New Vietnamese Language Course Available in the Netherlands

The 2023-2024 school year has kicked off for a Vietnamese language program catered towards the overseas Vietnamese community residing in the Netherlands. This initiative aims to address the community's desire to learn their native language and foster a sense of cultural heritage within the European nation.

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Speaking at the event held at the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands on October 15, Ambassador Ngo Huong Nam hailed teachers’ and learners’ efforts in teaching and learning the mother tongue and shared with the class the latest policies of the Party, State, Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to assist overseas Vietnamese to learn the language. Accordingly, September 8 has been designated as the day for Vietnamese language appreciation for communities abroad.

The ambassador highlighted the significance of maintaining the teaching and learning of Vietnamese as the language is a special bond connecting overseas Vietnamese, particularly the young generation, and their roots.

Vietnamese Language Class Opens In Netherlands
Teachers and learners at the Vietnamese language class opening ceremony in the Netherlands, October 15, 2023. Photo: VNA

Besides, the language also plays a crucial role in introducing the national cultural identity to international friends. Especially, the number of Vietnamese language foreign learners has increased as they choose the S-shaped country to live and work, he added.

However, Vietnamese language teaching and learning abroad is facing challenges due to a lack of skilled teachers and facilities. Therefore, the embassy will continue to ask the MOFA, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese and relevant units to introduce measures to promote the Vietnamese language study movement abroad.

The Vietnamese language class in the Netherlands was started in 2017, gathering once a week at the Embassy’s building. Learners are of various age groups, from children to students and foreigners married to Vietnamese.

Vietnamese language lessons for overseas Vietnamese (OVs), especially young people, have been growing in popularity.

For more than 5.3 million overseas Vietnamese living in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide, the Vietnamese language is a means for them to preserve their traditional culture and establish themselves while integrating into the local communities. The language is also a bridge to connect OVs all over the world with their motherland.

Vietnamese language helps overseas Vietnamese connect with their homeland

The preservation and dissemination of the Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese communities around the world not only helps them improve language competency but nurtures pride and love for the homeland.

For the Vietnamese community abroad, the Vietnamese language – their mother tongue is a means of preserving, spreading, and transmitting culture, helping them keep their cultural identity. Vietnamese is a bridge connecting Vietnamese people around the world with the fatherland.

Teaching Vietnamese to Vietnamese people abroad, especially the younger generation, has become a movement in Vietnamese communities around the world. So far, there are about 200 centers and establishments teaching Vietnamese in the US, 39 classes in Thailand, 33 schools in Cambodia, and 13 schools in Laos.

Since 2013, the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (SCOVA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Training to provide training courses for teachers teaching Vietnamese abroad.

So far, more than 800 teachers have attended these training courses with the latest one held from August 16-30.

Dao Le Quynh Phan, an overseas Vietnamese in Thailand said that there is a huge demand for learning the Vietnamese language in Thailand, particularly in its northeast region which is home to the third largest Vietnamese community in Thailand.

Vietnamese Language Class Opens In Netherlands
Teaching Vietnamese to Vietnamese people abroad, especially the younger generation, has become a movement in Vietnamese communities around the world. Photo: One City Project

In 2023, the first year of the project, September 8 marked “Vietnamese Language Day” for the first time.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, Chairwoman of the SCOVA, said that the project aims to turn “Vietnamese Language Day” into an important annual milestone in the cultural and spiritual life of overseas Vietnamese communities, creating motivation to preserve and promote the Vietnamese language globally.

Under the project, from the beginning of 2023, the SCOVA launched a contest to find “Ambassadors of Vietnamese language abroad in 2023”.

By the end of the year, the committee will open libraries with Vietnamese books to serve communities in countries such as Japan, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary. It will continue to support Vietnamese learning and teaching abroad, for example, by providing teaching/learning materials, or Vietnamese language teaching TV programs.

The Deputy FM hoped that activities to honor the Vietnamese language and culture will increasingly receive widespread attention from communities, organizations, and individuals at home and abroad.

Charlotte Pho