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US gives boost to English language instruction

The US government has agreed to provide assistance with English teaching in Laos to strengthen English language instruction and offer cultural insights for students.
An agreement on this assistance was signed in Vientiane on Thursday by US Ambassador to Laos Ms Rena Bitter on behalf of the US government and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboune on behalf of the Lao government.  
The agreement will help ensure the steady and predictable administration of US English teaching assistance for Lao education institutions, which will deepen the impact of the exchange experience for Lao participants.
Under the agreement, the US government will assist English language improvement in Laos for five years, with the programme set to start this year.
The US Embassy will sponsor 10 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and two State Department English Language Fellows (ELFs) to jointly work with Lao counterparts at the Ministry of Education and Sports, teacher training colleges, National University of Laos, high schools and other learning institutions, according to the US Embassy in Vientiane.
The American ETAs are assigned to jointly teach English at Lao learning institutions and the American Centre in Vientiane, while the ELFs will primarily work with the Ministry of Education and Sports and other Lao partners on curriculum review, advising and development to enhance the capacity of English teaching and mutual understanding among in-service and pre-service teachers.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Bitter said “English language skills are important for Lao students, teachers, businesspeople, and government officials to uncover new opportunities for cooperation with people from the United States as well as people from other countries in Asia and throughout the world.”
Mrs Sengdeuane thanked the US government, especially Ambassador Bitter, for the generous assistance to Laos in the field of human resource development. 
Minster Sengdeuane said she was confident the programme would improve the English language skills of Lao students and officials. 
Since 2011, the US government has assigned about 50 ETAs to teach English in Lao schools as part of this programme, starting at the National University of Laos and gradually expanding to a half dozen educational institutions in Vientiane and the provinces.
The number of ELFs has grown over time, and primarily offer curriculum development advice and teacher training for the Ministry of Education and Sports and related organisations in Laos, the embassy reported.

By Sisouphan Amphonephong
(Latest Update
January 13,

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