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Vietnamese language courses offered at Ivy Leagues Brown and Princeton for the first time ever

vietnamese language courses brown, princeton university

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    Two Ivy League universities are offering beginning and intermediate Vietnamese courses for the first time in their history.

    About the courses: Brown University’s beginning and intermediate Vietnamese language courses are taught by Trang Tran, a visiting lecturer who joined the university’s faculty this fall. Through their partnership with Brown, Princeton University also offers the courses to their students.

    • “Students who come to my class really want to come to my class,” Tran told The Brown Daily Herald.
    • Previously, Tran taught English in Vietnam before receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to come to the U.S. She said she finds a difference between teaching English and teaching Vietnamese because “there are so many resources and materials for teaching English, but it’s so hard to find the right textbook for Vietnamese.”
    • Brown students are not required to take a language course to fulfill a credit, so Tran is reportedly impressed by how hard her students have been working in the class.
    • There are nine students enrolled in the beginning level class and seven students enrolled in the intermediate level class.
    • Most of the students in the courses are Vietnamese heritage speakers and want to learn more about their culture and language.
    • According to The Daily Princetonian, two Princeton students have enrolled in the intermediate course at Brown as a part of the partnership between the two schools.
    • The Princeton students attend the class through Zoom in a classroom at East Pyne Hall.

    History: Students have requested Vietnamese studies classes at Brown University for years.

    • The Southeast Asian Students Initiative wrote a letter to the university’s Center of Language Studies (CLS) pushing for the courses in April 2019.
    • The letter was signed by students and faculty and addressed to Jane Sokolosky, the director of CLS.
    • The process to find faculty to teach the courses was stalled through 2020 because of COVID along with other uncited reasons.

    Featured Image via Brown University

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