Charles Stuart University in Australia has published a book titled “VietSpeech Multilingual Children” to encourage Vietnamese parents living in the country to teach their children the Vietnamese language at home.
“VietSpeech Multilingual Children” is a research project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant and conducted by scholars from the university.
The research project focuses on the pronunciation and language of Vietnamese children in Australia.
The book, freely available online, covers topics such as the benefits of preserving their native language, ways to help children adapt to the Vietnamese language, and communication skills.
VietSpeech is aimed at supporting Vietnamese-Australian children and families to maintain their home language, enhance speech skills in Vietnamese and English and help English-speaking professionals support multilingual children’s speech.
A database of Vietnamese-Australian children’s speech acquisition and a Vietnamese-English speech program will be developed as part of the research.
Nhung Catherine, a Vietnamese expat is doing business in Sydney (Australia) and her daughter. Photo: Nhung Catherine
Vietnamese is one of the five most spoken languages in Australia (along with Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Italian) and is spoken by 1.2% of the Australian population, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
There are over 300,000 Vietnamese people living in this country, accounting for 1.26% of the population.
Nhung Catherine, a Vietnamese expat, who is doing business in Sydney (Australia), told The Hanoi Times that she is glad to learn about the book.
“I live in Sydney, where the Vietnamese community is quite large. Life is hard for immigrants, and finding a job is difficult due to the language barrier. I still hope to return to my homeland in the future and so my children must speak Vietnamese fluently.” Nhung said.
She added that the book gives parents like her the tools to help their children learn the Vietnamese language and develop bilingual skills.
“I am well aware that mother tongues would not be spoken after three generations in migrant families. Many children cannot speak their mother tongue fluently when they start school. So it is very important for the Vietnamese community in Australia to speak the mother tongue, especially the younger generations,” Nhung shared with The Hanoi Times.