IHCYLT Frequenty Asked Questions

Apollo IH Vietnam: IHCYLT – Frequently Asked Questions


I already have a CELTA, so why take the IHCYLT course?

The main aim of the IH CYLT course is to prepare teachers for working with Young Learners.  Usually, these teachers will already have had some form of pre-service training in the teaching of ELT to adults (e.g. IHC/CELTA), but some may not have had previous experience of teaching Young Learners. 

Of course, a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA is the main requirement to get a job, and get a work permit.  The IHCYLT is best for those who already have a foundation teaching qualification, and ideally some experience in the YL classroom.  These trainees often find there is still much to learn about YL teaching and enjoy the chance to get lots of input on YL theory and practical strategies for the YL classroom, as well as the chance to try out these ideas and receive feedback from their tutors. 

Who takes the course?

Trainees with an initial teaching qualification and some experience, ideally in the YL classroom.  If you want the basics, you’d be better to enroll in our CELTA course first.  Often the participants on the YL course are in their first few years of teaching, although we’ve had a range from those with only a few months experience to teachers with over 10!

How many trainees will there be on the course?

There are a maximum of 6 trainees per trainer on the IHCYLT course.  The number of trainees on a course can range from 6-12 trainees.

Can I take the course without a degree?

IH recommends that candidates are educated to university-entry level to be accepted, so a degree is not a requirement.  However, if you wish to stay in Vietnam for the long-term and work legally, a bachelor’s degree is required as part of the Work Permit application.

Do I need to be a native speaker?

Absolutely not, although you do need an advanced level of English in order to deal with the demands of the course and to meet your students’ needs.  Generally, C1+ or an IELTS level of at least 7.5 are the recommended minimum.

Is there a right and wrong age to do the course?

Not at all.  Everyone can do well, and almost all trainees find the workload tiring!  Having been away from a learning environment for a long time can put you at a disadvantage in dealing with the sheer amount of information covered on the course.  However, the most important thing is to be open to new ideas, aware that you may have preconceptions and existing beliefs of teaching and learning that might be contradicted by the course, and prepared to work hard to make improvements in areas suggested to you.

What is the purpose of the application form?

We only accept trainees who we are confident can pass the course.  The last thing we want is to take your money and you not get the certificate.  The tasks in the application form will give us an idea of your existing ideas about teaching young learners and also your language awareness.  If the task is completed sufficiently, you will then move on to the next stage of the application process.

Will there be an interview?

Once your application form has been processed, we will arrange a short 20-30 minute interview with one of our course trainers.  The interview is for the trainer to further evaluate your potential and ability to keep up with the demands of the course.  It is also to make sure that you have all the information you need about the course and what to expect.

Can I work during the course?

2-week full-time:  No.  This is a very intense 2-week course, with 9-hours a day in-centre and also lesson planning and further tasks required outside of that time.  You will likely need to spend quite a lot of time during the middle-weekend doing coursework.

4 week part-time: Yes, this course timetable is designed to be completed while working a full-time (18-22 hour) schedule at a language school.  Don’t get us wrong, the combination of the course and your job, will also make this feel extremely intense!

Can I miss 1 or 2 days of the course and still pass?

We recommend 100% attendance.  If you are sick, you’ll need a doctor’s note to verify this.  If you miss an input session, it’s not the end of the world.  However, if you miss your teaching practice we cannot reschedule for another time so you will not be able to pass the course.

What resources does the centre provide?  Do I need to buy any?

2-week course: Our centre in Hanoi is a busy language school.  You will spend much of your time in one of the modern, well-equipped classrooms, either teaching or participating in input sessions.  You can access the centre from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 6:30pm on weekends.  You have access to several computers, a printer and a photocopier, as well as stationary and a library of resource and reference materials.  Pretty much everything you need in terms of resources is provided, apart from one key thing – a ring binder!  You will receive a very large amount of handouts over the course and it will help you a great deal if you can keep these organized from day one!

4-week course:  Same as the above, although we expect you to be working, so you are likely to have your own school from which you can prepare.  You still have access to our premises and resource during this course.

So do I need to bring a laptop?

Yes, although you may have access to the school’s computers, there isn’t enough for 1 per trainee.  At times when everyone is planning or working on coursework at the same time, you will find it more convenient to have your own computer.  Having a laptop will also allow you to complete some of the coursework during the course time, which will save you time at the weekend!

And do I need to buy any books?

No, we provide coursebook materials for you to use in your lessons, and a range of reference material. 

How does a typical day on the course look?

2-week course:  You’ll need to be in the centre from 11:00-20:00 as teaching practice takes place in the evenings, when students are available.  First thing in the morning, we’ll have feedback on the previous day’s lessons.  Then you will have 2 input sessions, followed by a planning session to prepare for teaching practice. 

