Dr. Duong Tuan Anh Reports: Significant Progress for Vietnam in the Global Arena

The Vietnam Times spoke with Associate Professor, Dr. Duong Tuan Anh, deputy head of the Department of Literature, Hanoi National University of Education, to mark September 8, a day dedicated to honoring the Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese communities and to learn about the progress of Vietnamese language around the world.

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Associate Professor Duong Tuan Anh: Position of Vietnamese in The World Made Great Strides
Activities of a group of teachers teaching Vietnamese to Vietnamese people abroad under the guidance of Associate Professor, Dr. Trinh Thi Lan (Faculty of Literature, Hanoi University).

How do you evaluate the position of Vietnamese in the world today?

Currently, the Vietnamese community abroad consists of about 6 million people. Therefore, the Vietnamese language is gaining prominence as the number of Vietnamese people worldwide increases. Additionally, Vietnam’s growing political and economic stature has made Vietnamese an important language not only for overseas Vietnamese but also a focal point of interest for foreigners.

In Korea, Vietnamese is considered one of the primary foreign languages to be learned. Workshops on Vietnamese are being organized both domestically and internationally, including in Taiwan and China.

While teaching at Beijing Foreign Studies University, I witnessed students learning Vietnamese language. Every two years, they have the opportunity to participate in the national Vietnamese excellent student examination. China regularly organizes these activities to foster the development of Vietnamese language learning, particularly in the southern provinces.

I once heard a Chinese person living in the Hekou border gate area (China) say, “If you want to have a better life, you have to learn Vietnamese.” Clearly, for those seeking economic opportunities with Vietnam, Vietnamese language proficiency is a valuable asset in their work.

Australian and Russian communities also place value on Vietnamese. They have established networks for teaching and learning the Vietnamese language.

Based on my observations over the past 20 years, the status of Vietnamese language worldwide has made significant progress.

Associate Professor Duong Tuan Anh: Position of Vietnamese in The World Made Great Strides
Associate Professor, Dr. Duong Tuan Anh, deputy head of the Department of Literature, Hanoi National University of Education.

As a companion to Vietnamese language training courses for overseas Vietnamese teachers in other countries, what are your comments on these courses?

I have participated in four Vietnamese language training courses for expatriate teachers abroad. Two of these courses were conducted online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, each with approximately 200 participants. In the past two courses, I had the opportunity to teach and directly interact with overseas Vietnamese learners.

Each training course provides teachers who teach Vietnamese to Vietnamese people abroad with professional knowledge on language teaching methods and additional foundations in Vietnamese language and culture. This equips them with more confidence in teaching Vietnamese to overseas Vietnamese and foreigners.

I believe that there is a great need for learning Vietnamese and gaining a better understanding of the nation’s cultural traditions. Having the opportunity to interact with overseas Vietnamese from various countries around the world, I am truly touched and appreciative. They are the ones who promote the Vietnamese language on a global scale. Vietnamese is not just a language, but also a culture and a source of national pride. Preserving the Vietnamese language is a way of expressing love for the Fatherland.

How do you evaluate the day to honor Vietnamese language in the overseas Vietnamese community (September 8)?

The day to honor Vietnamese language is an important event that demonstrates the Party and State’s concern for the Vietnamese language. It serves as a reminder for Vietnamese people to cherish and value the Vietnamese language and its cultural significance.

Activities to honor the Vietnamese language, including Vietnamese Language Honor Day, educate Vietnamese generations, especially overseas Vietnamese, about the value of Vietnamese language as a cultural heritage.

Moreover, these activities create an environment for language exchange and foster motivation among Vietnamese learners. Honoring the Vietnamese language attracts participation from various social sectors, contributing to the development of a learning society.

Rosie Nguyen