SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

Vietnamese Language 1 (PG)

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Vietnamese grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Vietnamese vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Vietnamese structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Vietnamese on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Vietnamese on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Vietnamese and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics
  7. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Vietnamese in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 4 hours classroom contact per week in language classes. 10 research seminars to be taken within SOAS.  Attendance to be proven by signature from chair and to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Masters by the last day of term 2.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides an introduction to Vietnamese language. Communicative practice is established through learning language around dialogues dealing with a range of everyday situations, including travelling, buying and selling, and urban and rural family life.

The course provides students with a basic knowledge of Vietnamese and practice of using Vietnamese in a variety of everyday situations. It allows students to interact with Vietnamese speakers in Vietnamese and to use original Vietnamese language sources within the level covered in the course. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Vietnamese language and the histories, societies and cultures associated with Vietnamese.

A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around the six themes Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation (provided for PG students studying different languages) introduces students to general questions of the role of language in language-based scholarship and research and provides them with the critical and methodological skills to relate their language acquisition to the thematic aspects of the studies.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination paper taken in May/June (50%); a 3,000 word (or equivalent) translation to be submitted on day 1, term 3 (30%); 1 oral examination of 15 minutes duration taken in May/June (15%); regular coursework throughout the course (5%).

Suggested reading

  • Vietnamese language 1 Course Materials, London, SOAS
  • Healy, D.2003. Teach Yourself Vietnamese. London: Hodder Headline
  • additional materials which will be made available throughout the course.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules