Tips for Teaching English as a Second Language


You Won’t Find These 10 Tips for Teaching ESL Elsewhere


Do you have experience teaching English as a second language? Whether you are just starting or have been teaching for years, these twelve tips will help you create lessons that engage your students and help them learn the language. These ideas will help you make your ESL classes enjoyable and productive, from using games to keeping things interesting.


1. Keep learning activities short and sharp

It might seem like adding more content will help students learn more, but this is not true. By keeping learning activities short and sharp, there’s a greater chance that students will remain motivated. 


Use the first 10 minutes. It’s best to start with a high-energy, warm-up activity to get your students engaged in the lesson right away. This will give your students a chance to ‘draw a line’ between what they were doing before the class started and what they’ll do during the class. 


Grammar is your friend. Make sure to mention grammar throughout the lesson. Try not to overwhelm students with too many new grammar rules at once. If you keep a few basic grammar rules in mind, the rest will fall into place naturally.


Tips for Teaching English as a Second Language AVSE-TESOL


2. Use games and other activities

Don’t spend all of your time in front of the board! Instead, use fun games and activities to help students learn their English vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. Not only will this keep your class more interesting, but it will also ensure that students work with the language in a meaningful manner. 


3. Keep students engaged and entertained

Put yourself in your students’ shoes: if you were taking an English class, would you want to spend all your time watching videos? Probably not! Instead, use multimedia such as songs and short films to help change it up and keep students entertained.


4. Try out new methods of teaching

Never stop looking for new and effective ways to teach your students. The best way to do this is to make sure you understand the different ways in which students learn. Some students work well with an auditory learning style, while others need a more visual approach and suchlike.


Use real-life scenarios in your lessons. We all know that the best way to learn a language is by using it. While this is true, many students are scared that they won’t use what they learn in class outside of it. You can combat this thinking by identifying fun and engaging ways to use the language outside the classroom and share your ideas with students. 


5. Use specific language-learning strategies

To ensure that your students are successful English learners, be sure to teach them specific language learning strategies. These will allow your students to apply the skills they’ve learned in class, outside of it. Some useful approaches include the following:


– Using mnemonic devices to learn new words

– Learning words in context

– Making eye contact with others when speaking


6. Challenge your students

Use games to teach new vocabulary and challenge your students with more difficult questions. This will help them learn the language and test their understanding of it simultaneously!


Tips for Teaching English as a Second Language AVSE-TESOL


7. Use visuals and gestures

Use visuals and gestures to help them understand the language in context, which will make it easier for them to put their new skills into practice with others.


8. Keep it simple

 Use simple words and phrases to help students better grasp instructions and the target language. Keep your ‘teacher talk time’ to the absolute minimum. 


9. Go with an English only ‘rule’ in the classroom

The research is crystal clear. The best way to build English language skills is for your students to use the skills that have – and continually build upon them. Use of the native language in an ESL class should be actively discouraged.  


10. Don’t forget about pronunciation

When pronouncing words, make sure to use correct stress, tone, and intonation. This is especially important when speaking with your ESL students because it can be harder to understand the language if you aren’t speaking clearly. For example, when teaching English learners about phrasal verbs, it’s important to stress the correct syllable when saying words such as “turn off.” Also, whenever you emphasize a word or phrase in your sentence, make sure to use the correct tone of voice.



English as a second language can be difficult to learn, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience with the right techniques. These ten tips will help you make the most of your lessons and keep your students engaged and interested in learning. 


About the writer: KC Raj is a career counsellor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues. Reachable at: 


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification

Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification



What is TEFL Certification?  


Let’s deal with the ‘TEFL’ part first. TEFL is an acronym for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’. You may have heard about or know someone who is a TEFL Teacher. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is what TEFL Teachers do for a job. ‘Certification’ in the context of the term ‘TEFL Certification’ is essentially an ‘official’ document. When the acronym TEFL is coupled with the word certification, we’re referring to an official document that confirms a person has met the knowledge and skill requirements for employment as a TEFL Teacher. TEFL certification serves the same purpose as certification in other professions. It’s about knowledge and skills being independently validated, upholding standards, and more.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


Who should obtain TEFL Certification?

Anyone who aspires to work as a professional TEFL Teacher in their home country or abroad should obtain TEFL Certification. Obtaining the certification involves completing an in-class or online study programme that typically comes with a time commitment of no less than 120 hours over four weeks. There’s a lot of theory and skills-related work to get through in a short space of time. For example, how do people learn new things? Almost certainly, you’ve never had a reason to reflect on this question. Fair enough, but if you plan to teach people new things, it makes sense to turn your mind to how people learn things.


Pathways for TEFL Certification

People new to ‘teaching English abroad’ can be excused for thinking all TEFL programmes are the same. I often hear newcomers, like Barry from Perth last week, say things like:


“120 hours with course provider ‘X’ (who charges a token sum) can’t be much different than 120 hours with course provider ‘Y’ (who charges a sum that’s consistent with what you’d expect to pay for vocational ‘qualification’) – I’ll get the same certification at the end of either programme”.


While Barry’s take on TEFL Certification programmes is understandable, it couldn’t be further from the truth. TEFL programmes worldwide fit into one of two categories; there’s no middle ground: 1. government-regulated and 2. non-government regulated. So, let’s examine these two categories.


Government-regulated TEFL programmes: TEFL Certification, that’s a product of nationally-recognised training (government-regulated) in the country of origin, is a legitimate vocational qualification under the relevant country’s ‘Qualifications Framework’. For instance, the AQF is the national qualifications framework in Australia. In South Africa, the SAQA is the national qualifications framework. If your TEFL certificate is a product of a government-regulated programme, not only is it recognised in the country of origin, but you have every reason to believe it will be recognised in other countries. Sure, you might have to jump through a few hoops, but it’s manageable, and you’ll have legitimacy on your side. Qualified lawyers, doctors, architects, musicians, accountants, bankers, engineers and the like who choose to work abroad have been navigating the qualifications-related bureaucratic processes for eternity. It’s not a new thing. 


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


If you’re considering doing a quality TEFL programme in Vietnam, Cambodia or online that’s government-regulated, check out what AVSE-TESOL offers. They’re the Industry leaders in Southeast Asia. Here’s the AVSE-TESOL website address:


Non-government regulated TEFL certification:  Certification that’s not a product of nationally recognised training (government-regulated) in the country of origin, at best, carries personal development (PD) value. It follows that when a ‘qualification’ is not recognised in the country it comes from, it can’t (or shouldn’t) be recognised in other countries. TEFL Certification that originates from the United Kingdom (UK), for example, that isn’t a product of nationally recognised training in the UK, can’t somehow morph from being a PD certificate to a legitimate ESL teaching qualification enroute from London to Ho Chi Minh City. You might be surprised, perhaps even saddened, to learn that this ‘morphing thing’ happens daily. If I was a fee-paying student and became aware that my TEFL Teacher was unqualified to do the job, I’d be more than peeved – and if my old mum was around, she’d be insisting on washing my mouth out with soap! How the ‘morphing’ happens will be the subject of a future article.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


Study modes for TEFL Certification

Like every other area of study, there are TEFL programmes available via in-class and online study modes. These days, employers (schools) aren’t particularly bothered if your TEFL Certification comes from an in-class or an online course. However, employers attuned to what is a legitimate TEFL Teaching qualification and what’s not, government-regulated versus non-government regulated, will be bothered if you present a dud certificate.


There are pros and cons to both the in-class and online study modes. In-class pros include – all over in a matter of weeks, often in an actual school environment and immediate access to support. The cons include – higher costs, a set schedule, and being stuck in a classroom for hours on end. Online pros include – studying at a time that’s good for you, at a location of choice, and at a lower cost. Online cons include – isolation, taking much longer to complete and being less ‘hands-on’. Personal preference will dictate which study mode is best for you.  


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


Career options with TEFL Certification

Career wise, where can a legitimate TEFL Certificate take you? As the age-old expression goes, ‘how long is a piece of string’. The career options available to people with government-regulated TEFL Certification are limited only by their imagination.


Throughout my journey in the TEFL Industry, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing TEFL-certified people who have: volunteered abroad as TEFL Teachers, worked as professional TEFL Teachers abroad in English Language Centres, Government Schools, Private Schools and universities, taught English online, used their knowledge and skills to create and sell ESL resources, opened their own English language school abroad, worked as an industry consultant, advised governments on ESL policy, made a decent living developing policies for the ESL industry, specialised in exam preparation classes – TOEIC, IELTS, TOEFL, found a niche teaching English to company employees, set themselves up as a recruiter – and a lot more. To draw on another age-old expression, with quality TEFL Certification, ‘the world is your oyster’.   



I covered a lot of ground in this relatively short document. I defined the term ‘TEFL Certification’ and then discussed who should obtain this certification, pathways to certification, study modes and career options. Almost certainly, the existence of two pathways to TEFL Certification, ‘legit’ versus ‘non-legit’, will be news to many people.


This article was largely directed at piquing interest in a subject that barely rates a mention – anywhere. If there was more discussion about TEFL Certification, presumably, there would be fewer opportunities for bogus TEFL certificates to morph into legitimate ESL Teaching qualifications, somewhere between ‘developed country X’ and a developing country.


It’s abundantly clear to me that there’s a lot more to TEFL Certification than a four-letter acronym and a single sheet of coloured paper with a nice emboss and flags from the four corners of the world. Do you agree or disagree?   


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director and founder of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia. AVSE-TESOL delivers an Australian Government regulated TEFL programme in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:




5 Compelling Reasons to Complete a TEFL Certification Course Now


Over the past five years, there has been an explosion in the number of people who have signed up to complete a TEFL Certification course, in-class or online. Why? Someone ‘let the cat out of the bag’. It wasn’t me. I wanted to keep it all ‘hush hush’. TEFL Certification is the key to a quintessential teach and travel abroad lifestyle. Do you want to live in the Maldives for a few months? No problem. You can meet the costs of a Maldives adventure by teaching English in-class at a local school – or online.  Have you always wanted to check out the Pyramids in Egypt? Do it! You can take on some teaching work in Egypt to fund the trip.


This isn’t fantasy, it’s a reality for many people. It was my lifestyle for a long time until family responsibilities – and age necessitated some fundamental changes. Assuming you’re still not convinced that TEFL Certification can deliver the kind of lifestyle that most people only ever dream about, here are five compelling reasons, in plain English, to complete a TEFL Certification course now.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


  1. Earn money while travelling abroad

For many people, young and more mature alike, this fact alone is enough to convince them that doing a TEFL course is a wise move. Rather than spend their savings while travelling abroad, folks who hold quality, government-regulated TEFL Certification can make money teaching English in-class and online from wherever they are in the world. This week it’s Venice. Next week it’s Munich. A month from now, it will be Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, my personal favourite TEFL destination of all time. Speak to the good people at AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City, and they’ll get you sorted with government-regulated TEFL Certification and a terrific ESL teaching job in record time.


If you turn your mind to other vocational training programmes available in-class and online – barista, coding, business management and the like – nothing even comes close to the ease and convenience of teaching English abroad to fund your travels.


