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VOA Introduces Lao English Teaching Program

Hosts Phouthasone Douangphoumy (L) and Manilene Ek
Hosts Phouthasone Douangphoumy (L) and Manilene Ek

The Voice of America will launch a new English-language learning program on Lao National Television March 5th to teach American-style English.

English Lessons with Toui and Mani is hosted by VOA Lao Service’s Phouthasone Douangphoumy, known on the program as “Toui,” and VOA Khmer Service’s Manilene Ek, known as “Mani.” The program series teaches television audiences in Laos the use and meaning of American idioms, and provides information about the U.S. culture.

“The hosts make a great team explaining life in the United States while they teach English as it is spoken in America,” said East Asia and Pacific Division Director William Baum. “Toui and Mani are fun to watch.”

Lao National TV is the most-watched television network in Laos, with an audience share of 53 percent. English Lessons with Toui and Mani will air Saturdays and Sundays from 6:25 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Laos, airing just prior to the network’s evening newscast.

“We are aiming this show at a wide audience, such as students, private companies, and government,” said host Toui. “English is booming, and this is a very good opportunity for people in Laos to learn about it.”

Added Kelu Chao, acting Director of VOA, “People watching English Lessons with Toui and Mani will have a head start learning American English, should they want to come to the U.S. to go to school, or use English in their business at home in Laos.”

VOA radio broadcasts rank among the most popular international programs in Laos, where local news media are subject to censorship. VOA Laos transmits on shortwave, local affiliate radio stations, and the Internet in Laos and northern Thailand, where many Lao-speakers live.