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

vietnamese language courses brown, princeton university

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.

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  • 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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