Michael ‘s Feedback About My Vietnamese Course

Vietnamese Lessons

This is an excellent course in learning the phonics of Vietnamese. Correct pronunciation, reading and writing are the three main components, with some added grammar and vocabulary acquisition.  I believe that pronunciation is the most difficult element of learning Vietnamese, and a learner must become proficient in the basic pronunciation of the language before they can progress significantly. Vietnamese is highly phonetic – there are almost no exceptions. As an English native speaker, many of the sounds and especially the tonal system were foreign and difficult, but Linh has been an incredible teacher and expert guide through the language. 

Each lesson contained three main components:


Beginning with the basic vowels and building up to tones, consonants and rhythms, this is a very comprehensive course. The course follows a logical progression and I enjoyed being able to read and pronounce new words after each lesson. Linh is incredibly knowledgeable about the technicalities of the pronunciation of each sound – where to place the tongue, what to do with the lips, how the mouth should be shaped, etc. She is also very patient – pronouncing sounds over and over again until I was able to copy them. She is also very good at building up complex sounds from their simple components – first one vowel, then two combined, then the entire word, and finally adding the tone.


Pronunciation and reading went hand in hand in this course. I could not understand most of the words I was reading – the main emphasis was on pronunciation. I liked seeing simple sentences which made grammatical sentence and had meaning [after Linh translated them] but only containing the few words or sounds I had learned up to that point.


This was the most difficult component. In the early lessons, Linh would have me fill in just one missing letter in a sentence which related to the letters / sounds I had learned in that lesson. After a few lessons, when I had learned and heard a wider array of sounds, she would read entire sentences and I would write them down. When I was stuck, instead of giving me the correct letter, she would keep repeating the sound over and again as I tried different letter / tone combinations until I wrote the correct answer. I think this grappling with the sound and trying different answers until I wrote the correct one really helped improve my listening ability.

A few suggestions:

  1. I think the listening could be more cumulative. Begin by reading just one letter with different tones and have the student write it down. Then one word with different tones. Finally move on to sentences. I think this works better than reading an entire sentence and having the student fill in one letter.
  2. I found the grammar very confusing when you used Vietnamese terminology. I think it is better to use English terminology and simply explanations, or leave out the grammar entirely and make the course purely about pronunciation, reading and writing.
  3. Sometimes I was unsure if I was pronouncing a word correctly – I think you should tell me if I am still pronouncing it wrong, but that we are going to move on to the next part of the lesson, or that I am doing it correctly.

Generally, the course has been surprisingly fun and enjoyable ☺

– 2016 –

2 thoughts on “Michael ‘s Feedback About My Vietnamese Course

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