Two Vietnamese language teachers in Deajeon

Update: 18:19 | 14/12/2019
TGVN. Although Deajean city (South Korea) does not celebrate the Vietnamese Teachers’ Day on 20th November as in Vietnam, young teachers like Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong and Ms. Kim Thoa always find joy in doing meaningful work of teaching Vietnamese language.
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Phuong and Thoa started their Vietnamese language teaching by different ways, but their love for the mother tongue has helped them stick with this noble profession for many years.

Promoting the Koreans' love of Vietnamese language

Phuong said that when she was studying Korean language at the Faculty of Oriental studies (now known as Faculty of International Studies) at Da Lat University, she found the language very interesting and through it, she could learn about culture and history of a country. The passion for language helped the young girl realized that, language is one of the shortest and fastest ways to understand deeply about a country or a culture.

two vietnamese language teachers in deajeon
Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong.

Along with studying at the school, when working part-time and interpreting for many Koreans living in Vietnam, she found that they were very interested in Vietnamese language and culture. Therefore, she decided to start teaching Vietnamese language for Koreans at Binh Duong University's Sejong Center.

In 2015, Phuong was lucky to receive a Korean government scholarship to study master's degree in Language Education at Sunmoon University. Currently, as a lecturer of Vietnamese language at the International Language Center at Chungnam National University, she finds Vietnam as a "potential country" for many Koreans.

In fact, Vietnamese has been an elective language for many regions in South Korea where many high school students have orientation to learn it for better employment opportunities. The recent university entrance examination in South Korea also has an elective subject of Vietnamese language.

"Korean people respect and pay honour to teachers. My students are mostly employed, older, respectful, punctual, and responsible. I myself have learned a lot from the spirit of teacher respect, politeness and their true efforts", Phuong said.

Helping overseas Vietnamese children turn to their roots

Not only Koreans but also the Vietnamese - Korean multicultural families actively participated in Vietnamese classes in Deajeon. Phuong's close colleague, Kim Thoa, has spent 6 years of teaching Vietnamese. In addition to working at the International Language Center of Chungnam National University, Thoa also teaches Vietnamese to elementary school students and their parents at Deajoen International Exchange Center. In the context of lacking of Vietnamese textbooks, but with her passion for the profession, she still regularly participates in Vietnamese volunteer classes for overseas Vietnamese children organized by the Vietnamese Association in Daejeon.

two vietnamese language teachers in deajeon
Ms. Kim Thoa (left)

Currently, Daejeon city has about 5,000 Vietnamese people, most of whom are Vietnamese women married with local men, and immigrated workers and international students. Therefore, the most meaningful work for the community is to participate in Vietnamese classes for second and third generation children who were born and raised here.

Thoa shared her wish that in the next few years, high schools or universities in South Korea will establish a Vietnamese language department. If this become reality, children of multicultural families as well as Vietnamese community here will have many advantages in learning.

Vietnamese teachers such as Phuong and Thoa put great faith in the youth of multicultural families who are the bridge connecting the two countries in the future. The two teachers hope to contribute their efforts to preserving the mother tongue and promoting cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Living between two different cultures, they aspire to truly integrate and have a stable life in South Korean society. Therefore, in addition to teaching, Phuong and Thoa also participated actively in community activities. Phuong also established a own YouTube channel to cook and introduce delicious Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Additionally, she confidently took part in performing arts and became a host of Vietnamese community's cultural programs here.

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