Vietnamese language class in Russia

Wednesday, 2019-06-19 17:54:25
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At the Vietnamese language class in Russia (Photo:Nam Dong)
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NDO – “Learning Vietnamese language towards original point” is a sincere sharing of a parent, whose child is participating in a Vietnamese language class for Vietnamese children in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia. Not only helping Vietnamese children of the second and third generation to learn Vietnamese, the class is also a place for them to understand more about Vietnamese culture and history.

First achievements

The Vietnamese class, organised by the Consulate General of Vietnam in Yekaterinburg and the Association of Vietnamese in Yekaterinburg, runs on the fourth floor of a commercial complex in the city of Yekaterinburg. In the daytime, children have to go to school at their local schools while their parents have to work, so, it is difficult to arrange time for the children to go to the school, for this reason, the two-hour Vietnamese language class at Yekaterinburg only opens on Monday nights and Saturday nights.

Le Thanh Hai, a parent of a student in the class, shared: “I have lived and worked in Russia for more than 30 years. I believe that I am Vietnamese, so my children also need to know Vietnamese, more or less, so that they can remember their homeland and origins. Furthermore, when the children visit their homeland later, they will be able to talk to their grandparents and relatives". He said that since his wife was Russian his children previously could not speak any Vietnamese at all. But after a while studying at Vietnamese class, the children were able to spell and write in Vietnamese letters. Their speaking skills are still not good, but he believes it will improve gradually.

The class has more than 10 children; the oldest is 10 years old while the youngest is 6 years old. According to teacher Dinh Thi Tuyet Mai, who is now a sixth-year student at Ural State Medical University, Yekaterinburg city, she has been teaching the class for almost a year. The teaching process has also faced some difficulties because the children are of different ages. “Therefore, I also have to find a way to divide the lesson time so that the whole class can learn Vietnamese. There are children whose parents are Russian while other childrens’ parents are Vietnamese, which are two different environments, so I have to use both Vietnamese and Russian to help the whole class understand and get along with each other", she added.

Teacher Mai said that all the programmes and learning tools of the children were supported by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs. Aiming to increase the opportunity to practice and create interest in learning, in addition to teaching Vietnamese, the teachers also guide children to participate in folk games and sing Vietnamese songs. Not only teaching the children to read and write Vietnamese, the teachers have also introduced Vietnamese culture and history in the lessons.

Although not yet familiar with reading Vietnamese, the children are eager to learn new words from their homeland.

Overcoming difficulties

Vietnamese consul general in Yekaterinburg Ngo Phuong Nghi shared that opening Vietnamese language classes for children has been a desire of the Vietnamese community in Russia for a long time. The Vietnamese community, who have been living in Russia steadily since 1994 – 1995, and many families want to let their children learn Vietnamese. They are the “main factors" helping maintain the classroom's activity.

However, in order for the Vietnamese language class to go into formal operation as nowadays, the Association of Vietnamese and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Yekaterinburg have experienced many difficulties. The first difficulty is in finding teachers, who need to meet certain standards of voice and knowledge. The Association of Vietnamese and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Yekaterinburg have selected teachers who are good at both Vietnamese and Russian to teach the children.

With the experience from deploying Vietnamese language classes in Yekaterinburg, Vietnamese Consul General in Yekaterinburg Nghi said that in order to promote the teaching and learning of Vietnamese language for Vietnamese generations who were born and raised in Russia, it is necessary to rely on community and gather solidarity in the group of studious families. The Vietnamese community in Yekaterinburg is very interested and well prepared for the future of their children. They fully prepared their life journey with luggage enough, including both Russian and Vietnamese languages.

With the success of Vietnamese language classes in Yekaterinburg, the Vietnamese Consul General in Yekaterinburg said that the Vietnamese Consulate General is determined to expand this model to many other provinces in the Ural region.