4-week course:  Input sessions will take place from Mon – Weds from 09:00 till 12:15.  You have two 90-minute input sessions per day.  On Wednesdays we will have assisted lesson planning from 12:15-13:15 to make sure you’re ready for your observed lessons.  You will be observed once per weekend over the course at an agreed time with your tutor.  Each observation lasts for 45-minutes.  You will then need to meet your tutor for feedback at an agreed time. 

Who runs the course?

The tutors on our face-to-face course are all experienced teachers and teacher-trainers.  As well as having significant young learner teaching experience, your trainers have the Cambridge Delta, and many of the team are experienced CELTA trainers.

How does the Teaching Practice part of the course work?

You need to complete 3-hours of observed teaching, which is broken down into 4 x 45 minutes lessons.  You need to be observed teaching with 2 age levels, and two language levels.  This means you will teach two groups of students on the course, one younger and one older.  There are significant planning requirements on the course, and you will need to submit a full lesson plan to your tutor at least 30-minutes before your lesson.  You will then receive oral feedback after your lesson, as well as written feedback a little later. 

So will I get feedback on my lessons every time I teach? 

Yes.  On the 2-week course, this may be 1-2-1 with your tutor, or in a group with your peers and tutor.  On the 4-week course, this will just be with your tutor.

How is my performance on the course assessed?

The most important elements are the teaching practice and assignments.  Each of your lessons will receive an overall grade. Your teaching is not assessed by comparing you with others on the course, but in relation to the IH criteria. Your written feedback will make it clear what grade your lesson has achieved overall. 

You also need to complete a portfolio, comprising not only the observed lessons and your assignments, but also at least 7 portfolio tasks and 8 observation tasks (completed while you watch other trainees on the course).

At the end of the course, your completed portfolio will be moderated by both International House and Cambridge to check that you have been assessed fairly and accurately. 

What are the overall grades for the course?

Fail, Pass or Distinction.  The most common grade by far is the pass grade.  It is possible to fail, and the most common reasons are not keeping up with the workload, or failing to sufficiently improve on the action points you are given by your tutors over the course.  A distinction grade can be achieved by consistently exceeding the standards expected by the course, and completing all tasks to a good standard.

Do I get a certificate?

After the course, your results will be sent to IH to be confirmed.  Once this has been done, the certificates will be sent to the centre from IH London.  This can take 6-10 weeks after the end of the course.  AS the course is moderated by 2 organisations, your final certificate will have logos from both International House and Cambridge on it.

Will it be easy for me to get a job after the course?

While the CELTA is the main requirement for the most employers (And for a work permit in Vietnam!), if you wish to get a job at reputable schools or in competitive markets like Europe, having a qualification such as the IHCYLT shows that you are invested in your continuing development as a teacher – a qualitythat makes you highly employable the world over.

What visa will I need while taking the IHCYLT?

You should come into Vietnam on a business visa.  After a successful interview, we’ll share contact details of agents who can help you to arrange an invitation letter.  You simply present this with your passport at the airport when you arrive in Vietnam and purchase your visa there.  If you’re already in the country on a tourist visa, it might be okay for you to take the course anyway.  However, if you look for employment after the course, you will need to do a visa run in order to change to a work visa.

If I stay in Vietnam to work after the course, do I need a work permit?

Yes, you will do in order to work here legally.  Established organizations such as Apollo can only employ you on a full-time contract if they can get you a work permit.  For this, you need a bachelor’s degree and CETLA certificate.  You will also need a police check valid in the last 6 months.  It possible, and often much cheaper, to get a local police check in Vietnam for this.  You will also need to do a medical check, which your school should help you to arrange.

Do you provide support with accommodation?

We don’t provide any formal support but are happy to offer advice on this matter.  In reality, it’s very easy to find cheap and comfortable short or long-term accommodation in Hanoi and HCMC.  Visit Airbnb.com or booking.com to get an idea of prices.  There are plenty of very active housing groups on Facebook that you should join, especially if you wish to find a room in a shared house or flat, as people regularly post there.  We recommend that you find somewhere close to the school during the course, as traffic can move slowly during rush hour.  It’s perhaps better to find something temporary over the course and then find something for the longer-term once you know where in the city you will be working.

How much money do I need beyond the course fees?

Check out http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ for up-to-date info on the general cost of living in Vietnam.  However, the exact amount you spend will depend on the lifestyle you choose to live while you’re here.

Is there a dress code on the course?

The main rule in terms of dress code is to look like you are working and not backpacking.  Outside of this, we like to be flexible as we want you to be comfortable in the hot weather.  Jeans, shorts and flip-flops are out.  Try to look fairly smart in the afternoons for teaching practice.  In the mornings, it’s just you and the tutors, as such we don’t mind you wearing more comfortable clothing before the students arrive.

Any other questions?

Drop us a line at teacher.training@apollo.edu.vn