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It is definitely worth putting some time and effort into learning some basic Vietnamese during your time in the country. The locals will appreciate your efforts and you will gain a greater understanding of the culture of your adopted country. Many locals do speak some English, but the further you venture from the main cities, the less likely it is that you will be able to communicate without a basic understanding of the Vietnamese language. ILA offers free 'survival Vietnamese' lessons to new teachers. You will also find a variety of different opportunities to learn Vietnamese through local universities or one on one tutors.
Private Vietnamese Tutors: www.vlstudies.com