Duck to Water

This place is incredible, I know I keep saying the same thing but it really is. Beginning my TESOL adventure here in Vietnam has been one of the most perfect and greatest decisions of my entire life.

I mentioned about my first lesson preparations and presentations in my previous post. I was incredibly nervous and did not want to go first.
It was incredible! As soon as I got up there my nerves disappeared. My lesson went extremely well with high energy and lots of fun activities. The feedback I received was great. The fake class enjoyed the lesson with the only negative feedback being small flashcards and nearly forgetting my warm up activity. It was a great day.

My second mock lesson was today, with only two days of preparation I thought that this lesson would be worse than the first. However after beginning the lesson I quickly settled down and loved every second. I got people off their seats and moving around the room. This is extremely important when teaching English. It’s a completely different teaching style to Vietnamese teaching. Vietnamese teaching is very much focussed on books work and drilling key vocabulary and grammar. My feedback was mainly positive, however this time I completely forgot about the warm up activity. Wanted to shoot myself. Stupid git. Afterwards I felt slightly emotional, my presentation had gone so well some comments were made about being a natural TESOL teacher and people saying they look up to me for what they wish to become. I’m only 11 days into the course and to have comments like that was humbling. I greatly appreciated them.

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After, it was basically time to relax and enjoy an evening off. Beach, booze and beautiful food. Today was the furthest that I had ever swam out to sea. I am so much more confident in my swimming since being here.
All the worrying thoughts about Vietnam that had existed in my mind prior to arriving here no longer exist. The Vietnamese are not rude towards westerners what so ever, it’s more the damn Russians. Nha Trang is a major tourist destination for Russian holiday makers. Their gruff bravado attitude is so out of place in such a laidback content country. Yes it’s a  communist country, but everyone seems to be happy with their lives and welcomes foreigners with open.

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I’m now going to relax and watch The Da Vinci Code on a tiny TV screen with Vietnamese subtitles.

If you want an adventure and something new, come to Vietnam.

SR

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Wowza!

What a week! I have been studying and observing all week. Tonight is the first evening I have had off since I began the course on the 4th. It has been so intense and full on, but I LOVE IT! Its great to relax on the beach or in a cafe when time allows.

Thunderstorm Cloud looming over Nha Trang.

Thunderstorm Cloud looming over Nha Trang.

Being handed a thick handbook to study seems like a daunting prospect and it is. It’s so in-depth and detailed about teaching and classroom dynamics. This being said I feel as though the only true way to understand a classroom or student is to observe real classrooms and experience teaching for the first time; and that is exactly what is next.

We’ve had lesson preparation training most of the week and have now been giving an extract from an English learners workbook and been told to prepare a one hour lesson on that given topic. First thought was “FUCK”OH SHIT” “Lets do this!!!”

The process is crazy. You need to keep it interesting. Warm-up activities, games and class interactions galore! But the research is actually a lot of fun. There is a hell of a lot of research to be done but I quite enjoy it. In my mind, if you don’t enjoy researching a topic to teach, then why become a teacher?

Well my presentation is tomorrow and it is sort of nearly finished. I just need to write down the order as to which I will be doing each activity and for how long. Im sure this will not take me long though.

Off to enjoy some delicious Vietnamese food now and most likely a Bia Saigon all for about £2.

I shall leave you with this gorgeous picture taken from the beach.

View of Vin Pearl Island from Nha Trang beach.

View of Vin Pearl Island from Nha Trang beach.

Toodleoo

SR

Arrived in Paradise

The flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang provided some excellent viewing of the surrounding scenery. Flying over the Mekong Delta was definitely a highlight of mine.

The Mighty Mekong Delta as seen from my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City.

The Mighty Mekong Delta as seen from my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City.

I arrived in Nha Trang after 41 hours of being awake and having just half an hours sleep. I slept well when I reached the hotel.

I didn’t see much when I landed as sunset had been and gone. This morning I ventured out to explore the city that was to be my home for at least a month whilst training for my TESOL qualification.

Nha Trang Beach

Nha Trang Beach

Just WOW! Its what I imagine paradise to be like. 6km of white sandy beach and warm blue sea. Highest temperature for today – 37°C. The buzz within the city and along the sand is incredible. Things happening all over the place.

Achievement of the day – learning to cross a Vietnamese road. It is literally as many people say, just walk out into the road and they swerve around you. Obviously don’t just walk dead on in front of a truck. You need to be aware of the traffic but also carefree.

The food is delicious too. I keep telling people that Bananas here are so delicious. Its true though. They are sweet and succulent and pack a lot more flavour than in the UK. Had Pho Bo for breakfast, its like a beef noodle soup. I know what you’re thinking being from the UK; *something savoury for breakfast?*, but that is the norm here. I cant stress how filling and delicious the food is here. Street food is inexpensive too. I had a pork omelette salad rice thing and it cost the equivalent of 80 pence.

I’m meeting the other people on my course tonight at the local school; I’m hoping its a “dress as you like” event as its too hot and humid to wear anything but shorts and a T-shirt. So its “tạm biệt” for now, and will try to update soon.

On The Way

Currently sat in Kuala Lumpur airport waiting for my flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Being sat here puts into perspective the drastic change that I am making to my life. Very emotional leaving Heathrow as it final hit me that I’m leaving everything behind for at least 6 months.

Already got lost in this incredible airport (It has a rainforest). I accidentally entered the country thinking I needed to collect my luggage before realising that I had checked in online the night before.

It’s very humid here and I decided to travel in jeans… Not the best idea I’ve ever had but I’m glad I had them as it was rather chilly on the Malaysian Airlines flight from Heathrow.

I’ll be arriving in Nha Trang at 9:25pm this evening if all goes to plan. (2:25pm GMT)

My adventure has finally begun and I couldn’t be happier.

The Beginning of a New Chapter.

This is my first ever blog and post, so please be patient as I haven’t a clue what I am doing yet.

Right. As I leave to embark on my TESOL adventure this Friday, I will try to regularly document and share my experience as best I can to give you, the reader, an understanding on what TESOL life is like in Vietnam. I will be training in Nha Trang to qualify as a TESOL teacher before finding a “guaranteed job” anywhere in Vietnam.

Everything is booked, everything is nearly packed and everything inside me is telling me how crazy this is going to be.


SR