“Sowing” Vietnamese language in the US

Published: 27/03/2009 05:00



Thanks to his prestige and effort, Professor Dr. Ngo Nhu Binh has brought the Vietnamese language to the same level with Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages at the linguistics faculty of the Harvard University and other universities in the US.

Prof. Ngo Nhu Binh and his American colleague on the Hau River, Can Tho City.

Before going to the US, Professor Binh taught Vietnamese for more than ten years at the Lomonosov University, Russia. In Russia, he compiled some Vietnamese teaching books. The last book he published in Russia is “Vietnamese Language Curriculum for 1st Year Students,” a joint work with two Russian co-workers, in 1989. This book is still used at the Lomonusov University, the Moscow International Relationship Institute, the Russian University of Humanity Sciences, and the Military University in Moscow.

In the US, some universities are using Professor Binh’s “Elementary Vietnamese” book, which goes with eight CDs. This book was published for the first time in 1999 by the Charles E. Tuttle Publishing, Inc. It was re-printed several times.

This book is also available at universities in Canada, Germany, South Korea, and Japan. Professor Binh is working on the draft of another Vietnamese teaching textbook, entitled “Continuing Vietnamese.”

Other Vietnamese language teaching books compiled by Professor Binh include “Conversational Vietnamese” and “English for Vietnamese Speakers,” based on Pimsleur methodology, published by Simon & Schuster publishing house.

Professor Binh and his two co-workers at two American universities wrote “Proficiency Guidelines” and “Teaching and Learning Framework for Vietnamese,” which are also used by many universities in the US and other countries.

Talent and prestige

When Professor Binh moved from Russia to the US to teach Vietnamese at Harvard University in 1992, the Vietnamese language had already been taught for over 20 years there. But at that time, this university didn’t have a complete and systematic Vietnamese language teaching program. Whenever there was demand for studying Vietnamese, the university invited guest lecturers.

After two years of teaching Vietnamese at Harvard, the university officially had Vietnamese language lecturers.

Professor Binh is now a member of Harvard’s foreign language advisory sub-committee, which gathers prestigious linguistic experts.

In teaching Vietnamese, Professor Binh tries to introduce Vietnam as a country with a long history and culture to foreign students and he tries to help Vietnamese-American students to go the root.

“Most of my students have come to Vietnam. Some of them are working in Vietnam,” he said.

Some of his students have become Vietnamese studies experts who still send a New Year’s congratulation card to their teachers.

Professor Binh is now the chief of the Vietnamese language section at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.


Provide by Vietnam Travel

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