British Academy honors Vietnamese school in London

The British Academy presented Wednesday an award to a Vietnamese school to recognize its contribution to the teaching of the language in the United Kingdom, the official Việt Nam News Agency said Thursday.

The Vietnamese Supplementary School, located in London, was honored with a 2013 British Academy Schools Language Award along with twelve other schools across the UK for their effort to popularize languages there.

The school, which is managed by a union of Vietnamese women and families in London, was also given £4,000 (US$6,500) as part of the award.

It has run classes every Saturday for both children and adults during the past eight years.


Representatives of the Vietnamese Supplementary School pose for a group photo at the awards ceremony in London on November 27, 2013

Nguyễn Quỳnh, a teacher, said that the primary goal of the school is teaching Vietnamese to children who were born and grew up in the UK.

Their parents are either too busy to teach their children the mother tongue or are not good enough at Vietnamese themselves to do so, Quỳnh added.

Thus, classes have been tailored to the needs of kids and their parents, she said.

In addition to language courses, students have the opportunity to partake in useful extra-curricular activities such as martial arts, painting, and cooking to explore their origins.

Sơn Thanh, the chairman of a Vietnamese association in the UK, expressed his pride at the awards ceremony because a Vietnamese school won the award even when Vietnamese is not taught as a foreign language at British schools.

He called for support from the Vietnamese government, Vietnamese diplomatic missions, and Vietnamese expats and students so that the Vietnamese language will one day become a foreign language in the UK education system.

The other twelve winners included schools and colleges teaching Arabic, Polish, and English.


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