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Linguistics Colloquium | Vietnamese L2 Learners’ Attitudes Towards and Perceptions of Different Varieties of Vietnamese Accents | Sept. 16

Ohio University’s Linguistics Colloquium Series presents An Sakach discussing “Vietnamese L2 Learners’ Attitudes Towards and Perceptions of Different Varieties of Vietnamese Accents” on Friday, Sept. 23 , at 12:55-1:50 p.m. via Microsoft TEAMS.



Contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University,


Sakach is Lecturer, Vietnamese, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University, Tempeh and an alumna of the MA Linguistics program.


Abstract: Previous research findings of L2 Vietnamese learners’ attitudes have noted a considerable bias towards certain dialects in the L2 Vietnamese teaching industry (Pham, 2008; Lam, 2006; Tô, 2005) or have narrated Vietnamese heritage language learners in the US and their perspectives towards dialects (Potter, 2014). However, much uncertainty still exists about the specific attitudes of learners in different parts of the world towards the dialects and the relationship between attitudinal factors and their perceptual judgement. This paper examines the attitudes towards and perceptions of the three regional dialects namely Hanoi, Hue and Hochiminh of L2 Vietnamese learners who started learning the language in various educational institutes in Vietnam, US, Thailand, Korea, Japan, China, and Russia. The survey consists of attitudinal factors including friendliness, familiarity, likability, preference, and comfortableness while perceptual judgment tasks include dialect identification and intelligibility and comprehensibility rating. Data collected from an online survey (n=60) and interviews (n=5) indicate that there are weak yet significant positive correlations between dialect familiarity, comfortableness and preference and the score of perceptual tasks. The interviews also reveal that the longer one learns Vietnamese, the lighter weight they put on dialect preferences. The results suggest that instead of considering students’ attitudes in general and dialect preference in particular as a problem, instructors can acknowledge their preferences and raise students’ awareness of other varieties, their values and importance. Students may have a preference, feel unfamiliar or not comfortable with a dialect at a certain point; however, those attitudes may change through time and experience.



  • Lam, M. B. 2006. The cultural politics of Vietnamese language pedagogy. Journal of Southeast Asian Language Teaching, Vol 12:2. pp.1-19.
  • Pham, A. H. (2008). The non-issue of dialect in teaching Vietnamese. Journal of Southeast Asian Language Teaching14, 22-39.
  • Potter, L. M. (2014). 2nd year Vietnamese heritage language learners in higher education: a case study. Doctoral dissertation, Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Tô, Đ. N. 2005. Khi người nước ngoài học tiếng Việt Sài Gòn (When foreigners study Vietnamese spoken by Saigon speakers), in Một số vấn đề về phương ngữ xã hội (Some issues on social dialects), Trần Thị Ngọc Lang (ed). Hochiminh City: Nhà Xuất Bản Khoa Học Xã Hội. 273-281

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