Learning Vietnamese in Saigon: Vietnamese Classes with Kim Kim
When we decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City in the summer of 2019, we only knew one thing for sure – we HAD to learn Vietnamese. We’ve never really understood why anyone would move to another country and not at least attempt to integrate into the culture through learning the language.
So one of the first items on our to-do list (after “find an apartment and a decent bakery”) was to find a reputable Vietnamese instructor. After asking for recommendations and speaking with a few prospective tutors, we found Kim Kim.
Kim Kim speaks very clear English and teaches Vietnamese classes at a variety of expertise levels – from beginner to advanced. She promotes a casual classroom environment where students are encouraged to ask questions and learn from each other.
Read on to learn more about what to expect from Kim Kim’s Vietnamese classes!
Kim Kim’s classes are taught on the top floor of one of Saigon’s cafes – Brim Coffee Shop in Thao Dien (District 2). The room is air-conditioned and you can order coffee, smoothies, or treats at Brim and they will be delivered to you once they are ready.
Schedule of Classes
Depending on your schedule and preference, Kim Kim can advise what class would be best to join. Our Vietnamese class meets twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, for an hour and a half. We find that the length of the class is good for covering a lot of information, and our brains appreciate the 4-day break.
But Kim Kim is quite good about working around your schedule to find a time that will work for you. She can also gauge your experience level to determine if you should be in the beginner class or be added to one of the more advanced classes.
Kim Kim’s classroom sizes are relatively small, ours varies from 6-8 people. It’s small enough so that we all receive personalized, one-on-one assistance, but also large enough that we can engage with and learn from each other.
The classroom environment is one that is encouraging and nonjudgemental. So you can ask any questions, no matter how silly, without feeling uncomfortable. However, Kim Kim also offers private lessons if you feel too shy or nervous to join a class.
Vietnamese is an incredibly difficult language to master. So it is important to learn the vowels, which look like vowels that you’re used to but sound completely different. Plus there are 6 tones so any word can have 6 different meanings depending on the tone.
Kim Kim’s Vietnamese classes start by diving deep into pronunciation. By the end of 8 weeks, you’ll have mastered the pronunciation of vowels, consonants, and tones. From there you’ll move on to conversational Vietnamese.
The pace of Kim Kim’s Vietnamese class is slow enough so that you really master the basics, but also quick enough that you feel like you’re really getting something out of the class.
How to Join the Class
If you’re interested in taking Vietnamese classes from Kim Kim, it’s easy to contact her on Facebook directly for pricing and class schedules. You can attend the first class without committing to the entire session to make sure that her teaching style is right for you.