  1. Pathway to other exciting opportunities

As long as you get your TEFL Certification from a government-regulated programme (such as AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam or Cambodia), you’ll emerge from your time teaching and travelling abroad with knowledge, skills, hands-on teaching experience and perhaps even credit towards further studies. You will have laid a solid foundation to take your teaching to a higher level. On returning to your home country after teaching and travelling abroad, you may decide to specialise in kindergarten teaching, primary teaching, secondary teaching or special education. You might choose to become a TEFL Trainer – teaching newcomers how to teach and travel abroad as you did. When you return home, you might stick with teaching English as a foreign language. After all, those online ESL jobs that funded your teach and travel abroad adventure because you hold quality TEFL Certification, will presumably still be available. The reality is people who have successfully navigated a teach and travel abroad adventure have so many transferrable skills that they’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding ‘what’s next’.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


  1. Respect

Teachers in developed countries like my native Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand often paint a gloomy picture of what happens in local schools. Abuse, unruly behaviour and violence are commonplace. The prevalence of gun violence in American schools is shocking and well-documented. Here is some good news. With TEFL Certification, you can teach English as a foreign language in Vietnam, Cambodia and a raft of other countries where teachers, especially ESL teachers, are revered for their knowledge and highly respected in local communities. In the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam, for example, from my firsthand experience, foreign teachers are almost ‘god-like’ to the extent that it’s embarrassing to those who are ‘worshipped’. I was embarrassed! It’s the polar opposite of what many foreign teachers have endured in their home country. It’s the polar opposite to what I had witnessed in my native Australia.    


If you bump into a foreign ESL teacher in a country like Vietnam who has been teaching locally for an extended period, you might be inclined to ask them why they have stuck at it. I’m ‘betting’ the ‘high respect’ thing is close to the top of the list.    


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


  1. TEFL Certification delivers freedom

Everyone loves a bit of freedom. However, if you’re leading a typical suburban lifestyle, including a ‘9 to 5’ job, there’s a good chance that your version of freedom comes around one or two days a week. Outside of your ‘freedom’ time, perhaps even during your ‘freedom’ time (lawns, washing the car and the like), life is pretty regimented – correct? For many folks, a regimented life meets their needs, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you find it unappealing, possibly even soul-destroying.


TEFL Certification allows you to teach English as a foreign language and earn a decent income when, where, and how you like – you’ll have ‘freedom’ 24/7, or at least you’ll be in control of when you don’t. If you want to lay in a hammock all day on Phu Quoc Island, off the southern coast of Vietnam, taking online ESL classes, then do it. How about a short-term contract with the Cambodian Government teaching English to Tour Guides at the world-famous Angkor Wat historical site in Siem Reap, Cambodia? I saw this job advertised when I was last in the neighbourhood. With TEFL Certification, ESL gigs like those that I mentioned on Phu Quoc Island and in Siem Reap, will be available for you.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


  1. Tangible difference

Before completing a TEFL Certification programme and subsequently trying my hand at teaching English in Vietnam, I’d worked for years in highfalutin jobs in Australia at the Local, State and Federal Government levels. Despite the tailored, pin-striped suits, black shoes that were so clean you could see your face in them and holding positions of influence, I never had the opportunity to ‘create’ something. It was more about image and process. In stark contrast, if you take ESL teaching seriously, creating opportunities for people – including the chance for a better life in many instances – will be the mainstay of your work.


Other than medicine and logistics related to the supply of food and water, I can’t think of a line of work where tangible, positive results for effort in a short period of time come anywhere near what teaching English as a foreign language in a developing country can deliver. In addition to making a real difference in the lives of local people, the tangible difference that such rewarding work will make in your own life shouldn’t be underestimated. Quality TEFL Certification is the key.



I have identified five compelling reasons why you should complete a TEFL Certification course now. You can make money while travelling overseas. ‘Doors will open’. Respect and freedom will come your way. You’ll have the opportunity to make a tangible, positive difference in the lives of others – and your own life.  There are only five more words that remain to be written and here they are: what are you waiting for?


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director and founder of AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. He’s passionate about high-quality, government-regulated ESL teacher training. Peter has written extensively about his personal experience as an ESL teacher, a teacher trainer and a school owner in Southeast Asia.  




Is it best to complete a TEFL Certification course in-class or online?


With TEFL Certification courses being offered in-class and online by vocational training providers worldwide, I’ve decided to look at the benefits and drawbacks of both options. This might help you to decide which option, in-class or online, is best for you – and address some of the misinformation that pops up, especially on social media.   


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


What is TEFL Certification?

TEFL Certification is akin to a licence to teach English as a foreign language. Assuming your certification comes from a government-regulated TEFL training programme, you’ll be qualified to work as an English language teacher in your home country and abroad. If you plan to use your TEFL certification abroad, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to meet Work Permit (or similar) requirements in the host country, but this is simply a matter of following in the footsteps of those who came before you. If you’re unsure where to locate the ‘footsteps’, you can find Work Permit and visa processes for every country worldwide with a basic Google search.


Do schools prefer in-class or online TEFL Certification?

From my observations in Vietnam and Cambodia, especially in this ‘post-covid’ period, schools don’t care if the TEFL Certificate presented for a Work Permit (or similar) is a product of an in-class or an online TEFL programme. While it might have been frowned upon previously, completing a qualification online is commonplace and an accepted practice. I did notice two or three posts quite recently in ESL teaching-related Facebook Groups – the prime impetus for this article – that the bigger Language Centres in Vietnam, ILA, VUS, Apollo and the like, will only accept ‘in-class’ TEFL certification. I checked with the schools, and it’s untrue.


While schools aren’t concerned how you obtained TEFL Certification, in-class or online, they will closely examine whether the certificate is a product of a nationally recognised training (government-regulated) or a random personal development course. If it’s the latter, you shouldn’t be surprised if your applications for teaching jobs at reputable, well-known schools are continuously declined. Why? Your core ESL teaching ‘qualification’ doesn’t stack up. It’s not an ESL teaching qualification at all. The likelihood of being rejected for your dream ESL teaching job abroad can be substantially reduced by doing a government-regulated TEFL programme, in-class or online; it doesn’t matter. I advise doing the Australian Government-accredited TESOL/TEFL programme at AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh or online. TESOL/TEFL Certification from AVSE-TESOL is government-regulated and the ‘Gold Standard’ in Southeast Asia. CELTA is also a decent option, but keep in mind that the ‘TA’ in the CELTA acronym stands for ‘Teaching Adults’, which might create issues given that 90%+ of the ESL teaching work in Vietnam, Cambodia and elsewhere involves young learners.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


In-class ‘pros’


Pro one: Structured

Most in-class TEFL Certification courses run for 120+ hours over four weeks. They tend to be fast paced. This is ideal for quick learners who want to get the whole certification requirement over and done with at the earliest opportunity in a structured, immersion environment.  


Pro two: People

In-class TEFL programmes typically involve a mix of people from around the world, classmates, your trainer, tutors, administrative folks and others. You’ll love the training environment if you’re a ‘people person’ by nature. Being surrounded by people with a common purpose allows for new friendships, real-time feedback and a helping hand when needed.


Pro three: Resources

‘In-class’ implies a designated, specialist learning environment where you’d expect to find all the resources an ESL teacher would use when taking ESL classes. Almost certainly, you’ll have immediate access to a whiteboard, overhead projector, a computer, textbooks, internet access, paper, markers and suchlike. As a result, you can focus on the training without worrying about distractions.


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


In-class ‘cons’

Government-regulated in-class TEFL programmes are not cheap. The high cost of in-class training is prohibitive for many aspiring ESL teachers. An intensive, four-week study programme isn’t an option for people with ongoing daytime (or evening) commitments, such as a regular 9 to 5 job or childcare responsibilities. In-class learning requires people to travel from their homes to where they will study. This is problematic for people who don’t own a car, don’t have ready access to public transport or have trouble getting around due to a disability.  


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


Online ‘pros’


Pro one: Freedom

Online learning programmes, TEFL Certification or otherwise, allow you to choose when, where and how you will study. There might be the occasional webinar or similar that you must attend at a specific time, but in the main, you’ll manage the ‘when, where and how’.


Pro two: Choice

Seemingly daily, new online TEFL Certification programmes pop up on the internet. Putting quality to one side, for every in-class, TEFL Certification programme that’s available, there are at least ten online programmes to choose from.


Pro three: Hone IT skills

These days, students expect that ESL teachers will incorporate Information Technology (IT) into the teaching and learning experience. By doing an online TEFL programme, aspiring ESL teachers can hone their IT skills, while building teaching knowledge and skills.  


Everything you need to know about TEFL Certification AVSE-TESOL


Online ‘cons’

Doing an online study programme requires self-discipline. Some folks have oodles of self-discipline, while others, like me, have very little. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Students who struggle with self-discipline will almost certainly struggle with an online course. By its very nature, teaching is a ‘people profession”. Inclusivity, and recognising individual differences, are pivotal. It could be argued that online learning is inconsistent with the ‘pillars’ of teaching. The number one drawback with online study programmes is susceptibility to disreputable practices. For example, can we be sure that Student A’s mum didn’t do the TEFL Certification course on his behalf? Moreover, why have we seen a proliferation of TEFL programmes that aren’t government-regulated? Answer – anyone with a keyboard and a monitor can upload an accredited course on the internet, mostly accredited by an entity they set up. Online learning still has a bit of the ‘wild west’ about it. It’s a haven for dodgy characters, and TEFL is not immune.



Should you complete a TEFL Certification programme in-class or online? Given that I largely control my schedule and have the flexibility that many others don’t, in-class would unquestionably be the best option for me. I’d go further and say that the in-class course at AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City would be my choice because I know it’s government-regulated, and I know the trainer. What’s good for me, may not suit you or others. Personal circumstances will largely dictate which route you take.


Regardless of whether you choose in-class or online study to complete your TEFL Certification programme, most schools in Vietnam won’t discriminate. Government-regulated versus non-government-regulated is where there is no leeway. Do a government-regulated TEFL programme, and you’ll be fine.


About the author: Warren Duffield started working as an ESL teacher in Vietnam in 2016. CELTA-certified, Warren has completed teaching contracts in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho. While he’s currently taking a break from teaching to learn how to Scuba Drive, he plans to head back to the classroom in the second quarter of 2023.



What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?



…..the ‘age-old’ TEFL, TESOL debate 


Ahh yes, the great TEFL versus TESOL debate! My mate Robert says banter on this topic can be tracked back to when Jesus was a boy, but I suspect he’s stretching the truth. Are TEFL and TESOL the same thing? In my opinion, based on what I have witnessed first-hand while teaching in Southeast Asia over rapidly approaching 20 years – there is no substantive difference between TEFL and TESOL. This in turn begs the question – if there is no substantive difference, why do we have them both? Good question! Allow me to share my views on this subject matter.


Should it be TEFL or TESOL?

It’s ironic we have so many confusing acronyms for teaching English in an industry that supposedly seeks to make English less confusing for non-native speakers! TEFL, TESOL, EF, ELT, ESL, TESL – and the list goes on. The TEFL and TESOL acronyms are the ones that usually dominate conversations about teacher certification and what takes place in a classroom environment. TEFL and TESOL are essentially ‘umbrella’ terms. I concede they’re both pedagogical methodologies – if you can be bothered ‘splitting hairs’ with a sizable carving knife.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


What’s in an acronym?

TEFL is an acronym for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’, while TESOL is ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’. Then there is the now largely superseded TESL, which is ‘Teaching English as a Second Language.


All three refer to ‘teaching English to people who are non-native speakers’ and, in my view, that’s what really counts in the end. So, why is there a distinction between ‘foreign language’ and ‘other languages’? Furthermore, does it really matter?  The ‘why’ largely comes down to the context in which a non-native English speaker learns English. It’s usually one of the following:


A) To assimilate into an English-speaking community: This largely applies to people who have immigrated, or are intending to immigrate, to an English-speaking country. Typically, English-language skills must be acquired in the context of, and alongside, other sociocultural metrics.


B) To communicate effectively in specific English-use situations: This is particularly applicable in non-English speaking countries where there’s a need to communicate with English-speaking businesses, and participate in global conversations. Learning English to communicate in specific English-use situations may only require proficiency in the four key skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – because culturally and socially, nothing changes for the student.


