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A ViệtSpeak Podcast

Growing up Bilingual in Australia is a podcast series that follows the lives and experiences of young families and their heritage language and culture within Australia’s monolingual mindset. 

Host Chi Vu speaks with Vietnamese families in Melbourne’s western suburbs. We explore how it feels to be bilingual in Australia. We hear what motivates children, parents and grandparents to learn and maintain a language that is rooted in their identity. We also learn of the efforts to pass on a language that is one of the most spoken at home in Australia but not commonly taught in schools.

Where to listen:

Episode 1: Trọng

Trọng’s motivation for learning Vietnamese is supported by his busy mum, Vinh. We’re in their living room in Melbourne’s western suburb of St Albans. It’s a Sunday morning, and there’s a birthday sign and balloons still up from a lockdown birthday party.

Full episode transcript here. Listen to bonus track here and a Vietnamese focused track here.

Episode 2 – Mai

Mai’s parents, Tanya and Michael, have unique language journeys that help shape language use at home. We’re in their house in Melbourne’s suburb of West Footscray. It’s a lively Sunday morning, and Melbourne’s just come out of another lockdown.

Full episode transcript here. Listen to bonus track here and here.

Episode 3: Karina and Sean

Karina, Sean and their mum, Thư-Trang, go on a 3 week trip that lasted for 2 years. In this episode we hear about their Việtnam language adventure and life back in Melbourne, Australia.

Full episode transcript here. Listen to bonus track here.

Episode 4 – Cuc Lam

Special episode – Meet the Teachers.

Cuc Lam is a pioneer of Vietnamese language education in Naarm Melbourne, Victoria. We hear how Cuc’s childhood shaped her language and community work in the diaspora.

Full episode transcript here.

Episode 5: Chau Cong

Special episode – Meet the Teachers.

Chau Cong loves learning and teaching languages with young students. She was the coordinator of the Vietnamese bilingual program at Footscray Primary School for 15 years. We discuss some myths and truth about Vietnamese language education in Australia and factors around designing a language program.

Full episode transcript here.

Episode 6 – Moon at the Market

Moon can often be found selling plants at the Footscray Street Market, trading in Vietnamese and English. Moon’s dad, Tony, arrived in Australia as a student in the early 2000’s. We hear from Moon and Tony, about their insights and inspiration behind their language learning and sharing.

Full episode transcript here. Listen to bonus track here.

Interest in podcast participation

If you and your family would be interested in being interviewed for an episode please let us know through the form below.

Host Chi Vu
Script Development Andrè Dao, David Nguyen, Lisa Divissi and Chi Vu
Music Quang Dinh
Illustration Kim Lam
Production Hoang Tran Nguyen

This podcast was made possible with the support of Arts Gen cohealth and the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund.