Hmong Literacy Kit

Thousands of Hmong have learned to read from the simple Hmong primer developed by Yves Bertrais in the 1960s and copied over and over again. With the generous support of the Central Valley Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes issues of free speech and immigrant access to the American dream, we have developed this primer and practice readers. It is similar to the original in many ways and is also based on the White Hmong dialect. However, it is organized to reveal the regular patterns of the Hmong orthography, to promote the formation of linguistic generalizations.

This primer is for older children, teens, and adults who have learned to read English or another roman-based alphabetic language. It can also be used by nonnative Hmong, as long as the instructor is a native speaker. It is based on the most frequently used 425 Hmong words.

This primer provides the raw materials for learning to decode Hmong and for developing vocabulary in Hmong. There are 25 practice readers that accompany this primer. The stories are based on Aesop's fables or authentic Hmong stories and each one uses only the phonemes learned up to that point in the primer. In the primer, the actual words are black, and the high frequency words are red; nonsense words are grey. The power of the primer and the practice readers is in the ability of the instructor to engage the learners in the adventure of learning Hmong. Although the development of comprehensive teaching guides was not part of this project, there is a teacher's kit. The kit contains teaching suggestions, blending cards, and high frequency word cards that can be used on an overhead, in games, or in a pocket chart. 

The program was developed by judy Lewis, Lue Vang, Lee Lo, Se Kue, and Pao Choua Lor.


Learn To Read Hmong: Kawm Nyeem Ntawv Hmoob


© Refugee Educators' Network, Inc.,  2012    jlewis@reninc.org