Efforts to Preserve Vietnamese Language Abroad

Vietnamese language is a precious cultural and historical heritage of Vietnam. Abroad, Vietnamese language is always honored and preserved by Vietnamese communities across five continents.
December 16, 2021 | 14:44
Efforts to Preserve Vietnamese Language Abroad
Overseas Vietnamese attended the 2019 Vietnamese language teaching training course for teachers. Photo: State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs

For the community of 5.3 million Vietnamese people living and working in 130 countries and territories, the Vietnamese language is national pride. With the efforts of thousands of Vietnamese teachers and volunteers abroad, the work of spreading the Vietnamese language to the second and third generations of Vietnamese born and raised abroad has had important achievements.

In the US, today Vietnamese is the fifth most popular language after English, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog. With the policy of respecting the culture of immigrants in the US, Vietnamese is taught as a foreign language at many schools and universities.

In particular, in Hawaii, the US government has created favorable conditions for learning the Vietnamese language.

Although Vietnamese has not yet become an official subject in the general education system in the US (from elementary school to high school), with the need to learn and preserve the community's national cultural identity, many forms of Vietnamese language teaching and learning method was born. Currently, there are more than 5,000 Vietnamese language teaching institutions throughout the states.

In Europe, there have been many bright spots about the Vietnamese language teaching and learning movement in the community, typically Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. With the number of about 70,000 people, since 2013, the Vietnamese community has been officially recognized by the Czech government as an ethnic minority group. Generations of Vietnamese children in the Czech Republic have the right to study and education in Vietnamese, which is a favorable condition for preserving and promoting the Vietnamese language abroad. Up to now, many Vietnamese language teaching institutions have been established.

In other areas, the movement of teaching and learning Vietnamese is also active. In Taiwan, Vietnamese is becoming popular from first to third grade, students are the second generation of Vietnamese and also local. In Laos, there are currently 13 Vietnamese language teaching institutions, including the Lao-Vietnamese Nguyen Du Bilingual School in Vientiane with nearly 1,700 students, and Champasak Friendship Primary School with nearly 900 students. In Thailand, there are also nearly 30 free classes organized by the Vietnamese Association.

In addition to overseas Vietnamese, the demand for Vietnamese language learning by foreigners is also increasing, especially in Northeast Asian countries.

Through the Vietnamese language, the image of the country and Vietnamese people is spread to international friends. Tran Thi My, a teacher in Japan, shared that the demand for learning Vietnamese in Japan is very high, especially those who need to communicate with Vietnamese people at work. Learners are not limited to the Japanese. For example, in the Open Academy program of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Vietnamese is always one of the most registered subjects.

Efforts to Preserve Vietnamese Language Abroad
Teachers and students at Lac Long Quan Vietnamese School, Poland in the opening ceremony of the 2019-2020 school year. Photo: VOV5

In order to preserve and honor the national language and to meet the growing demand for Vietnamese language learning in the overseas Vietnamese community, our Party and State always have policies to create favorable conditions. At the beginning of 2021, at the 13th Congress, our Party affirmed: "create conditions for the people to preserve the Vietnamese language, national cultural identity, raise national pride and dignity."

Contributing to the realization of the above policies, the State Committee for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done practical work. More than 70,000 sets of textbooks and materials for teaching and learning Vietnamese are supported to the Vietnamese language teaching community in many countries and regions. Since 2013, the Committee has regularly coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Training to organize training courses on Vietnamese language teaching for overseas Vietnamese teachers.

Up to now, nearly 300 overseas Vietnamese teachers have been trained, becoming the core of the movement of teaching and learning Vietnamese abroad. Following that success, the 2021 training course held online from October to December 2021 witnessed the participation of more than 300 teachers around the world, promising to become a valuable resource to promote the Vietnamese language teaching and learning movement in many areas.

In the coming time, practical solutions will be deployed to encourage and spread the Vietnamese language teaching and learning movement, raise awareness and responsibility of the whole society in honoring, preserving and promoting the value of the national language.

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Rosie Nguyen
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