Monday, February 6, 2023


Learning Vietnamese overseas

One of the factors in making many Vietnamese successful in their careers is the Vietnamese cultural value that they have picked up over the years, including the Vietnamese language.

The Vietnamese language not only reflects national traditions but also helps to bring overseas Vietnamese closer to each other and to their home country.

In order to preserve the mother tongue among the Vietnamese communities abroad, the Prime Minister has approved a project to support overseas Vietnamese in learning the mother tongue.

Under the PM’s decision, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has published two books for both Vietnamese adults and teenagers abroad and asked Vietnam Television and the Voice of Vietnam to set up an audio and video syllabus to broadcast on VTV4 and VOV channels to help them study Vietnamese.

However, it is still not easy for Vietnamese people in some countries to get access to the programme.

Vietnamese language classes for overseas kids needed

Yukimo Ho from Japan says that it is necessary to have classes to teach the mother tongue to overseas Vietnamese kids as the Japanese is doing.

The Japanese government has always attached great importance to teaching Japanese to overseas people. It holds Saturday Japanese classes for kids and their parents only have to contribute a small amount. The classes enable children to reintegrate into the community when they return to their home country.

Parents’ determination needed

According to Bui Ai Phuong from Italy, there are some Vietnamese classes available and most of them are run by volunteer overseas Vietnamese students. In other areas where Vietnamese classes are unavailable, people can study Vietnamese via the Internet. She says that a parent determination has great influence on their children’s ability to speak their mother tongue, the kids can easily forget unless they have the chance to use it at home everyday.

Mrs. Phuong also hopes to access a more modern methodology so she can teach her children better.

Vietnamese language textbooks unavailable

Nguyen Thi Kim Hien from Russia says there are several reasons that Vietnamese children cannot use their mother tongue. Firstly, their parents live like local people and are not discriminated against. Secondly, they are too busy working so they have no time to teach their children. Lastly, there are not many Vietnamese classes in Russia. In addition, it is not easy to buy a Vietnamese language textbook in Russia.

Mrs. Hien hopes that the State will pay more attention to the teaching and learning of the mother tongue to overseas people in Russia as well as in other countries.

Suitable syllabus for different age groups

Vu Khac Loc from Thailand says that most fourth and fifth generation overseas Vietnamese could not learn Vietnamese due to the Thai government’s unfavourable policy. Now, the policy has changed, Vietnamese people in Thailand have a better chance to learn their mother tongue. The Vietnamese Association in Thailand has put together a suitable syllabus to teach pupils of different ages.

Syllabus needs improving

Nguyen Van Tho from German says that it is much easier to learn Vietnamese in Germany thanks to local governments, Vietnamese associations, organisations and individuals.

However, Mr Tho says, overseas Vietnamese children in Europe are not very interested in learning their mother tongue because of the boring textbooks, so the syllabus needs to be improved. 

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