chapter  13
Language education policy in Vietnam
WithXuan Nhat Chi Mai Nguyen, Van Huy Nguyen
Pages 17

Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country and a multilingual society, with 54 different ethnic groups who speak more than 100 different languages. Ethnic minority languages, though acknowledged, play a much less important role. Some of the characteristics of the languages that have rendered teaching and learning them difficult are the non-proportionate numbers of speakers among different languages and the lack of written scripts for several languages. The shifting political landscape also brought about changes in foreign language education policy. French is the second most widely taught foreign language in Vietnam, starting from primary school level. This results from the country’s historical and cultural involvement with France, and its membership in the International Organisation of La Francophonie since 1970. The government’s decision to invest in enhancing the language competence of English teachers is a judicious step toward improving the quality of its English education in general.