So, in one scenario English skills need to be taught as part of a sociocultural ‘context package’. In the other, the focus is more on teaching what’s needed for particular situations. Does that require two different pedagogical approaches?  In the beginning that undoubtedly was the perception. However, these days we believe our English-language teachers are capable of adapting their teaching to suit the context. Indeed, we train them to be able to do so. That means the lines between TEFL and TESOL have blurred to the point where there is little, if any, practical difference between them. True, there are academic purists ‘swanning’ around the globe running seminars and the like who cling to outdated views and literally make a living out of splitting hairs over the difference between TEFL and TESOL.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


History of TEFL, TESL and TESOL

TEFL and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) started life as EFL and ESL, and have their roots in the 1960’s (note my reference to Robert in paragraph one – a long time after Jesus was a boy). That’s when University of Illinois Linguistics Professor Braj B Kachru came up with his concept of ‘World Englishes’. He believed there are differences between ‘English use in non-English speaking countries’ and ‘English use in English-speaking countries’.


Kachru’s ideas essentially remained ‘on the drawing board’ until 1978, the year of two watershed conferences held in Hawaii and Illinois respectively. The Illinois conference was organised by Kachru himself. At those conferences, people from both English and non-English speaking countries came together to talk about – yep, you guessed correctly – English. The conferences were particularly notable in that, for the first time, English-speaking communities globally were seen as ‘an entity’ irrespective of whether English was a primary, subsidiary, or foreign language. This allowed participants to gain a new understanding of English language usage across cultures and nationalities. In particular, it provided valuable insights into how: 1. the language itself varies culturally, 2. different ‘peoples’ acquire English skills, and 3. people who are bi or multilingual, use English.


It was also apparent that different countries have different reasons for wanting to acquire English language skills, and that it was important to distinguish between these reasons. For example, some countries without a culture of speaking English wanted to acquire a certain skill level in English to be understood internationally, and to participate in global conversations. Others, particularly those with an English-speaking colonial heritage, needed to consider how that language legacy should co-exist with their own native dialects. Then there were the English-speaking countries, the UK, US, Australia and suchlike, each with significant non-English speaking migrant populations, that had their own issues to deal with.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


Rise of the acronyms

Long story short, these conferences led to what was, in essence, a ‘status’ classification system for English based on the way English language skills were perceived and acquired by a community. That in turn led to the coining of the phrases ‘English as a Foreign Language (EFL)’ and ‘English as a Second Language (ESL)’. The T for Teaching was added to the front for teaching scenarios. EFL referred to the status of English as a ‘foreign language’ in countries where it wasn’t widely spoken, Japan is one example. ESL indicated that English was spoken by a significant portion of the population, but wasn’t necessarily the primary language of the speaker. India comes to mind when I think about a country where English is widely spoken, but isn’t always the primary language of the speaker.


Kachru’s ‘Three Circles Model’

In 1985, Kachru developed his famous ‘Three Circles Model’ of English usage that further helped cement the system. The Inner Circle comprises primary English-speaking countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the like. What I’d call the middle circle (Kachru calls it the ‘Outer circle’) includes countries with a significant population of bi and multilingual people who speak their national language – and often a native dialect as well – plus English. Gosh, that’s a lot of languages for one person. Again, India is a good example. In the outer circle (Kachru calls it the ‘Expanding circle’) are countries where English is rarely spoken, for example, China and Russia.  


Finally, there was TESOL

The original term ESL/TESL assumes that English is a ‘second’ language for the speaker. However, many people – in many countries – are in fact multilingual, and English may be their third, fourth or even fifth language. To address this, some really smart folks came up with the less restrictive ‘Speakers of Other Languages’ or TESOL for short.


There you have it! How TEFL, TESL, and TESOL came to be! But, to get back to the topic at hand, does all this mean there is difference between TEFL and TESOL from a pedagogical perspective? In a word, no, but that doesn’t stop the continued perception that there is. This ongoing debate about ‘nothing’, understandably leads people who are thinking about teaching English abroad being confused about whether their teaching credentials should include government-regulated TEFL or TESOL certification. Allow me to do my bit to end the confusion. Either is absolutely fine, provided it’s a product of nationally-recognised training (government regulated) in the country of origin.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


‘Perceived’ difference between TEFL and TESOL

Reflecting, even for a fleeting moment, on the difference between TEFL and TESOL according to the pedagogical ‘purists’, illuminates how lame the discussion is. According to folks in the ‘TEFL and TESOL are different camp’, the polarity of TEFL and TESOL is evidenced by the ‘linguistic teaching environment’, the ‘target audience’ and the emphasis in each approach – TEFL focusses on English language skills whereas TESOL adopts a more integrative approach. Seriously, it could equally be argued that what a purist draws upon as evidence for polarity, could be used to show commonality. Regardless, let’s have a closer look at the ‘perceived’ differences.


1. Linguistic teaching environment

This view buys into the argument that TEFL (specifically) is teaching English in environments where it has ‘foreign’ language status, and TESOL specifically is teaching English in English-speaking environments where it has primary or subsidiary status, and consequently your students more than likely have exposure to the language.


According to this argument, as an English language teacher in a country like Vietnam where English is considered a foreign language, you should have a TEFL certification. However, if you are teaching English to Vietnamese immigrants in Australia for example, or any English-speaking community, the context changes. You are now teaching English in an English-speaking community to people whose primary language is not English. That means you should have TESOL Certification if you want to work as an English teacher in this context, according to the ‘purists’.  


Here’s a critical point. Such a narrow view doesn’t factor in how much pedagogical processes have changed since these acronyms were first coined. ‘Back in the day’, difference between TEFL and TESOL based on the intended teaching environment may have existed. However, any difference has blurred over time. Course providers on both ‘sides’ recognise the need to produce teachers competent at teaching English language skills in any linguistic teaching environment.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


What’s the ‘take home point’ here? There is no significant difference between TEFL and TESOL certifications from a teaching location perspective. Both acronyms recognise that language literacy is part and parcel of a package of cultural and social mores. Both use effective language teaching methodologies and student-centric teaching approaches that cover a range of scenarios. As a teacher, you are taught to adapt these as required to suit your particular teaching environment.


Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you’re teaching English, what its status is in that country, or the knowledge and skills of your students. What matters is that your teaching certification, TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or something else, is a product of nationally-recognised training (government regulated) in the country of origin. This is what will get your certification recognised across borders, not the acronym.


2. Target audience

If you are considering enrolling in an ESL teacher training programme, you’ll come across websites saying you should get TEFL Certification if you plan to teach English in countries A, B or C. Or, that you should get TESOL Certification if you want to teach English in countries X, Y or Z.  Is this true? The short answer is, ‘no’. Any TEFL or TESOL course provider that tells you there is substantive difference between TEFL and TESOL certification, is pushing their own barrow. The reality is, in the classroom environment, well-trained ‘TEFLers’ and ‘TESOLers’ draw upon the same knowledge, skills, methodologies, and principles. If you hold a TEFL Certificate that’s a product of government-regulated training, you’ll be equipped to teach in what was considered the domain of a TESOL person ‘back in the day’. Equally, if you hold TESOL Certification, nowadays you’ll be equipped to teach classes that would have been considered more suitable for a TEFL person.  


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


The core purpose of decent TEFL and TESOL certification programmes is to ensure that you have the knowledge, skills, aptitude and government-regulated certification to teach English to non-native English speakers. Period!


What’s the ‘take home point’ here? Valid, government-backed TEFL and TESOL training programmes have the same target audience – aspiring English teachers, like you, who want to utilise their training wherever it’s needed.  There is no real difference between TEFL and TESOL teacher training programmes, ideologically, pedagogically, or in any other way that matters.


3. TESOL is more integrative

Another ‘perceived’ difference between TEFL and TESOL that you’ll occasionally hear from the academic ‘purists’ is – TEFL is specifically about ‘teaching English language skills’ whilst TESOL recognises that English needs to be taught in a more ‘integrative’ way. This idea derives from those original categorisations of English acquisition skills. As I’ve mentioned, these days those lines are very much blurred, particularly when it comes to teaching you, the teacher.


True, TESOL emphasises teaching ‘functional language and effective communication’ skills that will assist students in ‘real-life’ English use situations (work, recreation, education, social settings and the like). To achieve this, TESOL incorporates course materials and activities that are applicable to the everyday lives of students. This helps them learn and practice English in ‘realistic’ situations.


The reality is that both TEFL and TESOL seek to provide English language learners with the real-life functional proficiency and communication skills needed to either assimilate into an English-speaking community or to communicate effectively in situations where English is used. Where you are teaching will determine the resources you have at hand to achieve this.


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


TESOL acknowledges that language is part of a holistic environment that includes social norms, cultural mores, and communication systems. Therefore, English proficiency skills are taught within this framework to help learners achieve successful assimilation into an English-speaking community.


We’ve known for some time that English learners need more than just language proficiency to assimilate well into everyday life in an English-speaking community. Again, the reality is that both TEFL and TESOL acknowledge this truth, so both teach you how to teach English within applicable cultural and social contexts. Obviously, these contexts will vary depending on whether you’re teaching English in an English-speaking community, or teaching people who just need to communicate effectively in standalone English-speaking situations. However, the core content and methodologies are the same regardless.


TESOL integrates English language instruction with other academic subjects to create a more effective holistic learning experience where the student simultaneously learns English whilst also furthering their knowledge in other subjects. Again, both TEFL and TESOL recognise the value of holistic learning experiences and can integrate English learning with other academic subjects. Granted, this may be easier to do somewhere like Australia than in Vietnam, but you are taught how to recognise and utilise opportunities as they arise.


For sound reasons, TESOL encourages and promotes opportunities for students to get more exposure to English-speaking communities outside the classroom. This helps them build confidence in their English skills, develop cultural awareness, build relationships with native English speakers, and integrate into English-speaking communities. Surprise, surprise, both TEFL and TESOL recognise the importance of interactive community initiatives for helping to improve students’ language development and build cultural awareness. As with the point above, this is going to be easier in an English-speaking community, but both TEFL and TESOL certification (assuming it’s government-regulated) equip English teachers with the skills to identify, create and implement opportunities for community engagement.


It’s correct to say that TESOL teaches students to recognise and adapt English use depending on social or cultural circumstances so they can effectively navigate different social settings. Once again, the reality is that both TEFL and TESOL training programmes recognise the importance of this, and incorporate sociolinguistic proficiency into their teaching curriculum. 


What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL? AVSE-TESOL


Take home point: TEFL and TESOL provide the same core training, cover the same teaching and language acquisition theories and principles, and recognise the same cultural and sociolinguistic aspects of English language teaching. It is the validity, legitimacy, and quality of the certification you hold that’s important, not the acronym. There is no substantive difference between TEFL and TESOL.


What you need to know about TEFL and TESOL Certification


First: Focus on finding a legitimate, government-backed TEFL or TESOL qualification rather than worrying about which acronym is the ‘right’ one for you. The legitimacy, not the acronym, is what counts on the ground in ‘English-teaching land’.


Second: I would go so far as to suggest you avoid any course (TEFL or TESOL) offered by a provider who tells you that one is better than the other. Why? Almost certainly the person doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or if they do, it’s about selling their product.


Third: At the end of the day, ESL teacher training is not about any perceived difference between TEFL and TESOL, but rather mundane things like: the quality of the course content, the legitimacy of the course – a course that’s government-regulated training will open far more doors than one that isn’t – the qualifications held by the Instructors (are they certificated vocational trainers or ‘garden-variety’ teachers) and the reputation of the course provider with employers (schools).


So, what’s the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

In today’s English-language teaching environment the TEFL versus TESOL debate from a qualification perspective is largely irrelevant. You could even say the original acronyms have outlived their use by date! Although differences in the context of English language teaching still exist, the reality is that any practical difference between TEFL and TESOL has blurred over time. This is largely because both recognise that English-language teaching, and teachers, need to be able to adapt to different teaching contexts. Someone teaching EFL needs to also be able to teach ESL and vice versa.  Then there is also the very real truth that – English-language students and organisations that employ English-language teachers – mostly don’t care about the acronym on your teaching certification. They’re more concerned about your certificate being a valid, government-regulated qualification.


