of Buddhism in Vietnam

Taoism, Chinese spirituality, and the indigenous Vietnamese religion all have a symbiotic relationship with Vietnamese Buddhism. 

The three Mahayana School of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Vajrayana, are the most popular among Buddhists in Vietnam.

Pure Land Buddhism  ( Amidism ) and Zen Buddhism have taken over Buddhist life in Vietnam. Pure Zen was largely followed by monks and nuns, whereas Pure Land Buddhism was chosen by the general public.

You will see monks walking down the street wearing no shoes and yes. it is still a common sight in the outlying districts. 

My local Buddhist monastery. My photo.

What do I do now?

I now have my own school and am married to a Vietnamese lady. We have been teaching online as Vietnam has been quite badly affected by Covid. I also do teacher placements in Vietnam. If you want to look at my school click on the YouTube button below. 

My School in Vietnam

Life in Vietnam can be both fun and challenging, it depends on you how much you wish to enjoy it. But there are some big cultural differences. Those that can accept that do well, those that don’t, not so well.

I hope you enjoyed this brief read.


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.