Vietnamese Language Program
Welcome to the Vietnamese language program at Columbia University! The Vietnamese language is spoken by some 96 million people in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with large communities also present in France, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, and South Korea. About 1.5 million people of Vietnamese heritage live in the United States, with some 38,000 Vietnamese calling the New York Metro area home. Vietnam has stood as the cultural, political, and linguistic gateway between East and Southeast Asia for over two thousand years. A major province of China from the Han through Tang Dynasties, Vietnam later emerged as a principal regional kingdom in the 10th century, with close ties both to contemporary China and nascent Southeast Asian polities. Today, Vietnam continues to act as a critical bridge between East and Southeast Asia, as a core member of ASEAN, one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and one of only three communist governments in the region (alongside China and North Korea).
We are proud to announce the opening of a new program of Vietnamese language study beginning in the fall of 2018. Our new instructor, Nguyễn Phương Chung, comes to Columbia with extensive experience teaching Vietnamese at the college and graduate levels in Vietnam, developing pedagogy tailored to the specific demands of the Vietnamese language, and training diplomats at the US Embassy to Vietnam in Hanoi according to State Department standards. Classes utilize a functional approach with heavy emphasis on learner participation and practical communication. Our program combines the basic six-tiered plan for language mastery currently used by the University of Social Sciences & Humanities in Vietnam with the standards and techniques developed by the State Department for diplomatic language training. Students are encouraged to apply and enhance their practical communicatory skills through exploration of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage, as well as the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary Vietnamese society.
We currently offer an introductory level of Vietnamese, UN1101 (no experience necessary) and UN1102, as well as a second-year + heritage level course UN1201 and UN1202 (placement exam required) throughout the year, with additional possibilities on a case-by-case basis, for those interested in advanced study during the 2018-2019 academic year. Regular third- and fourth-year courses will also be offered as the program grows. The Vietnamese language program is also proud to serve the needs of Columbia’s newly-formed graduate program in Vietnamese studies. With the recent appointments of Liên-Hằng Nguyễn (History) and John Phan (EALAC), Columbia is now one of the only institutions to offer a unified graduate program on Vietnamese history, culture, and literary criticism, from premodern to contemporary times. The Vietnamese language program is working closely with Professors Nguyễn and Phan to establish a premier center for Vietnamese language training here at Columbia. Our long-term goal is to develop a program that will serve the needs of all levels of interest, from the beginner, to the heritage learner, to advance graduate students working on primary materials.
For more information on the Vietnamese language program, please contact Nguyễn Phương Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Vietnamese studies at Columbia University, please contact Professor John Phan at email@example.com.