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Da Nang Approves Program to Teach English, Chinese, Korean to Police Officers

Da Nang aims for 100% of police officers in certain departments to be proficient in a foreign language by 2024.

The Da Nang People’s Committee recently approved a VND14.1 billion (US$600,000) plan to teach English, Chinese or Korean to officers that frequently come into contact with foreigners living in the city. As a coastal town in close proximity with Hoi An and Hue, Da Nang has seen a surge in visits by Chinese and Korean tourists and expats in recent years.

Overall, 1,440 traffic police, immigration officers, district security members, district police, investigative police, and administrative management officers will all receive beginner’s lessons from 2020 to 2024, and 1,080 will attend higher levels between 2025 and 2030.

At the end of the project, city officials hope that 100% are proficient in at least one of the languages and 75% have advanced enough skills for intermediate leadership and command positions.

Despite welcoming over 3.5 million foreign tourists last year, only 38 officers in Da Nang have formal training in a foreign language at the moment. Many others who studied it in school have forgotten it because of disuse.

The plan was announced last year, partly in response to an increase in law violations committed by foreigners. Interactions between officers and foreigners often take much longer than with locals because of the language barrier. In 2019, the city police department apprehended 556 foreign nationals who broke the law, 279 more cases than in 2018.

The police department will work with the Da Nang Foreign Language University to formulate the curriculum, materials and classes.