Language Centre

Vietnamese Beginners Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aim

This course provides a thorough introduction to Vietnamese. It covers typical themes of grammar vocabulary and cultural contexts of the language. You will develop an understanding of the main standard features of pronunciation, how to read and write and to build up basic knowledge about the Vietnamese language as well as basic awareness of the culture, and society where the language is spoken. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course is taught in Vietnamese and English with coverage of the four key skills (speaking -the six tones-, listening, reading and writing), and a good balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar. The Vietnamese language system will be introduced gradually along with the various personal pronouns and initial/final particles that are a crucial part of Vietnamese culture. You will follow an established model of teaching through spoken and written activities, reviews, tests and games in a friendly and supportive environment. Interactive dialogue simulation, in pairs or groups. You are expected to attend regularly, participate in class and complete homework regularly to ensure learning progress. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.

Online course requirements

Please ensure you have checked the learner support page


Mai Ngọc Chừ (2015), Quê Việt - sách dạy tiếng Việt trình độ A quyển 1 (the Vietnamese teaching book level A book 1). Vietnam Education Publishing House.

We recommend that you wait until your first class as your teacher will clarify if you need to purchase the textbook.
Course materials, if required, are not included in the course fee.

Entry requirements and progression route

For the first stage of Vietnamese Beginners (i.e. Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours per each sub-level). The progression route from Vietnamese Beginners 1 is to Vietnamese Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3.

Please note, that each term, courses are subject to quorum requirements.

Vietnamese Beginners 2 is scheduled for our term commencing 16 January 2023. 

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Vietnamese Beginners 1

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • spell out words
  • distinguish six tones in Vietnamese
  • use different personal pronouns
  • introduce yourself and others
  • Exchange personal information: name, nationality
  • talk about jobs and professions
  • talk about your family and marriage status
  • use numbers from 1 to 1000
  • ask general questions with what and who
  • ask and describe where something is located
  • use some initial/ final particles to express your feelings and respectfulness
  • develop an understanding of Vietnamese culture

Vietnamese Beginners 2

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • distinguish different vowels and consonants
  • tell the time and talk about dates, months and years
  • use tense particles to talk about events in the past, present and future
  • talk about seasons of the year
  • ask and answer ‘when’ and ‘how long’ questions
  • discuss about travel
  • order food and drinks at restaurant
  • describe the taste of the food/ drink
  • express comparison of different things

Vietnamese Beginners 3

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • talk about weather
  • talk about events that happen in the near future
  • do shopping and bargain
  • talk about places and their addresses
  • ask for directions
  • use superlative adjectives (eg. most) to express absolute comparisons
  • ask and answer questions about distance
  • talk about health and illness
  • use the verbs ‘need’, ‘should’, and ‘do not’

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

See more information on the Language Centre Vietnamese homepage

Related information

Back to the Language Centre