Since the United States and Brunei announced the Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN in November 2011, both countries have taken important steps to ensure its success. 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, 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 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.
The implementing partners are currently recruiting qualified American and Bruneian English language teachers to teach at higher education institutions in select ASEAN countries. Planning is also underway for a regional forum on English education for ASEAN integration and an online community resource for English language educators and experts.
People-to-people exchanges under this program will empower participants with better English language, diplomatic, and teaching skills. English language capability is directly tied to economic prosperity as it facilitates international commerce, clear diplomatic communication, scientific exchange, and education linkages. This program demonstrates a clear commitment on the part of the United States and Brunei to advance opportunities in the ASEAN region.