Vietnamese is one of the most popular languages to learn among kids and teens in the United States. A lot of Vietnamese children grow up in bilingual households where both English and Vietnamese are spoken. There is also a growing number of schools and services now that offer Vietnamese classes, especially in areas where there's a large Vietnamese community like Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.
If you want to teach your child Vietnamese and are looking for a good Vietnamese tutor but not sure where and how to find a suitable one, read this article! I'm gonna share with you some tips on how to find a suitable Vietnamese tutor for your child and where you can find Vietnamese tutor both near you and online.
Tips on how to find a suitable Vietnamese tutor for your child
If you're looking for a Vietnamese tutor for your child, there are a few things to keep in mind.
What Vietnamese accent do you want your child to learn?
There are many different Vietnamese accents and dialects depending on what region of Vietnam the speaker is from. The three most common ones you'll come across are Northern, Central and Southern Vietnamese. These three Vietnamese dialects are different not only in accent but also in some word uses as well. However, people generally can understand these dialects pretty easily. Depending on your family background or the community you live in, you might have a preference on which accent you want your kid to learn from.
If you're not sure which accent to have your child learn, it's a good idea to ask other parents or relatives who speak Vietnamese to give you their opinion. It's also a good idea to have your child take a trial lesson with a few different tutors to see which accent they feel more comfortable with.
What classroom setting is good for your child?
Does your child learn better online or face-to-face? Does he or she learn better one-on-one with a tutor or in a group class? These are all things to consider when deciding what kind of Vietnamese class setting is best for your child.
Most kids learn better in a face-to-face setting because they feel more comfortable interacting with the tutor and other students in person. If you can't find a tutor in your area however, look for online classes that are designed to be more engaging so your child doesn't feel like he or she is just sitting in front of a computer screen the whole time.
Some kids also learn better in small group classes because they enjoy social interaction and competition. If your child is more introverted, a one-on-one setting might be better so he or she can get more individual attention from the tutor.
It really depends on your child and what learning style works best for him or her. You can try out different settings to see which one is the best fit.
Is the tutor good with kids?
One of the most important things to consider when looking for a Vietnamese tutor for your child is whether or not they're good with kids. Some tutors might be great at teaching Vietnamese to adults but not so great with kids. There are a few things you can do to gauge whether or not a tutor is good with kids:
- See if the tutor has any experience teaching kids Vietnamese. This could either be from teaching in a classroom setting or from giving private lessons to kids.
- Ask the tutor if they're okay with having you sit in on a lesson to observe how they interact with your child.
- Ask other parents who have used the tutor before for their opinion on whether or not the tutor is good with kids.
What teaching style and materials the tutor uses?
When it comes to teaching kids Vietnamese, there is no one right way to do it. Some tutors might use a more traditional approach where they focus mainly on teaching grammar and vocabulary. Other tutors might use a more creative approach where they incorporate games and activities into their lessons to make them more fun and engaging for kids. There is no wrong answer here, it depends on what learning style your child responds to best.
In terms of materials, what textbook does the tutor use, and is it suitable for teaching kids? Some Vietnamese textbooks can be pretty dry and boring, which is not ideal for keeping kids engaged. There are, however, some great Vietnamese learning materials specifically designed for kids such as picture books, comics, songs, and games. These types of materials can make learning Vietnamese a lot more fun and enjoyable for kids.
Another thing to look at is, does the Vietnamese tutor has other teaching materials like flashcards, board games, or worksheets. From my experience teaching the Vietnamese language for 6 years in Vietnam, we had to create a lot of our own materials to make lessons more fun and practical to modern everyday Vietnamese.
Please keep in mind though, that your judgment might not be the same as your kid's. So it's always a good idea to have your child take a trial lesson with a few different tutors to see which teaching style and materials they respond to best.
Where to find a Vietnamese tutor for your child
Check local schools and churches near you
One of the best places to find a Vietnamese tutor for your child is at local schools and churches. Many of these institutions have programs specifically designed for teaching kids Vietnamese. The advantage of finding a tutor through these channels is that they're usually very affordable (and some of them are free) and you can be confident that they have experience teaching kids.
Another benefit of finding a tutor through local schools and churches is that they're usually familiar with the Vietnamese community in your area, so they can help connect you with other resources like language classes or cultural events, or other families of the same background. This helps create a supportive community for you and your child as you're learning Vietnamese.
Find online Vietnamese language schools
Another great option for finding a Vietnamese tutor for your child is to look online. Several online Vietnamese language schools offer lessons specifically for kids. The advantage of taking classes online is that it's very convenient and you can usually find a time that works for your schedule.
I haven't personally tried or learned about many good Vietnamese language online schools for kids in the US or other countries so I can't review them now. However, I'm doing my research and can hopefully share with you some resources when I gather enough information.
For now, if you want to sign up your kid for an online Vietnamese class, I'd recommend the following places that are based in Vietnam. They don't specialize in teaching kids but they do have students who are kids learning with them.
Tieng Viet Oi is an online Vietnamese language school that offers group or private classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced. They do both face-to-face classes in Vietnam and online classes for students outside of Vietnam. They have teachers from Hanoi, Da Nanang and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) so they can accommodate the popular Vietnamese accents whichever you prefer your child to learn from. They've been around since 2014 and have gained quite a reputation among the foreign community in Vietnam.
You can check out Tieng Viet Oi's Youtube channel to learn more about them.
Learn Vietnamese With Annie is another popular online Vietnamese language school that offers group or private classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced. They also offer both face-to-face and online classes. They're based in Saigon so their teachers speak Southern Vietnamese.
Annie also offers a subscription-based online Vietnamese course. Check out their website to learn more.
Find private tutors on some popular language learning apps
Another option for finding a Vietnamese tutor is to look at some popular language learning apps like Italki or Preply. These platforms allow you to find and connect with private tutors from all over the world. Each tutor sets their own rate and some offer trial lessons.
Sometimes it takes several lessons to see if a tutor or class setting is right for your child. Be patient and let your child explore for themselves to see what works best.
Above are some of my tips and resources to share with you parents on where and how to find a suitable Vietnamese tutor for your child.
If you have any questions or need help finding a tutor, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help. Good luck on your journey of teaching your child Vietnamese!