Foreign language offerings in high schools are often Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese, but now one school features a Vietnamese class taught as a foreign language.
In Fairfax County, Virginia, more than 5,000 students speak Vietnamese at home. The first class in Vietnamese in the county was started this year at Falls Church High School.
Vietnamese is the fourth most spoken language in Fairfax County. The others are English, Spanish, and Korean. It is now the eleventh world language taught in Fairfax County schools.
“It takes several steps in order for a language to officially become a course,” said Falls Church Principal Michael Yohe. “You have to gauge the interest of the community, create survey questions, send out surveys, create and write a program of studies, get the POS approved, find teachers qualified in linguistics and teaching, and interview candidates. It took about four years.”