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Australia Supports English Language Training

Vientiane 21 September 2015, Australia is helping the Government of Laos be better prepared for international and regional meetings by improving English language capability.

This morning in Vientiane, 16 government officials began a six month intensive English language program at Vientiane College.  The program, known as Government of Laos Professional English Language Training or GOLPET, is aimed at improving reading, writing and speaking English in the workplace.  This is the second group to participate in GOLPET, following a successful first cohort which graduated in March this year.

Ms Clemency Oliphant, the First Secretary at the Australian Embassy welcomed and congratulated the participating officials who come from nine different government Ministries and agencies. Ms Oliphant noted that the successful participants were nominated by their agencies and were selected on a competitive basis.  “They come from a wide variety of backgrounds such as education, foreign affairs, natural resources and the environment, gender, the National Assembly and public sector administration.  All of the sending agencies have identified English language as a priority for their human resource development, and Australia, as a leading provider of English language assistance to Laos, is more than happy to help,” she added.

After completing the course, the participants will return to their offices ready for the challenges of greater regional and international integration.  “As a member of ASEAN and increasingly active on the international stage, Laos needs officials who can conduct themselves effectively in English,” Ms Oliphant said.  The language training provided under GOLPET focuses on acquiring English through practical situations, such as chairing meetings, writing letters, taking notes and summarising documents.  These are skills that are often in short supply in many agencies.

The 16 new GOLPET participants are expected to finish their full time courses in March next year.  GOLPET is managed on behalf of the Australian Government by the Laos Australia Institute in partnership with Vientiane College.