About the author: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Australia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Among other things, Peter is passionate about quality teaching and learning environments, outcomes for teachers and students – and valid teaching credentials. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website: 



TESOL Course in Hanoi

TESOL Course in Hanoi

TESOL Course in Hanoi – four important inclusions


If you’re considering which TESOL course in Hanoi, Vietnam will be the best fit for you – and represents value for money – I’d encourage you to reflect on the following four points: 1. quality accreditation, 2. precourse support, 3. accommodation, and 4. meaningful job support. Let’s ‘drill down’ on these four points.


Quality accreditation

When it comes to the accreditation status of TESOL (and TEFL) courses in Hanoi, and elsewhere in the world, you could be excused for thinking that one size fits all. If a course says that it’s accredited by entity ‘XYZ’, then it must be legitimate; there’s no need to worry! Correct? Incorrect! You might strike it lucky, but anecdotally there’s a 90%+ chance that a course you think looks fine, is at best, a glorified personal development programme with certification that carries zero ‘qualification’ value. The 90%+ figure encompasses all those TESOL and TEFL courses that come with ‘private’ accreditation and, in some cases, no accreditation whatsoever.


You need TESOL certification that’s a product of ‘Nationally Recognised Training’ in the country of origin; certification that comes with government-sanctioned accreditation. For example, the Australian Government accredited TESOL programme at AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) meets this core requirement.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


“What’s the problem with ‘private’ accreditation”? I hear you ask. Any random person over the age of 18 who can put their hands on a phone bill in their name (or similar) for ‘proof’ of identification can set up a private ‘Limited Liability Company’ (that costs around US $25.00) and call themselves a TESOL accreditation entity. Regrettably, the TESOL Training industry is full of these dodgy, private ‘accreditation’ entities that are nothing more than ‘Diploma Mills’. If you opt for a TESOL course in Hanoi that offers ‘Nationally Recognised Training’, all being well, you will end up with a legitimate teaching qualification that can be used around the world.


Precourse support

Precourse support includes everything that happens from the moment you sign up for a TESOL course in Hanoi through to the first day of your TESOL programme. In the precourse phase, there’s a lot of things to organise, including: a visa, medical insurance, important documents (degree, background check and the like), vaccinations (if necessary) and booking an airline ticket. You’ll also need to think about what you should (and shouldn’t) pack, how to navigate immigration and customs on arrival at Hanoi International Airport, transport from the airport to your accommodation and settling into a new environment where people speak a different language.


Arguably, there isn’t anyone better placed to guide you through the precourse phase of your TESOL programme than the person (or their delegate) who signed you up for your TESOL course in Hanoi in the first place. Presumably, they’ll be on the ground in Hanoi. There’s a good chance they’ve provided precourse support to plenty of other TESOL students over time. They’ll know what to do. They’ll know where to go. They’ll know who you need to speak with.


Not all TESOL providers in Hanoi offer ‘free’ precourse support. Some say they do, but it doesn’t happen, or it falls well short of what is promised. Before you sign on the dotted line and lock yourself into a TESOL course in Hanoi, you must know exactly what support you will receive. You’re throwing caution to the wind and heading off to teach English in Hanoi; you can do without surprises and disappointments in the lead up to your TESOL programme.


Free precourse support from AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi includes, but isn’t limited to: visa and insurance guidance, help with essential documents, up-to-date advice on vaccinations and travel-related Coronavirus testing, where to find cheap air tickets and how to move through the arrivals process at Hanoi Airport with a minimum of fuss. The team at AVSE-TESOL will even send a representative to the airport to personally collect you and make sure you’re settled into your accommodation if that would be helpful. AVSE’s precourse support also includes a Welcome Dinner on Saturday evening and a City Tour on Sunday, before your course starts on Monday – at no additional cost.



Hotel or Guesthouse accommodation in Hanoi can be expensive. With a basic online search, you will see that it’s tough to find somewhere to stay in Hanoi for less than US $25.00 a night; and with this kind of budget, you’ll probably have to share a room and a bathroom with a bunch of random people. What will this mean for you if the fee for your month-long TESOL course in Hanoi doesn’t include accommodation? Put simply, it means that you need to add around US $700.00 (28 nights x US $25.00 = US $700.00) to the cost of the course. You’d also need to add the cost of transport to get to and from the training centre for the duration of the course. Depending on the distance between the accommodation you found and the training centre’s location, your transport costs could be as high as US $300.00.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


When you add US $700.00+/- (accommodation) and US $300.00+/- (transport) to the programme fee, that ‘cheap’ TESOL course in Hanoi doesn’t seem so cheap after all.


There are four good reasons why you ought to choose a TESOL course in Hanoi – like the one offered by AVSE-TESOL – that includes accommodation. First, you’ll have your own bedroom and bathroom, befitting someone who’s enrolled in a quality teacher training programme, without having to pay a penny more than the advertised programme fee. Second, almost certainly the accommodation that’s included in your programme fee will be within walking distance of the training centre. This means your course-related transport costs will be zero. In fact, you might even be able to pop ‘home’ at lunchtime. Third, there’s a good chance that your classmates will be staying at the same place – great for bonding and socialising. Fourth, if your TESOL provider is anything like AVSE-TESOL, they will have thoroughly vetted the accommodation – safety, security, cleanliness and the like – before booking you and other TESOL students into the place. This vetting process effectively means that you’re not walking into something that’s an ‘unknown’ quantity.


Meaningful job support

While most TESOL providers in Hanoi speak in glowing terms about the extent of their job support for folks who enrol in their programme, what’s delivered, often doesn’t match the rhetoric. Job support should start in the precourse phase, in my view, continue throughout the month-long course and culminate in placement once the TESOL course is ‘done and dusted’.


Job support is a lot more than fax-streaming your curriculum vitae (resume) to random schools. Among other things, it involves making sure you have the skills, knowledge and quality certification to work as an ESL educator; understanding your aspirations; working with you to put a curriculum vitae together that meets the employer’s expectations; engaging in mock interviews and making appointments for you with specific employers. If ‘employer one’ doesn’t offer you a job, your TESOL provider needs to understand why you were unsuccessful, so you’ll have a better chance with ‘employer two’. Of course, negotiating an employment agreement is a personal matter between you and a potential employer, but it would be comforting to know that your TESOL provider is open to being a ‘sounding board’ if it’s necessary.


Meaningful job support from your TESOL provider will positively impact your overall ‘teach English abroad’ experience. In stark contrast, if job support falls short of the mark (or is non-existent), there’s a chance that you’ll be left to your own devices in an unfamiliar environment. What’s the message? Make sure that meaningful job support is part of your TESOL package, have a clear understanding of what support will be delivered – and speak up if you receive less than what was promised. 



You won’t have any trouble finding a TESOL course in Hanoi with a simple Google search, but you may well have trouble working out which course is best for you. As you’re flicking through website pages, blog articles, online reviews and suchlike, I’d encourage you to hone in on four points: 1. quality accreditation, 2. precourse support, 3. accommodation, and 4. meaningful job support. If you come across a TESOL programme that doesn’t tick all four ‘boxes’, best to keep looking. Teaching is a profession. You need a qualification, not a ‘personal development certificate’. Precourse support (at no cost) from someone who has helped others embark on a ‘teach English abroad’ adventure is invaluable. When you weigh up the issues associated with having to find your own accommodation (time, added cost, safety, security, walking into the unknown …) against accommodation that’s included in the TESOL programme (zero added cost, classmates at the same location, walk to the training venue, known quantity….), the choice is an easy one to make. There are words about ‘job support’ on a website page or in a flashy video, and then there’s real job support that’s multi-faceted and targeted. Don’t accept anything less than the latter.


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and Cambodia (Phnom Penh). AVSE-TESOL has been training aspiring ESL educators for jobs teaching English in Vietnam and Cambodia for more than 15 years. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:




How to notarise and legalise your TESOL certificate in Vietnam


Let’s say that you completed the Australian Government accredited TESOL course in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City at AVSE-TESOL, and you’re out and about talking to potential employers. Once you’ve found a teaching job that’s a good fit for you, there’s a high chance that your Vietnamese employer will ask you to have your TESOL certificate notarised – and possibly legalised. I say, ‘possibly legalised’ because more often than not, the employer (or an agent acting on behalf of the employer) will take on this task themselves. Regardless of whether you’re asked to arrange for your TESOL certificate from AVSE-TESOL to be notarised only or notarised and legalised, you’ll see in this blog post that it’s all manageable.


This post is only about the notarising and legalising processes in Vietnam. There are separate processes altogether for notarising and legalising your TESOL certificate in Australia and other countries.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL



Before touching on the notarising and legalising steps related to your certificate from the TESOL course in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City at AVSE-TESOL, it’s worth considering the purpose behind the two distinct processes. You could be excused for thinking the purpose has glaring shortcomings, but ‘it is, what it is’.


Notarising your TESOL certificate from AVSE-TESOL will occur at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi or the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City. Succinctly, notarising is about confirming that the name on the certificate matches the name of the person who presents the certificate. Hence, the notary will want to see your passport (or similar). Notarising is also about confirming the entity that issued the certificate is a legal entity (only). It’s not the responsibility of the notary to determine if the legal entity has the necessary authority to issue or accredit TESOL certificates in Vietnam (or elsewhere) – or to offer vocational training programmes in the first place. While AVSE-TESOL ticks all the necessary boxes, many entities that provide a TESOL course in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or both, ‘fly under the radar’.


The Department of Foreign Affairs (Vietnamese Government) in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City is responsible for legalising ‘foreign’ documents for use in Vietnam. The city – Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City – where you have your certificate legalised is an important consideration, but I will come back to that later. The legalisation process essentially involves certifying that the notary’s signature and stamp (see above) are legitimate. You might be surprised to learn that ‘legalising’ is not confirmation that the document is what it purports to be – for example, a legitimate teaching qualification.


We have touched on the purpose of notarising and legalising your certificate from the TESOL course in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City at AVSE-TESOL. Now, let’s look at how to complete the tasks in Vietnam in two easy steps, with a minimum of fuss.


Step one:

Step one involves obtaining a notarised copy of your TESOL certificate from the Australian Embassy in Hanoi or the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City.  If you did the TESOL course in Hanoi and then moved to Ho Chi Minh City or vice-versa, there’s no need to travel back to the city where you did the course for notarising (and legalising) purposes. However, both the embassy and the consulate require visitors to make an appointment beforehand. You can make an appointment in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City via the relevant website address noted below. You will be charged a fee by the embassy or the consulate for providing a notarised copy of your TESOL certificate. The fee is payable in cash or by card. Here are the contact details for the Australian Embassy in Hanoi and the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. 


Hanoi: Australian Embassy

Location: 8 Dao Tan Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Google Maps:


Ho Chi Minh City: Australian Consulate 

Location: 20th Floor, Vincom Center, 47 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Google Maps:


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Step two:

The process of legalising a TESOL certificate in Vietnam is ordinarily completed by an employer (or an Agent), but your employer might ask you to do it yourself. If you are asked, take the notarised copy (Step one) of your TESOL certificate to the Department of Foreign Affairs (Vietnamese Government) in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. This is where the location issue does become important. You must visit the Department of Foreign Affairs in the same city your TESOL certificate was notarised (Step one).  There’s no need to make an appointment. The process usually takes 24 hours to complete, and it only costs a few dollars. Here are the contact details for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. 


