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

The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy, Vientiane, Laos, is pleased to announce an opportunity for applications for the 2017 Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA). This program provides international teachers with unique opportunities to develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills, and increase their knowledge about the United States.

TEA consists of a six-week non-degree, non-credit customized academic program including seminars on new teaching methodologies, curriculum development, lesson planning, and instructional technology. Participants will also take part in a practicum in a U.S. secondary school near their host university to work closely with U.S. teachers and teach and present to U.S. students. Cultural enrichment, mentoring, and support will be provided throughout the program. The international participants will travel to the United States in two cohorts of approximately 80 teachers each in the spring (Jan.–Mar.) or fall (Sep.-Nov.) 2017.

Upon returning home, TEA program alumni are eligible to apply for small grants for essential teaching materials, follow-on training for other teachers, collaborative projects between schools in their home country and the United States, and other activities that build on their U.S. experience.

Teaching disciplines for the TEA Program are:

  • English or English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
  • Social Studies (social studies, civics, history, geography, etc.)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Special Education teachers in the disciplines listed above.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be current secondary school-level, full-time teachers in a school that serves a primarily local (not expatriate) population;
  • Have five or more years of classroom experience in TEA teaching disciplines: English, EFL, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, or Special Education;
  • Be citizens of and residents in Laos;
  • Have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
  • Obtain a minimum score of 450 on paper based TOEFL or equivalent English language examination* (optional);
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program;
  • Have submitted a complete application.

* A limited number of participants with TOEFL scores between 425 and 450, or equivalent, will be accepted for the program into a special cohort with additional English language training included in the professional development program.

TEA is a program for practicing teachers Laos. Ministry of Education officials, full-time principals or educational administrators, full-time teacher trainers, university faculty, private English language tutors, and teachers from schools primarily serving expatriates are not eligible.

Selection Timeline

  • April 17, 2017: Deadline of Application
  • Early May, 2017: English Screening Test
  • Mid May 2017: Interviews for shortlisted candidates
  • May, 2017: TOEFL iBT test
  • June 15, 2016: Embassy submits nominees to IREX
  • July – August 2016: ECA and IREX review and confirm nominees
  • Late September 2016: Finalists confirm acceptance of award, sign and submit all necessary documents.

For Cohort I:
December 2017: Visa interviews and attend Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)
Late January 2018:  Fellows arrive in U.S.

For Cohort II:
July-Aug. 2018:    Visa interviews and attend Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)
September 2018:   Fellows arrive in U.S.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit complete application through online Application System by April 17, 2017

  • To apply online, please visit our implementing partner, IREX here
  • Online application guide, click here to download (PDF)

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the interview.  Please send your questions to email: USGscholarshipsLaos@state.gov. or Tel: 021 48 7055 regarding the application and selection process.