The Department of Vietnamese Language and Culture for Foreigners was established on December 18th, 1968. Having been separated from the Vietnamese Language Faculty managed by the Hanoi National University, it has become a reputed place for foreigners who want to study Vietnamese Language and culture. The main functions of the department are: providing training courses in Vietnamese Language and culture for foreigners pursuant to Governmental bilateral agreements including students, postgraduates, researchers and professors from foreign universities and institutes, experts, senior staff, embassy officials, staff of economic organizations and traders; providing training courses in Vietnamese language and culture for overseas Vietnamese to improve their knowledge about the Vietnamese people and land; providing training courses at graduate level on Vietnamese language and culture for foreigners.
At present, the department has 29 staff members including 1 associate professor, 10 Ph.D., 12 Master Degree holders and 3 postgraduates. After 35 years, it has gained significant results such as training 4,132 students, of which 7 have become extraordi- nary and plenipotentiary ambassadors in Hanoi, 3 ambassadors now in Hanoi, 20 senior diplomats at Chinese, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Rumanian and South Korean diplomatic offices, 105 senior interpreters, 6 professors and associate professors of Vietnamese language at universities and institutes.
Graduates from this department have been working in different sectors and many of them continue studying Vietnamese language and culture and applying learned knowledge in their work as interpreters, translators, researchers and teachers of Vietnamese language and culture at institutes, universities and other sectors.
In the initial stage, the department set forth that one of the most effective solutions to improve teaching quality is to develop good teaching materials. Therefore, many books on theory and practice of Vietnamese language have been compiled which can be considered as primary materials for a new education branch in Vietnamese - the Vietnamese language and culture.
About 30 research works at ministerial level and 30 at university level have been conducted and highly evaluated such as Poems and Writings of Proletarian Revolution which was completed in 1980. Vietnamese - English Dictionary in 1980; Vietnamese Language for Foreigners in 1983-1984, Vietnamese - Theory and Practice in 1990, Vietnamese Literature for Foreigners, History and Works in 1983, Vietnamese Culture Words in 1993, Vietnamese Tool Word Dictionary in 1995. Vietnamese Dialogue Structure and Writings in 1996 and Questions on Teaching Vietnamese Language for Foreigners in 1995.
The duty of qualified teaching staff development is one of the most important targets of the department. Many diversified training courses have been held for the teaching staff such as retraining courses at home, postgraduate abroad and special workshops at the department.
From now to the year 2005 the department strives to improve its teaching staff so that 100% will have a master degree or higher. Each staff member should be provided qualified courses on Vietnamese language and professional subject to enable them to participate in postgraduate training courses.
By the end of 2000, 153 students studied at the Department and continued its reputation and teaching quality of the past years.