The first Vietnamese teaching class is opened in Malaysia (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Solutions to improve the teaching and learning of Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese people were proposed at a seminar in Hanoi on August 22.

The event was held by the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese (SCOV) under the Foreign Ministry and the Department of Continuing Education under the Ministry of Education and Training.

It drew officials, experts on Vietnamese language and 78 teachers from 12 countries and territories who are participating in a training course on Vietnamese teaching.

SCOV Vice Chairman Luong Thanh Nghi said the teaching and learning of Vietnamese has long been a demand of overseas Vietnamese people. However, most teaching centres are small, lack funding and necessary infrastructure, and attract few learners.

Vietnamese language classes are mainly held at the weekend and summer holidays or combined with trips to the homeland.

Some Vietnamese teachers have compiled textbooks, reference books and other teaching materials by themselves, but these books generally don’t meet specialised standards. Most centres lack well-trained teachers, most of whom are volunteers without salaries or allowances.

Director of the Continuing Education Department Nguyen Cong Hinh said the education ministry compiled and posted two books, “Tieng Viet vui” (Fun Vietnamese) for youth and children and “Que Viet” (Vietnamese Homeland) for adults, on its website http://tiengvietonline.vn .

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The ministry has worked with the SCOV to hold annual training courses for overseas teachers of Vietnamese. It has also sent teachers to neighboring countries like Laos and Thailand to teach the language to students, he noted.

At the discussion, participants said that overseas Vietnamese communities are making efforts to maintain the language.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Som, a teacher of Vietnamese in Thailand, said the State should give more support in terms of textbooks and teaching equipment, open more training courses for overseas teachers, and grant scholarships for expatriate students to attract them to language courses.

Meanwhile, some teachers in Malaysia asked agencies to provide more practical assistance for teaching centres such as funding for teachers and teaching assistants.

Other participants said parents and students should be aware of the importance of maintaining their mother tongue and preserving national identity. Parents also need to help their children to engage in language classes and communicate with their children in Vietnamese at home.-VNA