Hanoi: Department of Foreign Affairs – Consular Section

Location: 40 Trần Phú, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Google Maps:


Ho Chi Minh City: Department of Foreign Affairs – Consular Section
Location: 184B Pasteur Street, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam

Google Maps:



In this blog post, I’ve touched on what’s involved when having your certificate from the TESOL course in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City at AVSE-TESOL notarised and legalised in Vietnam. Your employer will likely ask you to complete the notarisation task, and then he (or she) will take care of having your TESOL certificate ‘legalised’. If you’re asked to complete both the notarising and legalising, it’s simply a matter of following the two-step process that has been outlined in this blog post.


About the author: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia. AVSE-TESOL offers Australian Government accredited TESOL courses in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phnom Penh. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:




TESOL course in Hanoi: Eight questions to ask before you sign-up


It might come as a surprise to some people, that not all TESOL programmes in Hanoi are equal. Moreover, not all TESOL programmes and related certifications are what they appear to be. In this short blog post, I’ll provide eight key questions that you should ask a potential TESOL provider before parting with your hard-earned money. Doing a TESOL course in Hanoi is an experience that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. With a few carefully worded questions, see immediately below, you’ll be better placed to make an informed decision on which TESOL course is best for you.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Key Questions


Question one: I noticed that your TESOL course in Hanoi is accredited by (name of entity) in (name of country where the course is ‘accredited’). Is this entity a privately owned Limited Liability Company? Moreover, how much do you pay (name of entity) for each certificate you issue.

Pretty much every TESOL course in Hanoi claims to be ‘accredited’ by an entity of one kind or another. On the surface, this might seem like good news, but there’s a catch. Most TESOL courses in Hanoi are accredited by a random Limited Liability Company (around US $25.00 to establish). Any person with a gas bill, a driver’s licence or other proof of identification can establish a Limited Liability Company with a flashy name like ACCREDIT TESOL and call themselves an ‘independent’ (insert – US $25.00 company) ‘accrediting’ authority. If you were so inclined you could do it yourself, but please don’t. These ‘independent authorities’, in the main, are no more than old-fashioned ‘diploma mills’ that are a blight on education and training – worldwide.   

Question two: What’s the difference between ‘Nationally Recognised Training’ (in the country of origin) with accreditation by a government and ‘accreditation’ by a privately owned Limited Liability Company?

If it’s not a product of ‘Nationally Recognised Training’, it follows that the certification cannot be internationally recognised. Words on a website page can be helpful. Well-made videos and other forms of marketing can be enticing, especially when the provider is selling a teach English abroad (or similar) adventure. TESOL ‘training’ in Vietnam, Cambodia, and other developing countries is one of those industries where the adage, ‘buyer beware’ definitely applies. Questions directed at confirming accreditation status are best asked directly by making an appointment to speak with a ‘real person’ at the training venue if you’re already in Hanoi or via Zoom if you’re not in Hanoi. Meeting with a real person will help with warding off ‘weasel lines’ like:


‘Certification’ from our TESOL course in Hanoi is accepted for Work Permit purposes’.

– Does this mean that the certification is a legitimate teaching qualification? No it doesn’t. It might mean that the Vietnamese public servant who processes a particular Work Permit application doesn’t know about accreditation and related teaching credentials, doesn’t care, or both. By way of example, if a policeman (government official) unwittingly accepts a bogus driver’s licence during a regular traffic stop, does that mean the licence morphs into a genuine driver’s licence? Of course not.


‘You can have your certificate notarised at the United States Embassy (or another embassy)’.

– Does this mean that the certificate is a legitimate teaching qualification? Nope! It may mean that the privately owned ‘accrediting’ entity is a Limited Liability Company (cost factor of around US $25.00) in the United States (or elsewhere) – like millions of other ‘mum and dad’ companies. Any suggestion that the notarisation process at an embassy is directed at establishing the legitimacy of the TESOL course in Hanoi, a teaching ‘qualification’ or related certification, is simply untrue.


– ‘Accreditation doesn’t matter – there’s no ‘worldwide authority’ that presides over TESOL / TEFL courses.

If you hear this line from a TESOL provider, I’m genuinely sorry to say – you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel. No worldwide authority presides over courses for lawyers, doctors, dentists, and every other profession on planet earth. The ‘no worldwide authority’ line is a classic red herring. We have ‘Nationally Recognised’ training and related qualifications in individual countries. If your TESOL certification is a product of ‘nationally recognised’ training in the country of origin, certification issued by AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi is a good example, you have every reason to believe that it will be recognised in other countries, although you might have to jump through a few hoops.


Question three: I see that your TESOL course in Hanoi comes with employment support. Let’s say that you send me to VUS, ILA (or similar) in Hanoi after I complete the course. Will you receive a commission payment from the school if they employ me?

‘Double-dipping’ – payment at the frontend by the TESOL student (you) and payment at the backend by the employer (VUS and the like) – is common practice from TESOL providers in Hanoi. You might be okay with this practice because placing someone in a job involves work, and people should get paid for their work. I get it. If receiving commission payments for referring people to an employer is not publicly acknowledged on the TESOL providers website, at a minimum, it shows a lack of transparency. I’d go further and say it shows disrespect for TESOL students, if only because you wouldn’t have known about the ‘backhander’ if you didn’t ask the question.


Question four: Does the course fee include accommodation?

Accommodation in Hanoi isn’t cheap. For example, if the TESOL course in Hanoi goes on for four weeks and doesn’t include accommodation, you can add US $700.00+ to the course fee. Moreover, you can add an additional US $300.00+ if you need to pay for transport to get to the training location.  


Question five: Is your business licenced by the Vietnamese Government to deliver Vocational Training programmes, in general, and specifically, teacher training programmes and related qualifications sourced from abroad?

If the answer is not a resounding ‘yes’ to both parts of the question above, you should vote with your feet immediately. If the answer is ‘yes’ to both parts of the question, ask to see the relevant documentation. It’s your right. Legitimate Vocational Training providers in Vietnam and companies that import products and services (teacher training programmes in this instance) must hold the relevant licences. The licences are separate to a ‘run-of-the-mill’ company registration certificate, a taxation notice and suchlike.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Question six: Can you show me a copy of your Public Liability Insurance policy so I know that I’m covered if I have an accident or get injured at your training venue?

Reputable Vocational Training providers worldwide, including in Vietnam, are compelled to have Public Liability Insurance for their training venue. It provides a level of protection for those people who use the venue. If you’re injured or worse, you (or your family) may be eligible for financial support. Unfortunately, TESOL providers who ‘fly under the radar’ in Hanoi tend not to be bothered about what happens to you on their premises. In the event something untoward occurred, they’d simply shut up shop, and there’s a good chance that you’d never find them. Will your medical insurance provider cover the costs of an injury, accident or worse on a property owned or rented by a company – the TESOL provider – legally compelled to take out Public Liability Insurance but didn’t bother? I suspect not, but you should know the answer beforehand.


Question seven: What is the failure rate with your TESOL course in Hanoi?

Obviously, nobody wants to fail, but with any serious qualification, some people inevitably will. Tertiary institutions around the world budget for a 20% (+/-) failure rate. If the provider tells you that nobody fails their course, it will provide an insight into the legitimacy of what’s on offer. If you’re told (insert a number) % of people fail the course, you may wish to ask the provider why people fail. In the same vein, it would be worthwhile asking the TESOL provider when you can expect to receive your certificate. If the provider says in the last week or the course, the last day of the course and the like, it raises questions about the independence of the assessment process – which goes to the heart of legitimacy. It also raises questions about how the provider got a certificate with your name on it from the United States, the United Kingdom or wherever the accrediting entity is based, in what amounts to lightning speed, perhaps even before you’ve finished the course. The answer is pretty obvious.


Question eight: Tell me about your TESOL trainers.

Teaching and training are different activities. Some folks are brilliant teachers, but poor trainers and vice versa. To illuminate this point, for a moment, think about sex education. You can be a sex education teacher or a sex education trainer – these activities require a markedly different skill set. Most TESOL providers in Hanoi employ a ‘garden variety’ teacher as their TESOL Trainer.


Regardless of whether the TESOL Trainer is an Oxford Don or footed the bill to do a short, online course at Harvard (open to anyone prepared to pay), if that person doesn’t hold formal certification in vocational training, they’re not qualified to preside over a TESOL course in Hanoi. As an example, if you accept the premise that someone who holds a US driver’s licence isn’t qualified to train law enforcement folks in tactical driving, then it follows that you accept the assumption that people who do not hold a specialist vocational training qualification, are not qualified to preside over a TESOL course. Certainly, that’s the view of the Australian Government, the US Government, the Canadian Government, and the list goes on.



There are two or three Vocational Training entities in Hanoi, including AVSE-TESOL, that offer a Nationally Recognised TESOL course that comes with a TESOL qualification that’s genuinely internationally recognised. Unfortunately, there are many more ‘TESOL courses’ in Hanoi that simply don’t stack up. Thorough due diligence is imperative. Look beyond the ‘sharp’ videos and words on a website page. If the course (and related certification) is not Nationally Recognised in the country of origin, it follows that it cannot be internationally recognised. Armed with a few targeted questions (accreditation, double-dipping, notarisation, and other issues covered in this post) – and determination to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’, I’m convinced that you’ll find yourself in a Nationally Recognised TESOL training programme in Hanoi. Equally, I’m confident that you’ll land a brilliant teaching job once the course is over, in part at least, because you didn’t scrimp on your training.


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the owner (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia. AVSE-TESOL offers an Australian Government accredited (Nationally Recognised Training) TESOL course in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Online. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:




TESOL course in Hanoi – prep for job interviews


While this short blog was written for the benefit of folks who are completing the Australian Government accredited TESOL course in Hanoi at AVSE-TESOL, the concepts equally apply to others who are in the hunt for a brilliant teaching job in Vietnam. 


From my own experience as someone who employs English as a second language (ESL) teachers, a single job vacancy can attract 50+ Curriculum Vitaes (also known as a ‘CV’ or ‘Résumé’). Anecdotally, large English language schools in Hanoi receive 100+ random CVs a day from folks looking to secure a teaching job. Numbers like those tell us that: 1. your CV needs to stand out in the crowd; and 2. you need a quality CV that’s ‘ready to go’ before the end of your TESOL course in Hanoi. What exactly is a CV?  In layman’s terms, a CV is a written summary of a person’s background, qualifications, and employment history.


The significance of a quality CV that’s responsive to local expectations cannot be overemphasised. Arguably, your CV is the single most important document that you’ll submit to a potential employer. Given the number of CVs and related documents that a single employer processes daily (note my comments above), your CV needs to be ‘noticed’ by the decision-maker in less than two seconds. It must include relevant information in a compartmentalised format and an engaging (professional) photo. Your CV should be no more than one page and easy to visually scan. I’d suggest that you put some time aside during your TESOL course in Hanoi to develop a decent CV that’s formatted in a manner that local employers expect. Check out the sample CV below.


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Let’s look at the sample CV in more detail, starting from the left-hand side of the document.


Photo: Your photo must show that you’re a professional person with an engaging disposition. It needs to strike a balance between formal and informal. If you’re not photogenic, here are some tips: choose the background carefully, don’t look at the camera, find your good side, place the camera slightly above eye level, avoid a double chin, make sure your eyes are wide open – and get the lighting right. You’ll find plenty more photo tips on the internet. You might even find someone in your TESOL course in Hanoi who’s pretty handy with a camera.


Profile: This section of the CV provides you with an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer in two short paragraphs, totalling no more than 120 words. Most employers are smart people. They can see through ‘fluff’. Be honest. Choose words that show you’re an engaging person who’s qualified for the job. The employer needs to know that you’re attuned to the importance of lesson planning, inclusivity, delivering a highly interactive, fun classroom environment and reflective thought. 


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Contact: Include a local phone number on your CV. Suppose a Vietnamese employer has a choice between calling a candidate with a local phone number or a candidate with an international number. In that case, even if it diverts, they’ll almost certainly go with the local number. Make sure your email address presents you in a professional manner. If your email address is something akin to, or similar, it would be a good idea to get a new one for your CV.


