Language Studies

Language Studies


Due to the region’s linguistic diversity and variety of colonial experiences, the promotion of scholarship in Southeast Asia is challenged by extensive language training needs.


Through Council resources, formal instruction at Yale is currently offered from elementary through advanced levels in INDONESIAN and VIETNAMESE.  A Certificate in Advanced Language Study in Vietnamese is now available to Yale College students who wish to pursue the requirements.  (Detailed information on courses and syllabi can be found at these site links).

Yale also currently offers elementary and intermediate instruction in BURMESE, and both elementary and intermediate courses in KHMER via videoconferencing from partner institution, Cornell University (see Yale’s Shared Course Initiative).  Interested students can email for more information.

The Council endeavors to provide support for relevant language training or tutoring needed by any serious student, including summer language study in the U.S. and abroad (>see below).The council has at various times sponsored independent study of Dutch, Burmese, Khmer, Tagalog and Thai, both through funding of private tutoring arrangements or through the University’s Directed Independent Language Study Program (DILS), coordinated by Yale’s Center for Language Study.

The Yale Center for Language Study (CLS), charged with improving the coherence and excellence of language programs across the University, was created by Yale in 1998, and is one of the first of its kind in the country. Now a part of Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning, CLS currently provides extensive technical resources, programs and pedagogical support to more than 50 languages, reflecting Yale’s commitment to international leadership in language education.

The Council also sponsors a variety of lunchtime Language Immersion Tables annually, depending on interest and availability, and an annual spring Cultural Festival, organized and hosted by the Language Program faculty and students, and open to the University and the public.


Burmese (Beginning) - Northern Illinois University
A live class conducted by Burmese language professor Tharaphi Than starting September 1, 2016.  This is a non-credit course and is designed for students, professionals or others who want to learn Burmese. There are three 10-week modules, roughly equivalent to a conventional beginning Burmese course.  Information/Registration >>

Khmer (all levels) - University of Hawaii at Manoa
Approximately 34 to 67 hours of contact time. A balance of tasks performed independently and tasks involving communicating with classmates in web-based forums (an asychronous & hybrid course).  Lessons contain texts, audio and video clips; instructor support through online forums and discussions. U.H. for credit course.    Information/Registration >>

SUMMER & STUDY ABROAD LANGUAGE PROGRAMS (click on titles for links to program sites)

*Yale undergraduates seeking CREDIT for approved non-Yale summer or term abroad courses must apply through the Yale Center for International Experience (CIPE) - see CIPE website for list of currently approved programs. Applications for approval of non-listed summer programs can also be submitted.  Click here >> for information.  All applications must be submitted prior to enrollment, and by the required application deadline. See also, Yale credit transfer terms and requirements, and particularly, the language distributional requirements.



SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES SUMMER LANGUAGE INSTITUTE (SEASSI), an eight-week intensive language program for undergraduates, graduate students and professionals currenlty held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison each summer. Instruction is generally offered for academic credit in at least nine Southeast Asian languages at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year levels. (BURMESE, FILIPINO, HMONG, INDONESIAN, JAVANESE, KHMER, LAO, VIETNAMESE)


                   |  INDONESIAN  |  KHMER   |   LAO  |   THAI  |   VIETNAMESE  |




  • SAIL (Study Abroad in Laos) the Lao-American College, Vientiane, Lao PDR; administered by the Center for Lao Studies, a non-profit NGO in San Francisco, California



  • CET (Vietnam Immersion - Summer Term in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam); through CET Academic Programs*, Washington DC.(Yale College-CIPE Approved)
  • CIEE Ho Chi Minh City (*Academic year - Vietnam National University and Phnom Penh University). Includes language study (Vietnamese and Khmer), economics, political science and history of Vietnam and Cambodia. (Yale College-CIPE Approved)


Funding for summer language study, both in the U.S. or abroad, may be sought through the Yale SEAS Council’s Grants to Students Program.

See also Blakemore Freeman Fellowships for Advanced Level language study in East or Southeast Asia: