Requirements for Foreign Language Teachers in Vietnam
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Requirements for Foreign Language Teachers in Vietnam

As a global language, English is an important inclusion in the curriculum of educational institutions throughout Vietnam. There are numerous opportunities to teach English in Vietnam and while being a native English speaker is advantageous, it’s not sufficient. Legal requirements are in place to ensure standards are met, and prospective teachers must meet certain criteria to secure a work permit.

Teaching English in Vietnam Requirements

The below table lists the professional qualifications and certificates required:

Professional qualification Certificate of foreign language teaching
Teaching the first language College degree (or higher) Proper language teaching certificate
e.g. TESOL, TEFL, CELTA
Second language (not mother tongue) College degree (or higher) Proper language teaching certificate
  • College degree (or higher); and
  • Certificate of language proficiency from level 5 (or higher) [1] or equivalent (Vietnamese standards equivalent to CEFR).
Proper language teaching certificate
College degree in language pedagogical (or higher)

*The first language (or mother tongue) is the language a person was exposed to from birth, and which they use at home with his or her family, as opposed to only learning the language in school.

In general, the certificates of foreign language teaching, or the certificates of foreign language ability, can be issued by either a qualified domestic or foreign organisation. Regarding the issuance of work permits to foreign teachers, the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has the right to evaluate and approve an application based on their appropriate consideration.

For Certificate of Foreign Language Teaching:

Particularly in the field of English teaching, the following teaching certificates may be recognised by the Vietnamese Competent Authority:

• Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) [2].

• Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) [3].

• Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) [4].

These certificates have been verified, recognised by reputable organisations and widely used around the world.

For Certificates of Foreign Language Ability:

The Vietnamese Standardised Test of English Proficiency is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) reference framework and other relevant reference frameworks. Therefore, if the foreign language ability certificate is referenced with the reference frameworks mentioned above, it can be converted equivalent to the Vietnamese Standardised Test of English Proficiency.

Violations against regulations for teaching foreign languages:

For acts of using an unqualified teacher, a fine will be imposed according to the following sanctions:

  • A fine of from 5,000,000 VND to 10,000,000 VND for a violation at a preschool education institution, general education institution or continuing education institution.
  • A fine of from 10,000,000 VND to 20,000,000 VND for violation at a secondary school or college with a group training as teachers.
  • A fine of from 30,000,000 VND to 40,000,000 VND for violation in the area of the university; academies and institutes are allowed to train doctoral degrees.

These regulations are in place to help ensure a high quality of teaching throughout Vietnam, and to better serve the students who are learning English to improve their future opportunities.

[1] Vietnamese Standardized Test of English Proficiency
[2] Accreditation by ALAP
[3] Accreditation by Gatehouse Awards
[4] Cambridge Assessment English is accredited by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.

Further information please contact:

Vu Manh Quynh
Managing Partner
Email: quynh.vu@ecovislaw.vn

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Quynh Vu
ECOVIS Vietnam OC Law
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Ho Chi Minh City
Phone: +84 898 120 121
www.ecovis.com/vietnam/law