Your name: Some folks have long names that take up a lot of space. If you’re in this camp, I’d suggest that you shorten your name so the text sits nicely on the CV. Let’s imagine your name is Trixibelle Maryanne Esplanardo. It’s lovely, but it’s wordy. How about going with something like Trixibelle Esplanardo? The letters will fit comfortably in the available space.


Education: In my opinion, the certification from your TESOL course in Hanoi should be listed first. Why? It’s essentially your ‘licence’ to teach. Your highest degree should come next – Doctorate, Masters or Bachelors. If you don’t hold a university or college degree, shine a light on other qualifications that you hold, training programmes that you’ve successfully completed or both. Note the examples below.  


Certificate IV in Carpentry (4-year apprenticeship)

Dandenong College of TAFE

Dandenong, Australia

02/02/02 – 31/12/05


Warrant Officer Training

Australian Defence Force

Canberra, Australia

01/01/00 – 31/12/01


TESOL Course in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Teaching Experience: This heading presents some challenges for people who are completely new to teaching English, at least until you scratch below the surface.


Imagine you’ve worked as a Cashier at Walmart in San Antonio, Texas, for the past five years. Almost certainly, your Cashier’s job would involve training others. When a new Cashier starts at Walmart, they need to be taught what to do – correct? For example, if you’ve trained newcomers at Walmart, use it to your advantage in your teaching CV. Schools that are seeking to employ a teacher in Hanoi or elsewhere in Vietnam want to know about your experience teaching people things. If necessary, scratch below the surface, and you will find that you have more teaching experience than you think. Keep in mind that you can also quite legitimately refer to your teaching experience while completing your TESOL course in Hanoi.


Here’s what you might put under the Teaching Experience heading on your CV if you: 1. were the Cashier at Walmart that I mentioned earlier, or 2. choose to include your teaching experience during the TESOL course:


Trainer: Cash Management & Customer Service

Walmart Pty Ltd

San Antonio, United States

05/05/15 – 04/05/20


English Language Teacher


Hanoi, Vietnam

03/03/22 – 02/04/22


Referees: Ideally, you should include the name, job title, place of employment and contact details of two people who’d be prepared to attest to your ability to work as an English teacher. Your referees should not be family members. You may wish to ask the Trainer at your TESOL course in Hanoi if he (or she) is prepared to be a referee. Importantly, make sure that you have permission from the folks you list on your CV as a referee. Including referees on CV should look something like this:


Mr David Jones

Manager: Human Resources

Walmart Pty Ltd

San Antonio, United States



Ms Wendy Jarvis

Senior TEFL Trainer

TEFL in Hanoi Training School

Hanoi, Vietnam





Your transition to a great teaching job in Hanoi or elsewhere in Vietnam, will much smoother – and quicker – if you have a quality CV ready to hand out to employers immediately after your TESOL course finishes. Your CV needs to be really sharp! It should be no more than one page. It should include a decent photo, two short paragraphs about who you are and what you do – and your name, contact details, education, work history and referees. Give this important task your full attention and there’s every reason to believe that you’ll be living that ‘teach abroad’ dream quicker than you might think.


About the writer: Peter Goudge has been delivering TESOL / TEFL training programmes in Southeast Asia for more than 15 years. He is the Managing Director (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Online. Check out the AVSE website:



Teaching English in Hanoi

Teaching English in Hanoi



Five things to do on arrival… 


You’ve been planning this part of your life for years and the time has finally arrived. You’re heading off on an adventure, ‘uncharted waters’, teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam. Your first stop in Hanoi will be the Australian Government accredited TESOL course at AVSE-TESOL. You’ve read more than 200 online reviews about AVSE-TESOL, with the vast majority being top notch. Given your background, as solid as it is, bears no resemblance to teaching English in Hanoi, you figure that investing in quality vocational training – teacher training – is a wise move. I think you’re right. Not only will the TESOL training at AVSE-TESOL provide you with the knowledge, skills and quality certification you need to land that all-important first teaching job, it gives you four weeks to find your feet in a new country, surrounded by like-minded people who ooze ‘positive vibes’..


Here’s the last bit of perspective. This blog post is focused on what to do immediately after you’ve arrived in Hanoi, taken a taxi to your accommodation, had a shower and a snooze. The tips that are provided are equally relevant if you’ve chosen to do a TESOL course with a provider other than AVSE-TESOL, probably more so given AVSE’s supportive arrival process. Applying these tips should make your transition to a new lifestyle, initially as a TESOL student followed by teaching English in Hanoi, more straight-forward than it might otherwise be.



Tip 1: Fix your phone

Walking around outside without a cell-phone that’s immediately accessible and useable, for many people, is akin to being ‘butt naked’ in the street. Rightly or wrongly, these days, cell-phones are an integral part of everyday life, especially when you’re located in unfamiliar surroundings. Google maps (via your cell-phone), may well end up being your best friend, at least for a few days until you know the backstreets and alleys that characterise Hanoi. Moreover, once you’ve fixed your phone, you’ll be able to reach out to family, friends and your TESOL provider. They’ll all be eager to hear that you arrived safely. Here’s a word of warning, however, when you need to use your cell-phone in the street in Hanoi, it’s best to take some cover in a doorway or similar. Why? You’ll reduce the chance of being subjected to a ‘ride-by’ snatch – a crook on a motorbike. 


Getting your phone up and running might be a simple case of inserting a new (local) SIM card. Conversely, it might be a nightmare. If you’re a cell-phone guru, you’ll be fine. If this doesn’t sound like you, visiting a cell-phone shop close to your accommodation should be a priority. The good news is, cell-phone shops in Hanoi are seemingly on every street corner. The receptionist in your hotel or guest house will surely point you in the right direction.


In the unlikely event that you’ve travelled abroad without a cell-phone, you will need to get one. Jobs offers for teaching English in Hanoi are typically made by phone. If the employer can’t reach you by cell-phone, he (or she) will simply move onto the next candidate.


Note, fixing your cell-phone at the airport – a common ‘rookie’ error – will cost you substantially more than visiting a ‘mum and dad’ phone shop downtown.


Tip 2: Know the local neighbourhood

Now that your cell-phone is in working condition and you can tap your best mate ‘Google Maps’ on the shoulder, there is less chance that you’ll get lost in Hanoi when you venture out. So, venture out. It’s time to get to know the neighbourhood where you’re staying, even if your current accommodation is only a short-term thing. Before venturing into the unknown, even though you have ‘Mr Google Maps’ in your pocket, take a business card from the place where you’re staying or write the address on a bit of paper and put it in your wallet as a back-up strategy to avoid getting lost. Worst case scenario, let’s assume you do get lost.  For sure, you will find the way back to your accommodation sooner or later, if only because downtown Hanoi isn’t that big. Anyway, it could be argued that getting lost in Hanoi is all part of the adventure.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Where is the grocery store, the pharmacy, the bus station, a great coffee shop, an area for passive recreation and most importantly for visitors to Hanoi who have done their research, the local ‘Bia Hoi’? What’s a Bia Hoi? Do a quick Google search and then make a point of visiting one when you’re in Hanoi.


Familiarising yourself with the neighbourhood extends to working out how to get to the address where your TESOL course will take place. Again, Google Maps will come in handy, but something as simple as a ‘Mud Map’ with landmarks might be enough. Doing a ‘dry run’ from your accommodation to the training venue would be time well-spent.


Tip 3: Bond with those around you

Assuming your TESOL course in Hanoi comes with high quality accreditation, like the Australian Government accredited programme at AVSE-TESOL, you’ll be mixing with people – classmates, professional Vocational Trainers and TESOL support staff – who are on the very same journey as you, or are leading the way. You’ll be with like-minded souls. It’s within this kind of environment where life-long personal and professional relationships are formed.


When you’re in a foreign country, friends are more important than ever. Almost certainly you’ll need to reach out at some stage for guidance on visa matters, travelling around Vietnam, where to get a job teaching English in Hanoi, where not to work, employment or lease contracts and the list goes on. It makes sense to have a pool of decent people you can call on when they’re needed. Human nature dictates that people are usually happy to give a helping hand to someone they consider to be a friend. As always, people will be more likely to consider you as a friend, if you’re respectful and nice to them.


Tip 4: Take safety precautions

Statistics show that Hanoi is markedly safer than the capital cities of most developed countries, but crime, especially petty crime, does occur. Foreign ‘tourists’ are ‘standout’ targets when they ‘flash their cash’ or get around town with their valuables on display – cameras, jewelry and suchlike. You will see this kind of behaviour pretty much on a daily basis in main tourist areas in Hanoi. I suspect it has more to do with ignorance than anything else. 


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


When a villain is apprehended by the police – or a member of the community – there are no ‘ifs and buts’. Justice Vietnamese-style is swift and often brutal. Vietnam is one of those countries in the world where it’s not a good idea to transgress the law, regardless of whether you’re a local person or a visitor. 


While Hanoi (and elsewhere in Vietnam) has a well-deserved reputation for being safe, it’s always smart to take precautions including, but not limited to: store your money, passport and other valuables in a place that’s secure; know how to get into your accommodation after hours; be accompanied by friends when walking in the street at night; don’t use your cell-phone when standing or walking in the street; if you have to carry a bag in the street, make sure it has a long strap so you can place it across your body; if you hire or buy a bicycle (or motorbike) to get around Hanoi, make sure it’s locked when left unattended; and know who to call in case of an emergency. It’s common for folks who are teaching English in Hanoi to have evening classes that go to 8.30pm and even later. Travelling home (alone) after a late class requires extra vigilance. All of these precautions equally apply to any other city in the world.


Tip 5: Always remember that you’re a visitor

I have been living and working in Vietnam for more than 15 years. Back in 2007, my old dad visited me in Vietnam. During this trip, he mentioned in passing ‘always remember you’re a visitor’ – and to this day, I’d like to think that I’ve heeded his astute advice.


Vietnamese people have every reason to be peeved with foreigners. For 3,000+ years, foreigners have felt the need to turn up without an invitation and tell local people how to run their life. Despite what’s happened throughout history, almost certainly you will form a view that Hanoians and other Vietnamese folks are up with the loveliest the world has to offer. Those who felt the need to trespass have long since been forgiven. These days, foreigners who are teaching English in Hanoi, are revered. Personally, I’d like to keep it that way.


You and I – and hundreds of thousands like us – are now welcome in Vietnam, but as my old dad said ‘always remember you’re a visitor’. Be polite. Go about your work teaching English in Hanoi in a professional manner. Respect local customs and traditions. Don’t get involved in discussions about politics and religion. If there are language problems, be mindful that in Vietnam people speak Vietnamese and if you’re having issues with understanding something or getting your point across – they’re your issues. To drive home the importance of ‘always remembering you’re a visitor’, here’s a succinct analogy: when visiting a friend or neighbour’s house, would you take it upon yourself to rearrange their furniture? I don’t think so.



In summary, I’ve provided 5 tips that should make it easier for you to your new life as a TESOL student in the short-term and then teaching English in Hanoi. Fix your phone, know what’s available, make an effort to network, take sensible steps to enhance your safety and be respectful towards locals. You’ve been brave enough to embark on this ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure, so it makes sense to grab the opportunity with both hands.


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Online. AVSE-TESOL has been training aspiring educators for jobs teaching English in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and other parts of Southeast Asia for more than a decade. Check out the AVSE website:




Teaching English in Hanoi versus teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City


I am often asked if teaching English in Hanoi is better than teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City or vice versa. How do you answer that kind of question with so many variables, including personal preference? Typically, I’ll offer comparisons between the two destinations and remind the person who asked the question that neither place has to be their forever teaching location. If you’ve had enough of a particular teaching destination, move to a new one. Teaching English in Vietnam and elsewhere abroad is one of only a few professions that allow moving from location A to B to C with minimal fuss. Why? There are many more ESL teaching jobs available in Vietnam than there are suitably qualified people to fill them. This is one time in your life when ‘market forces’ will well and truly work in your favour.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Five comparisons

Immediately below, you’ll find five comparisons between teaching English in Hanoi and teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City. I trust you’ll find the comparisons helpful if you’re one of those people who’s not sure whether north (Hanoi) or south (Ho Chi Minh City) should be your teaching English abroad start point.


