English in Vietnam

Peter Sundkvist, Xuan Nhat Chi Mai Nguyen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Vietnam is a multi‐ethnic and multilingual country, with 54 different ethnic groups who speak more than 100 different languages. In terms of Kachru's influential Circles of English model, Vietnam is an Expanding Circle country. English is a foreign language in Vietnam, with no official status in government and law. Within the country, English is the language that Vietnamese use to communicate with foreigners who come to Vietnam on holiday, or to work or study. The influx of foreign business dealers and visitors has created a great demand for English proficiency among Vietnamese people, especially the younger generations. English is currently the most popular foreign language taught and learned in Vietnam. It is a compulsory subject from Grade 3 to Grade 12 of the Vietnamese general education system. Increased awareness of the benefits of English proficiency has resulted in English becoming a medium of instruction in some areas of Vietnamese education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Asian Englishes
EditorsKingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Andy Kirkpatrick
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791882, 9781118791653
ISBN (Print)9781118791806
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameBlackwell Handbooks in Linguistics


  • English proficiency
  • ethnic groups
  • Expanding Circle country
  • foreign business
  • medium of instruction
  • Vietnamese general education system


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