Half a century of studying and teaching Vietnamese language and studies

Tuesday - 20/11/2018 21:16
On November 16th, 2018, at the ceremony commemorating 50th years of its establishment, Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language was granted the Labor Medal of Second Order for its excellent achievements in studying and training Vietnamese language and studies for half a century.
Half a century of studying and teaching Vietnamese language and studies
Half a century of studying and teaching Vietnamese language and studies

Prof. Dr Pham Quang Minh (USSH's Rector) granted Labor Medal of Second Order to Assoc.Prof.Dr Nguyen Thien Nam (Dean of Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language) at the ceremony (November 16th, 2018) 

Founded in 1968, Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language was the successor of Faculty of Vietnamese Language, Hanoi General University. The Faculty was offically tasked by the Vietnam's Party and State with training Vietnamese language for foreign students according to agreements between the government of Vietnam and other countries.

In 1995, its name was changed to Faculty of Vietnamese Language and Culture for foreigners and began to train bachelors of Vietnamese language and culture for foreigners. In 2008, the Faculty once again changed its name to Faculty of Vietnamese Studies and Language and became the sole unit in Vietnam tasked with 02 bachelor's programs in Vietnamese studies for Vietnamese as well as foreigners.

Faculty of Vietnamese studies and language is currently the most traditional hub in Vietnam that trains Vietnamese studies and language, and plans to gradually become a Vietnamese studies center of international status. Its Vietnamese studies programs have their own identity and strength: trans-disciplinary science based on basic knowledge of social sciences and humanities.

Participating in the ceremony were many non-Vietnamese diplomatic officials: Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Vietnam, Mr. Saadi Salama; Ambassador of Romania to Vietnam, Mr. Valeriu Arteni; Ambassador of Cuba to Vietnam, Mrs. Lianys Torres Rivera; Ambassador of the PRK, Kim Myong-gil. 

The Faculty's most prominent attainment is having trained over 10,000 non-Vietnamese in Vietnamese language and culture. Many of them have become senior diplomats and high-level interpreters. A lot of famous Vietnamese studies scholars in the world have studied and trained at the Faculty. Especially, 15 of its foreign students have become Ambassadors and Chargés d'affaires ad interim in Vietnam. 

Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Nam (Dean of FVSL): "50 years have passed since the Faculty was established, 59 years since the Vietnamese language Department was founded, and 62 years since Vietnamese language was first trained at this University. That is enough time for us to look at a period full of memories and feel proud of the Faculty's contributions to the University and our common national cause, and be confident to enter the new stage". 

The Faculty has excellently completed its mission of training Vietnamese language for Laotian students and staff as well as those from Cambodian universities in 10 years after the Pol Pot regime collapsed. Many international students trained at the Faculty have become better at writing Vietnamese language than even Mr. Joe (Dâu Tây), who has been said to speak the language "even more fluently than the Vietnamese" and authored many bestsellers in Vietnam such as Tớ là DâuNgược chiều vun vút, etc. Some alumni have even made Vietnamese poems with profound affection and coherent language such as Jorgen Anes, a Norwegian with his poem Yêu Hà Nội (Love Hanoi).

Prof. Dr Pham Quang Minh (USSH's Rector): "I have in me an effusive feeling. I have plenty of love for the Faculty of Vietnamese language and studies, not only as a leader of the University. I taught in the Faculty's 3+1 program and master's program. I think although the Faculty's name has changed many times, from Department of Vietnamese Language in 1956, Faculty of Vietnamese Language in 1968, Faculty of Vietnamese Language and Studies for foreigners in 1995, to Faculty of Vietnamese Language and Studies in 2008, its tradition has always been teaching foreigners and become a cultural bridge between Vietnam and the world. The Faculty's staff has helped honor Vietnamese language and illuminate Vietnamese culture. We can be cheerful, delight and proud for having helped bring this language to international guests, thereby connecting Vietnamese to all countries"

Regarding research affairs, the Faculty has completed many research projects at Ministry, VNU and University levels. The Vietnamese language textbooks for foreigners compiled by its lecturers are useful and provide standards for the construction of language textbooks according to each period. Many of its lecturers' monographs and references are greatly influential such as more than 70 books by Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Thach Giang, the huge Vietnamese-English Dictionary that received Science and Technology State Award by deceased Assoc. Prof. Bui Phung, and works on grammer, utility words and formal words by Assoc. Prof. Do Thanh, Prof. Hoang Trong Phien, Prof. Dinh Van Duc, and deceased Assoc.Prof. Nguyen Anh Que.

Prof. People's Teacher Hoang Trong Phien (first dean of Faculty of Vietnamese language): the first years were difficult, but generations of teachers and staff devoted their entire spriit and love to teaching Vietnamese language for foreign students, providing them with accommodation and stable living conditions. In the first place the Faculty aimed at answering such questions as how to teach foreigners Vietnamese language? Even now this orientation is still used: to teach not theoretical knowledge but practical Vietnamese language on a scientific basis. The Vietnamese language textbook is based on linguistics rather than phonetics as before.

In recent years, the Faculty has gained some especially great achievements recognized domestically and internationally such as successfully compiling the Vietnamese proficiency scale for foreigners to be applied nationwide and in many other countries; the Format for the Vietnamese language proficiency test according to the Vietnamese proficiency scale for foreigners applied nationwide and in many other countries ; the systematic Curriculum for training Vietnamese language teachers for foreigners; and trained Vietnamese language teachers for Vietnamese overseas for the government (5 courses with over 200 teachers from over 15 countries, which successfully contribute the training of Vietnamese language teachers for Vietnamese overseas). The Faculty provides specialized consulting to the program Increasing online Vietnamese language teaching for Vietnamese overseas.

Ambassador of Romania to Vietnam Valeriu Arteni (student of the Faculty during 1971-1976): I love Vietnamese language and Vietnam. Vietnamese is an extremely rich and beautiful language. We studied at an evacuation area in rural Vietnam. There, our firm Vietnamese language foundation was formed. I had valuable opportunities to understand Vietnamese culture right in the countryside. I don't want to cry now but I did upon returning to the Faculty, my home.

The Faculty's teachers are messengers that brought Vietnamese language and culture to the world. From Washington (US) to Berlin (Germany), from Tokyo of Japan to London of the UK, from Kaoshiung (Taiwan, China) to Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia, from Stockholm of Sweden to Seoul of South Korea, they have left marks through their noble mission as Vietnamese language and culture messengers.

The Palestinian Ambassador Saadi Salama (student of the Faculty during 1980-1984): The Faculty's teachers were like our parents, helping us through difficulties although their own lives were arduous. I like to bring my love and pride for Vietnamese language around the world and tell others about the beauty and refinement of Vietnamese culture and my second beloved homeland.

Currently, the Faculty of Vietnamese language and studies is also tasked with the strategic mission of training Vietnamese studies. Since 2013-2014, this major has been recognized as one of 7 basic sciences of USSH.

Honoring the elderly teachers

The Faculty has been offering the master's program in Vietnamese studies and is going to open a bachelor's program in Vietnamese studies taught in English for international students. It currently is the only faculty in Vietnam that officially trains both Vietnamese and international students, with totally 500 students.

Honoring the Faculty's leaders then and now

With its outstanding contributions, the Faculty has been awarded the Labor Medal of Second Order and many other Medals from Laos and Cambodia.

The Faculty's teachers receive flowers from non-Vietnamese students

Author: Thanh Ha

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