One – Pace of life:

Teaching English in Hanoi offers a much slower pace of life compared to teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City. With a bohemian feel, you’ll find an aspect of art, culture, or history in every street in Hanoi – in some streets, you’ll find all three. In contrast, Ho Chi Minh City is a modern metropolis and international hub. There are places in Ho Chi Minh City that provide an insight to the ‘old Vietnam’; Ben Thanh Market, and the Quan Am Pagoda are two examples, but increasingly the landscape is being consumed by high-rise apartments and offices.


Two – Weather:

Teaching English in Hanoi comes with the classic four seasons – with a Southeast Asian variation – hot and wet in the summer months and cold and dry in winter. Ho Chi Minh City has only two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season is characterised by high humidity and a daily downpour, the like of which most folks have never witnessed before travelling to Ho Chi Minh City. As the name suggests, there’s zero rain during the 6-month dry season. Regardless of the season, Ho Chi Minh City is oppressively hot 24/7.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Three – Teaching jobs:

The availability of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching jobs is one area where Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are hard to separate. There is an abundance of ESL teaching jobs available in both locations. Moreover, the type of ESL teaching work on offer is similar. In both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, teaching jobs are available in privately owned English Language Centres, government schools and tertiary institutions. Private tutoring and onsite ESL classes for business people are also common in both cities.


Four – Cost of living:

There are some cost-of-living factors, accommodation, for example, that are seemingly more expensive in Hanoi compared to Ho Chi Minh City. Equally, there are other cost of living factors; food is one example that comes to mind, that are more expensive in Ho Chi Minh City compared to Hanoi. Overall, the cost-of-living difference between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is negligible, if it exists at all. By any measure, Vietnam is a cheap place to live. The wages and employment conditions afforded to foreigners who are teaching English in Hanoi – and Ho Chi Minh City provide for a savings capacity and lifestyle that most people can only dream about.


Five – Crime:

Personally, I have always felt safer in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere in Vietnam than I did when I was living in Melbourne, Australia – my hometown. Of course, scams and petty crime are not uncommon in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but the prevalence is not a distinguishing factor between the two cities, in my opinion. Sure, there are places where it would be unwise to walk alone at night in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and you do need to avoid rookie errors like using your cell phone in the street and carrying your wallet in your back pocket, but the same applies to pretty much every city in the world.



In this blog post, I have touched on five factors that people commonly weigh up when deciding whether to start their teaching abroad journey in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. The pace of life and the weather are obvious differences between the two cities. However, if there is a difference between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with the availability of teaching jobs, the cost of living and crime, it wouldn’t be enough to say that one of the two locations is a better place to work as an ESL teacher over the other. Overall, that old expression, ‘same, same, but different’, certainly applies when drawing comparisons between teaching English in Hanoi and teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City.


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director and owner of AVSE-TESOL in Australia, Vietnam and Cambodia. With TESOL training schools in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh, Peter has spent the past two decades working in the ESL sector in Southeast Asia. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:




‘Me Time’ While Teaching English in Hanoi


I’ve got it pegged that you’re here because teaching English in Hanoi is on your radar. Of course, it might be a far-off ‘blimp’, a flashing red light with a deafening siren, or somewhere in between. Regardless, it’s terrific that Hanoi is on your mind. You’re in for a treat. It’s a fascinating city. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world where you’ll find so much history, art and culture in one place. Yes, it’s chaotic, densely populated, and the quirky weather – hot, humid, and wet for half of the year and dry and cool for the other half – takes time to get used to, but you’re in the market for change. Correct?   


Teaching English in Hanoi comes with a range of benefits, including: a decent salary, the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of local people, a much lower cost of living compared to western countries, and the chance for plenty of ‘me time’. Personally, I’m a big fan of ‘me time’. It’s good for the heart and soul. My version of quality ‘me time’ involves being out and about rather than sitting in front of the ‘telly’. If your version of the best ‘me time’ is like mine, being out and about, here’s a list of five places in Hanoi you’ll absolutely love.


Train Street

Train Street in Hanoi is a popular destination for local people and visitors because it’s so unusual, and there are always plenty of people ‘hanging out’. Most railway lines in developed countries come with an easement of ten to fifteen metres on both sides of the track to protect people and property. The easement in Train Street on the left and right-hand side of the track is twenty centimetres (+/-). There are rows of old houses on both sides of the track on Train Street. Many have been converted into restaurants, cafes and bars. Somehow, trains squeeze between the dwellings day in and day out with zero ‘wriggle room’. Pull up a chair, order a cold beer and wait for a train to go by. It’s a sight to behold.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Underground shopping mall

People go to shopping malls for all kinds of reasons – to buy things, see a movie, catch up with friends and the like. However, Hanoi is one of the few places where people visit a shopping mall to experience subterranean life. The Vincom Mega Mall in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District is entirely underground. The outside roof of the mall is a park, similar to a park you find in any other major city. While the 800+ retail shops at Mega Mall are the key drawcard for most visitors, the quirky design of the building is enough reason to pop down there when you have a chance.  


Hoan Kiem Lake

As much as you’ll love teaching English in Hanoi, finding the right balance between work and ‘me time’ is imperative. The Hoan Kiem Lake precinct in Hanoi is ‘me time’ central. There is always something happening at Hoan Kiem Lake and the surrounding area that will capture your interest. You’ll see people of all ages and backgrounds jogging, taking a stroll, walking their dog, ‘people watching’, playing board games and sharing quiet time with a friend. Informal, dance and exercise classes take place every evening at Hoan Kiem Lake. Step outside your comfort zone and join in. You won’t be imposing. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Cafe Dinh

If the walls in ‘Cafe Dinh’ could talk, there’d be enough material for a bestseller. The coffee and ambience at this place are superb. It’s like being in a time warp. Located on the second floor of an old, decaying building overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake, it’s easy to miss Café Dinh. But once you find it, I’m confident it will make it to your list of ‘me time’ destinations while you’re teaching English in Hanoi. Interestingly, a family member of the current owners created the original ‘coffee with egg’ recipe in the 1940s, that’s a favourite of pretty much every Hanoian I’ve met. Unfortunately, the ‘coffee with egg’ concoction and my taste buds don’t get on very well, but you should try it at least once.


Bach Thao Park

London has Hyde Park, New York has Central Park, Melbourne has Treasury Gardens – and Hanoi has Bach Thao Park, also known as the Hanoi Botanical Gardens. With mature trees, lakes and open space – yes, there’s grass – Bach Thao Park is like an oasis in the middle of an urban jungle. The park is very popular with Hanoians and foreigners seeking to escape city life’s hustle and bustle. I read somewhere that Bach Thao Park is the ‘lung’ (singular) of Hanoi. While I think that’s an exaggeration, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the greenery. Lay out a blanket under one of the beautiful, old trees at Bach Thao Park, open a book, and you’ve got half a day of ‘me time’ at zero cost.



In this short article, I have identified five places that are well worth considering when you’ve got time away from your job teaching English in Hanoi. Train Street and Mega Mall rated a mention because they’re so unusual. Next, Hoan Kiem Lake and Bach Thao Park are brilliant locations for ‘me time’, offering serenity that can be hard to find in a big city. Finally, the ambience and history of Cafe Dinh make this place my personal ‘me time’ favourite location. Visit Cafe Dinh once, and it will almost certainly be your ‘me time’ favourite.


Have you already visited one or more of the five locations on my ‘me time’ list? If so, share your opinion in the comments section below.


About the author: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and founder) of AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. AVSE-TESOL delivers an Australian Government accredited TESOL programme in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. Check out the AVSE-TESOL website:



Don’t forget insurance


The key indicators – job advertisements, pay rates, ‘me time’, cost of living – suggest that Hanoi, Vietnam, is one of the hottest destinations worldwide for adventurous people who are keen on teaching English abroad.  If you’re somebody who is thinking about teaching English in Hanoi, here’s some advice. Do it. Assuming your credentials are in order, you’ll find a job with relative ease, earn a decent wage and only work 100 hours (+/-) a month. When the low cost of living is added to the mix, there’s a quintessential expat lifestyle on offer.



While there is every reason to believe that your experience teaching English in Hanoi will be rosy like my own over the past 15 years, and tens of thousands of others over the past three decades, travelling anywhere abroad comes with risks. Heaven forbid you have a motorbike accident, pick up a horrible bug of some kind, be attacked by a rabid dog or meet some other misfortune. We might think that we’re indestructible, but the reality is, we’re not.



The consequences of meeting misfortune while abroad, as distinct from home turf, is where problems arise. Days, weeks or perhaps even months recuperating in a Vietnamese Public Hospital do not come cheap for foreigners. There are sad stories all over the internet of mums and dads in England, the US, Australia and elsewhere being lumbered with substantial medical bills because their son or daughter had an accident, got sick or suffered an injury while teaching English in Hanoi – and they didn’t have insurance. Travelling abroad without insurance is irresponsible! If you’re unable to meet the cost of basic insurance for the time you plan to spend in Vietnam, then it’s best to put your plans on hold. It’s that important.


Like you, I’m not happy about paying insurance premiums of any kind, but the idea that my old mum and dad (both in their 80s) would be forced to mortgage or sell their house to cover my medical bills or to ship my mortal remains back to Australia, fills me with horror. Without wishing to alarm you,  I know six expats who have been shipped home in a box and two in a vase, during my time in Vietnam. In each case, the costs were passed onto the next of kin. You cannot assume that your job teaching English in Hanoi will come with insurance coverage. Some do, but 90%+ don’t.


Key features

Decent travel insurance with medical coverage is relatively easy to find with a simple Google search. ‘Compare, compare, compare’ is the key to getting a good deal. Once you think you’ve found a good deal, then it’s time to use your bargaining skills to get an even better deal. You may be surprised to learn that insurance costs are less than you expected and the inclusions are more than you expected. Personally, I’m covered by World Nomads, and I have been for all but one year of my teaching abroad journey. Here are some of the key items that a decent insurance policy will cover:


Medical: This is not an area where you can scrimp. Your insurance policy needs to cover all medical expenses – inpatient and outpatient – in the event of an accident, sickness or injury while you’re teaching English in Hanoi. The language typically used in a travel insurance policy is ‘Unlimited’, or words to that effect. You need ‘Unlimited’ medical coverage.


Baggage: It’s about the replacement cost of items that are lost, stolen or damaged while you’re abroad. Depending on the value of your possessions, this might be an area where you can reduce your insurance premium. If your possessions aren’t worth much, you should ask the insurance provider if you can obtain a cheaper fee by: 1. excluding ‘Baggage’ from the policy; or 2. only covering items that will be costly to replace.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


Trip cancellation: If you need to cancel your travel plans for whatever reason, you’ll be able to claim non-refundable payments. For example, you may have paid US $800.00 for airfare from Rome to Hanoi. You need to cancel your ticket. The airline charges you a cancellation fee of US $250.00. It’s possible (depending on ‘Deductibles’) that your insurance will cover the US $250 fee. Trip cancellation is an area where you can be thrifty following a simple risk versus benefit analysis. It’s worth considering.


Death or disability: The cost of having mortal remains shipped from Vietnam to another country is astronomical, in the realm of someone having to mortgage their house. Without insurance, either a family member or friend will have to meet all expenses to get you home for burial. The alternatives are to be ‘shelved’ in a Vietnamese mortuary as an unclaimed body or to be ‘unceremoniously’ cremated and posted home. Both options are frightful. The consequences of suffering some kind of permanent disability while you’re in Vietnam are equally dire without insurance. Scrimping with death or disability cover is unwise.



