English Language Programs

The demand for English language education in the Lao PDR has increased significantly over the past few years.  In response to this growing need, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane runs a variety of English language programs aimed at improving English language education throughout the country.

Through The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program, recent college graduates from the United States teach English in Laos for a full academic year.  The ETAs serve as teaching assistants and teachers at universities, teacher training colleges, and high schools across the country.

The U.S. Embassy in Vientiane also supports teachers with Masters Degrees in teaching English as a second language from the United States to work in Laos through the English Language Fellow program.  Fellows work with faculty to improve English teaching methodology at educational institutions and government institutions to improve the English communication skills of government staff.

Beginning in 2011, the Embassy launched the English ACCESS program. The program funds two years of after-school, supplementary English instruction for under-privileged Lao high school students between 14-18 years old.  It includes six hours of English instruction each week, as well as field trips, special events, and thematic activities related to American culture.

The U.S. Embassy also offers free English classes to the public at the American Center @ That Dam.  For more information about these classes please click here

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program: In 2010 the Embassy placed the first cohort of four ETAs at the National University of Laos’ Dong Dok Campus. The ETAs taught a full academic year of classes to students in the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Education, as well as engaging in many cultural and extra-curricular activities. In fall 2011 the second cohort of four ETAs began teaching.

The English Language Fellow (ELF) Program: Since 2009, the Embassy has supported the National University of Laos to host four English Language Fellows, who have worked with the faculty to improve the English teaching methodology and create an advanced degree program in English. The fourth ELF arrived in September 2012.

The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Professional Communication Skills for Leaders Program: Under the auspices of the Lower Mekong Initiative, an effort launched in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to bring together the lower Mekong nations of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam to create shared solutions to regional problems, the Embassy in 2012 collaborated with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to create a series of six English Language Seminars for officials from all the LMI countries. Ultimately, over 125 officials received English language training through these seminars, which were taught by Rocky Peltzman, an American English Language Fellow.

U.S.-Brunei English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN: This ambitious five-year, $25 million initiative, which is funded by the Brunei Government, reflects a commitment to help unify the diverse members of ASEAN, improve English language capacity, and advance educational and teaching opportunities in the region. On June 11, 2012, the East-West Center and the University of Brunei Darussalam, implementing partners of the governments of the United States and Brunei, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide English language education to all ten ASEAN countries. In September 2012, both countries will welcome government officials and teacher-trainers from all ASEAN nations (including 10 from Laos) to Brunei and the United States (Hawaii) for three-month English courses to enhance professional communication skills, explore current issues impacting the region, and learn the latest in information technology. As part of another component of the program, in January 2013, an American English Language Fellow will take up residence at the Lao Institute of Foreign Affairs to teach English for special purposes to Lao diplomats and senior officials

English ACCESS Micro-Scholarship Program: Beginning in 2011, the Embassy launched the English ACCESS program in collaboration with Vientiane College. The program funds two years of after-school, supplementary English instruction for 60 under-privileged Lao high school students between 16-18 years old. The program includes six hours of English instruction each week, as well as field trips, special events, and thematic activities related to American culture. The instructors are American teachers at Vientiane College