VIENTIANE, LAO PDR— At a ceremony in Vientiane Capital on December 28, 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Laos and the Lao PDR Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) signed a three-year Letter of Agreement (2022-2025) enabling the United States to support bringing up to 12 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETA) and five English Language Fellows (ELF) to the Lao PDR from the United States.
These U.S.-citizen, native English language-speaking ETA and ELF specialists will provide direct and daily instruction, curriculum development, and instructor support to Lao PDR English teachers and students. The Agreement renews a previous expansion of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program that was announced by former U.S. President Barack Obama during his historic 2016 visit to the Lao PDR.
Attended by U.S. Ambassador to Laos, Dr. Peter M. Haymond, and Minister of Education and Sports, Associate Professor Dr. Phout Simmalavong, the Agreement was signed to enhance and develop teaching capacities for the teaching of English to Lao teachers and senior teachers at schools and educational institutes, and to help strengthen English language instruction and offer cultural insights for students in Laos.
At the signing, Ambassador Haymond said, “English is the language of ASEAN, is the language of international business, and is the key that unlocks information and opportunity around the world. I am also pleased that this Letter of Agreement will benefit not only teachers and students here in Vientiane Capital, but also those in provinces in northern and southern Laos.”
Through this Letter of Agreement, the United States will initially support ETA and ELF placement at Lao educational institutions in Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet, and Luang Prabang provinces during the academic year ending 2023, with additional expansion planned in future years to institutions in Luang Namtha, Xiengkhouang, Vientiane Province, and Champasak Province.
These English teachers are the U.S. Government’s latest program to build the capacity of Lao PDR citizens of all ages. The United States is committed to working with the Lao people and their government to help Lao PDR achieve its sustainable development goals.