Feature: Chinese language teaching in Vietnam, firm bridge connects two countries


By Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh, Yang Wei, Zhang Jianhua
HANOI, Oct. 12 — “I like Vietnam. The life and the students here make me feel like going back to my youth. I like to stay here, maybe till the day that I cannot walk myself,” the 60- year-old Chinese language teacher Zhao Yuquan, when interviewed with Xinhua in early October, expressed his love for Vietnam.
Over the past decade, Chinese language has exposed its great influence in Vietnam following the development of trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries, attracting dozens of Chinese volunteers to Vietnam to teach Chinese language. Day by day, the Chinese volunteers in Vietnam have served as a bridge linking the two countries, especially in cultural exchanges.
Zhao Yuquan is among the first of the Chinese teachers coming to Vietnam.”Promoting Chinese language in Vietnam is of great significance, not only to spread the language, but also to help the world to understand China,” said Zhao.
Nine years ago, Zhao applied to a recruitment of volunteers to teach Chinese overseas through an advertisement on television. After being recruited, Zhao turned his life from an official in a state-owned company in northeastern China to a language teacher in Vietnam.
“When working in China, I often gave tutoring lessons to technicians and their children. I always want to become a teacher,” Zhao said.
Leaving China, Zhao was sent to Vietnam to teach Chinese language in Vietnam National University in capital Hanoi. “There were few Chinese language teachers at that time. My timetable was always full and I had to rush from classrooms here to there,” said Zhao.
“But now, more and more local Chinese language teachers are recruited with high level of Chinese language ability. The local teachers here are often sent to China for further training. Some of them make us admire for their Chinese ability,” Zhao introduced to Xinhua about Chinese teaching in Vietnam.
The Chinese language faculty is the second largest, with annual enrollment of around 300 students, among departments at Vietnam National University’s foreign languages college. “Thanks to the development of economic and trade exchanges between China and Vietnam as well as the rising demand for Vietnamese people who can speak Chinese, students learning Chinese are no need to worry about looking for jobs,” Zhao said.
Talking about the mission in Vietnam, Zhao said, in addition to teaching Chinese language, his responsibility is to make Vietnamese people know more about the Chinese thoughts and customs and have a better understanding of China.
“Besides teaching them Chinese, I also try to learn more about Vietnam. I will tell my friends about Vietnam when I go back to China.”
After many years in Vietnam, the 60-year-old man has become not only a teacher but also a “father” of some Vietnamese students, “I often invite students to my house to get-together, to chat about difficulties in study and life. I am always ready to help them if they have any difficulties. This is the best way to get to know each other and to narrow the gap between students and teachers.”
“Chinese volunteers like Zhao Yuquan help us a lot in studying, bringing us chances to access to authentic Chinese language, thus improving our Chinese ability. They also bring us great chances to learn about the customs and culture of China,” Tran Thi Hao, a student of Zhao Yuquan told reporters.
Though fulfilled his six-year volunteer Chinese language teacher contract, Zhao chose to continue staying in Vietnam to engage in student exchange. In his efforts, many universities and colleges in China have cooperated with Vietnam National University and others colleges to establish channels to receive Vietnamese students.
Confident about the future of Chinese teaching in Vietnam, Zhao said, “I think the Vietnamese people have advantages over other countries in learning Chinese language. It is not enough to provide only Chinese teaching, I hope that a bridge will be set for those who are interested in Chinese language to have more opportunities to study in China.”
“This bridge will be a firm foundation for the development of bilateral friendship between China and Vietnam in the future,” Zhao added.[db:内容2]