What’s the difference between Korean and Vietnamese students? Well, it all depends on where you worked. In Korea, we worked at a public school, where most of the students’ level was lower. However, we work at an English center here in Vietnam, (VUS) where the students’ levels range, but for the most part, have a good understanding of English. These students are the smart kids in the public schools. In Korea, we had just a few of them. So, it’s hard to compare the two experiences because we don’t work at a public school here.
We teach students of all ages, toddlers to adults and almost all levels, elementary level to intermediate level. Most classes are small, 12 to 24 students, compared to up to 40 students in a public school classroom. We don’t have a co-teacher in any classes, except for the younger students. Students actually listen to the foreign English teacher. Students also seem to care about how they do in the course, although courses only last about three months. But of course, parents put a lot of pressure on the students to learn English. Inevitably, there are a few classes that are horrendous because 80 percent of the students are A-type personalities and are so loud, but they’re so smart that sometimes you just let them be.
Teaching at a language center definitely has its pluses like being able to teach students of all ages and all levels. But it also has its drawbacks, like working nights and weekends. However, most teachers have the same schedule, so it’s not too hard to get used to.
We also have some pretty large events, considering that there are about 10 campuses throughout the city and their sister school is VAS (Vietnam-Australia International School). It’s a pretty fun place to work. More on that to come…