Pretty much every travel insurance policy that I have seen references ‘Deductibles’ by way of a monetary sum. The term ‘Deductibles’ is insurance jargon for what you must contribute in the event of a claim before your insurance policy kicks in. For example, let’s say you’re out with your mates on a Friday night, you walk into a wall and break your nose. The total cost of getting your nose fixed in Hanoi is US $1,000.00. Your ‘Deductibles’ are US $650.00. At best, your insurance provider will reimburse you US $350.00 (US $1,000.00 – US $650.00 = US $350.00). Why have I raised ‘Deductibles’ in this post? Firstly, most people don’t know they exist until they make a claim – and receive a lower payment than they expected. Secondly, you might be able to use the ‘Deductibles’ number to achieve a lower premium for your insurance policy. The higher the ‘Deductibles’, the lower the premium. Suppose your goal is to be covered for high-cost, ‘worst-case scenario’ type situations during your time teaching English in Hanoi. In that case, you might choose to increase the ‘Deductibles’ to a sum that’s terrible to contemplate, but is manageable, in exchange for a cheaper insurance policy.  



The message in this short article is straightforward. Teaching English in Hanoi is an ‘adventure of a lifetime’, but make sure you’re covered by medical, death and disability insurance (as a minimum). If you have an accident, get sick, suffer an injury or worse – and you’re not covered by insurance – your ‘adventure of a lifetime’ may well end up being a nightmare. If you’re unable to pay for insurance before departing from your home country, put your plans on hold until you can. Shop around until you find an affordable insurance policy, that comes with the coverage you need – and ‘Deductibles’ that are manageable.


Enjoy your time teaching English in Hanoi. Most importantly, stay safe.


About the writer: Peter Goudge is the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia. AVSE-TESOL offers an Australian Government accredited TESOL programme in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and online – a brilliant pathway for people looking to teach English in Southeast Asia and beyond. Visit the AVSE-TESOL website:




Teaching English in Hanoi to clear student debt


My name is Monica Willow. I’m from Denver, Colorado. AVSE-TESOL asked me to write a Guest Post for their Vietnam Blog, and I’m delighted to help out. I’ll take this opportunity to share my personal experience with teaching English in Hanoi as a way to clear student loan debt.  



Attending university or college in the United States is expensive. Every year, students take out loans to further their education. I’m no different to millions of students in America and around the world doing the same thing. Accumulating student debt is the ‘norm’ for people who want a tertiary education. Literally, millions of Americans living in the world’s most prosperous country are left debt-ridden because they pursued a university or college degree. There are reported cases of people carrying student debt from their early twenties through to retirement age.


Teaching English in Hanoi AVSE-TESOL


I completed a Social Work Degree at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2014. By the time I graduated, my student debt was just shy of US $50,000. You might be surprised to learn that the debt I had accumulated was only a fraction of what some university friends and acquaintances had amassed. Within a month of finishing my degree, I moved back to Denver to live with my mum and dad. My thinking at the time was that I’d be able to: 1. find a well-paid job in Denver because of my degree, and 2. chip away at my student debt because I’ll be living rent-free at my parent’s place.


Within a week of moving back to Denver, I found the job of my dreams. Good news! Well, not exactly. It took less than two months to realize that the ‘job of my dreams’ doesn’t pay enough to cover everyday expenses, let alone to reduce my student debt. I was working long hours as a professional Social Worker and getting nowhere fast. My social life was non-existent because I was ‘penny-pinching’ and if it weren’t for the free accommodation at my parent’s place, my student debt repayments wouldn’t have even covered the interest. Was I naive? I think so. My life at the time was soul-destroying. I needed a new approach that would allow me to meet my financial commitments while enjoying a ‘normal’ life – spending time with friends, going to movies, dancing, eating out, pursuing a hobby, and doing other things that I enjoy.  


Vietnam, here I come

In April 2015, a friend of mine from university, Tory, sent me a Facebook message about her life teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam. Tory’s message piqued my interest. I’d especially noted that I could earn more working as an English language teacher in Hanoi than working as a Social Worker in Denver. Moreover, everyday expenses in Hanoi are markedly less than in Denver. Putting the financial aspect to one side, I’d always wanted to travel outside of the United States and experience other cultures. Tory had traveled to Hanoi within days of completing her degree. The ability to make a snap decision (and live with the consequences) is one of Tory’s many positive attributes. I tend to procrastinate, but not on this occasion. Fast forward six weeks, I arrived in Hanoi on 27 May 2015.



Ask me about Social Work (or movies), and I’ll ‘gasbag’ forever because it’s what I know. Teaching English abroad requires a new skill set, knowledge, and internationally recognized certification. It’s not enough to hold an American Passport or be a native English speaker to take on a job as a professional English teacher. With this in mind, I chose to follow in my friend’s footsteps and enroll in the Australian Government accredited TESOL program (teacher training) at AVSE-TESOL in Ba Dinh District in Hanoi. I loved the people at AVSE-TESOL. I also loved the intensive 4-week TESOL course. The certification that comes with the TESOL course at AVSE-TESOL is highly regarded by Vietnamese schools. With TESOL certification from AVSE, I started teaching English in Hanoi on 29 June 2015.  


Bottom line

It’s now summer in 2019. I’m sitting in Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, writing this blog post while waiting for a flight back to the US. I’ve spent the past four years teaching English in Hanoi. Where has the time gone? It has been a privilege. How lucky was I to learn about this opportunity? Very lucky! On top of making many wonderful friends, Vietnamese, and other expats, I’ve seen tangible results flow from my teaching work. I’ve traveled extensively in Asia – and I’ve managed to clear US $45,000+ of student debt. Yes, I still have another US $5,000 to go, but it’s manageable. Vietnam has been good to me. I’m grateful.


Here’s a crude outline of my financial arrangements during the almost four years that I taught English in Hanoi.


  • Average month salary (Language Center + Online): US $2,300.00
  • Number of months worked (including paid leave, excluding vacations & unpaid training): 42
  • Average hours worked per month: 108
  • Average monthly rent + utilities: US $350.00 (predominately single room in a shared house)
  • Average monthly expenses (food, personal items, socializing, motorbike…): US $600.00


Calculation: US $2,300.00 x 42 = US $96,600.00 – US $39,900.00 (US $350.00 + US $600.00 x 42) = US $56,700.00 (in the black). Of the US $56,700.00 that I cleared (after all expenses) from teaching English in Hanoi, US $45,280.00 was used to reduce my student debt and the balance was spent on airfares, my TESOL training, traveling and other sizable, one-off expenses. I should reiterate, this is a crude estimate.



Being saddled with student debt is the reality for many Americans of my generation. People work long hours for an eternity and lead unfulfilling lives because it’s the only way they know to clear their debt. If you’re anything like I was, up to my eyeballs in student debt, consider teaching English in Hanoi or elsewhere in Asia to turn your life around. This simple debt-clearing strategy worked for me. There’s every reason to believe that it will also work for you.


About the writer: Monica Willow arrived in Vietnam in May 2015 with some firm goals in mind. Working as an English teacher in Hanoi to clear accumulated student debt was one of those goals. An Alumni of AVSE-TESOL in Hanoi, Monica’s ‘good news’ story can also be yours. Check out the AVSE website:



Vietnam Blog Review

Vietnam Blog Review



Teaching English in Vietnam Blog – Review 


The Teaching English in Vietnam Blog on the AVSE-TESOL website is well-worth visiting if you have any passing thoughts about teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Vietnam, if you’ve already locked in your trip to Vietnam, or if you’re simply curious about teach and travel opportunities. You’ll surely find something on AVSE-TESOL’s Vietnam Blog page that will capture your interest.  There are posts for all-comers, with enough riveting reading to occupy the better part of a weekend.


Vietnam Blog Review AVSE-TESOL


Most of the posts in the AVSE-TESOL Teaching English in Vietnam Blog were written by Peter Goudge. He’s the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL. Peter comes from Melbourne, Australia, but he has called Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, ‘home’ for the past 16+ years.


When Peter first arrived in Vietnam, he took an ESL teaching job in Vinh Long Province in the Mekong Delta. At the end of the twelve-month contract in Vinh Long, Peter moved to a Director of Studies position at SaigonTech, a highly respected tertiary institution in Ho Chi Minh City.  SaigonTech is located at the end of Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. While commuting to and from SaigonTech Peter noticed a vacant, three-story building at 1300 Quang Trung Street – the home of AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City since 2009.


What you’ll find

Here’s a quick summary of posts that you’ll find on the Teaching English in Vietnam Blog on the AVSE-TESOL website:


  • Teaching English in Vietnam without a degree – Yes / No?
  • An Alternative to Teaching English in Vietnam without a Degree
  • Teaching English in Hanoi – five things to do on arrival
  • Teaching English in Hanoi – don’t forget insurance
  • Teaching English in Hanoi to clear student (loan) debt
  • Teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City – getting started as an ESL teacher
  • Ho Chi Minh City – local people and opportunities
  • Ho Chi Minh City – a brilliant place for a gap year
  • TESOL course in Hanoi – four important inclusions
  • How to notarise and legalise your TESOL Certificate in Vietnam
  • Eight questions to ask before you sign up for a TESOL course in Vietnam
  • Prepping for ESL Job Interviews
  • Quality TEFL with real job support
  • Feedback from former students is invaluable
  • Do some taxi homework before arriving in Vietnam
  • Tips for teaching English as a second language


Vietnam Blog Review AVSE-TESOL


Regularly updated

The team at AVSE-TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi make a point of adding new posts and freshening up old posts on their Vietnam Blog with noticeable regularity. Conversely, most other Teaching English in Vietnam Blog pages I found while researching this article are full of excitement at the beginning but left to fade into obscurity in the bowels of the internet. In fairness, this might have something to do with the transient nature of the profession. TESOL providers and ESL teachers from the four corners of the world come and go, but AVSE-TESOL has stood the test of time – and the global pandemic that decimated the ESL teaching and learning industry. Equally important, I’m advised that AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam (and in Australia and Cambodia) has the next generation of leaders already in place, most of whom are women. Just as AVSE-TESOL has been around seemingly since Jesus was a boy, you can be confident that their Vietnam blog will figure prominently in Google search results for years to come.


I asked the good people at AVSE-TESOL about posts that are currently ‘work in progress’. ‘Watch this space’ was the initial response, but persistence did provide some insight. Among other things, look out for posts on:


  • ‘Freebies’ with the TESOL programme at AVSE-TESOL in Vietnam and Cambodia
  • The five best Language Schools to teach ESL in Vietnam
  • Pay later options with the TESOL programme at AVSE-TESOL
  • Affordable travel insurance options for AVSE-TESOL trainees


There’s no doubt about it. The Teaching English in Vietnam Blog on the AVSE-TESOL website contains fascinating articles that readers will enjoy. Most posts have been crafted by AVSE-TESOL’s Managing Director, Peter Goudge. His years of experience in all matters ‘teaching ESL in Vietnam’ are on display for all to see in AVSE-TESOL’s Vietnam blog – what to do on arrival, gap year opportunities, pay off your student debt, tips for teaching ESL in Vietnam – and the list goes on.  So, if you have some time spare this weekend, have a look at AVSE-TESOL’s Vietnam Blog. You’ll be pleased that you did.


About the writer: Pamela Cove is a university student at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia. Pamela met Peter Goudge, the Managing Director (and owner) of AVSE-TESOL, by chance at the Sailing Club in Darwin when he visited there in July 2022. Pamela agreed to check out the Vietnam blog on the AVSE-TESOL website and share her views in a post. As a result, she’s planning to teach English in Vietnam from mid-2023, with help from AVSE-TESOL.