Teaching in Vietnam

Teach Enrich Empower
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Teaching in Vietnam

My name is Samuel Norris and I am 27 years old. Since graduating from university in 2012 my time has been spent travelling around the world, as much as possible!

You will definitely not regret it and it will open up a wealth of possibilities

The initial objective was to find a way to live and work abroad, and TEFL seemed like an obvious medium which would allow me to do this. The first stage was to book myself onto a course at The TEFL Academy in London, which I successfully completed in just six weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed my course with The TEFL Academy, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in going into this field. On the weekend course our teacher spoke to us in Malagasy, just to prove that you can teach students English without necessarily knowing their mother tongue. This was a very inventive technique to demonstrate this point and it always sticks in my mind. Regarding the online materials, I received excellent feedback from my personal tutor and really enjoyed crafting my lesson plans, and learning about different learning styles and methods of teaching.

After obtaining the qualification the second stage involved actively looking for job opportunities online, and it did not take long to secure a teaching position in Vietnam. Within a few months my bags were packed and it was time to set off into pastures unknown.

In no time at all I was settled into a new routine, which could not be further removed from life in the UK. It was quite a daunting prospect initially, moving to a country far away from home and doing something completely new. The pace of life was totally different, and just getting around a new city was an adventure in its own right; whizzing around the congested streets on a moped, encountering all sorts of interesting and diverse things.

A typical week would involve visiting about six different schools; teaching a variety of students, from primary to secondary level, in classes as large as fifty. Some of the students were especially lovely and engaging, and it was always enjoyable speaking with them after classes. After finishing the teaching contract I spent a year travelling around Southeast/South Asia, which was arguably one of the best years of my life.

There is one embarrassing moment whilst teaching that is locked into my brain. I was doing a lesson on career ideas and went to write ‘astronaut’ on the board, and spelt it incorrectly. The assistant teacher was quick to point out my mistake, and during the rest of the lesson there were many apprehensive feelings about committing another spelling error. Every teacher has probably been in a similar position, especially with the complicated nature that is British English spelling.

At the moment I am looking at moving to Spain to undertake some more language teaching, and to learn a new language myself, which excites me very much. There are plenty more trips on the horizon, and also a possibility of going back to university to study a Master’s degree in linguistics, as this is an area which is of great interest to me.

As cliché as this sounds, if anyone is on the fence about whether they should embark upon something like this my advice is to do it. You will definitely not regret it and it will open up a wealth of possibilities for the future. This was certainly the case for me.

You will definitely not regret it and it will open up a wealth of possibilities

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