Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy and Vietnamese Women Club in Malaysia visit the class. (Photo: VNA)

The class is aimed at children of Vietnamese women who have married Malaysians, or foreigners who live and work in Malaysia. 

It also welcomes children of Vietnamese staff. Initially, about 30 students were enrolled. They were divided into two classes by age and arranged to study during the weekend.

Teacher Nguyen Thi Lien said that at the beginning, most of the children who spoke Vietnamese were not fluent or they didn’t speak regularly. In class, according to their habit, they often used Malaysian, Chinese or English to communicate with each other, rarely using Vietnamese.

To help them study Vietnamese and form a habit of using Vietnamese, the teachers have made great efforts and they have seen gradual but significant changes. So far, most of them can speak Vietnamese fluently. They can understand the contents of lessons in the curriculum compiled by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

On the occasion of the Southern Liberation and May Day recently held at the Vietnamese Embassy, the children performed a Vietnamese song and they were praised and encouraged by the community.

Most importantly, they have formed the habit of communicating in Vietnamese with each other in class, thus creating a foundation for learning Vietnamese more effectively and more methodically.

Ms. Nguyen Thuy Thien Huong, one of two main teachers of the class, said that at first it was difficult for teachers to create a habit of Vietnamese communication among the children. After a time of teaching, the teachers asked the children to only speak Vietnamese in class. At the same time, they also proposed that the students’ parents increase communication in Vietnamese with them at home, creating a real environment for them to practice.

Ms. Huong also said that not only being taught Vietnamese language, the children are also taught knowledge about Vietnamese culture such as how to greet, how to behave between student and teacher, and between student and student.

This result is thanks to the interest of the Vietnamese Women Club, Embassy and community in Malaysia. Particularly, a member of the club with a Malaysian husband has voluntarily organized the class at home. This is a precious support for the class.

Mr. Bui Khanh Long, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia, said that teaching Vietnamese for children of the Vietnamese community in Malaysia is a significant thing. It not only helps them to speak their mother tongue, but more importantly helps them to understand Vietnamese culture and history, thereby helping them become more attached to the homeland and their origins.

He also said the initial results and experiences gained through this first Vietnamese class would be studied by the Vietnamese Embassy, to replicate the model in other localities in Malaysia.

In the immediate future, the Embassy will remodel some rooms in its facility to serve as classrooms for the children./.