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The SEAD Project presents SEA Roots: Language Workshops. Led by a team of fluent and qualified instructors, our 8-week language literacy intensives are an introduction to reading, writing, and speaking in Hmong, Khmer, Lao, or Vietnamese. Our content is integrated with music, visual art, storytelling and snapshots of topics such as history, social issues, and culture. Classes meet online on Saturday mornings for 8 weeks, and are offered in the Spring and Fall.


Each language workshop ends with a combined recital where students prepare final projects that reflect their newly learned language skills. Projects include visual art, poetry, animation, song, interviews, and story translation.

Registration is closed until July 26th, 2024 for our Fall Beginner's Workshops.

Join us for our virtual Community Recital on Saturday, June 1 from 10am-12pm, CST via Facebook Live.


Before coming in, I was missing some key foundation of the Viet language, and from this class, I was able to fill in those gaps.

It was great, because I got to learn more Khmer even though it was hard to read and write. [The instructor] was very patient and made the lessons relevant by trying them to Cambodia history and culture.

I absolutely love the program and feel it is very necessary for the curious individuals trying to find their own identity to experience these types of programs.

I really enjoyed the program and all of the teachers, they were awesome. The time worked great for me and I feel like I learned so much more than I was expecting.


By developing core in-language skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, this program upholds the importance of language as a means to strengthen our understanding of our diasporic experiences (or that of our loved ones), as well as to strengthen our connections to people and heritage. We currently offer online language courses in Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese.

To register, complete the required assessment test to determine which literacy course is appropriate for you to take.


Course difficulty is determined after student registration. We will reach out to all prospective students once registration is closed. All information submitted on this page is confidential and will be used solely for language program purposes. For questions or more information, contact us at


Beginner Literacy
for Non-Fluent Speakers

This course offers beginning language foundations of alphabet, grammar, and introductory themes.

If you have little or no prior experience in speaking the language, you should take this course.

If you speak the language fluently, you should not take this course.

Majority of the class will be taught in English.


Accelerated Literacy
for Fluent Speakers

This course offers advanced foundations of alphabet, grammar, themes—as well as formal language skills building.

If you are a fluent speaker who has little or no prior experience in reading and writing in the language, you should take this course.

If you speak fluently but want to refresh or improve your reading, writing, and public speaking skills; you should take this course.

Majority of the class will be taught in the heritage language.

"Apsara" Illustration by Mattaya Fitts, former student of the Khmer language course


The course is open to the general public, those who are English-speaking heritage and non-heritage. Students must be at least 17+ years old (if younger, you must check in with the teacher). In order to participate in the virtual course, students should read the technology requirements here.


Registration fee is $450 plus processing fees. You may request a Sliding Scale Fee, depending on your income and if you identify as Southeast Asian and/or BIPOC. The fee covers teachers’ time, coursebooks, resources, materials, and technology. To secure your place in class, the registration form and payment must be completed.

If cost is a barrier, you can apply for a scholarship (full or partial)

Full Payment:

Slide Scale Fee:

SEA Roots Payment Info

"CON ĂN CHƯA?" Illustration by Brenda Trần, former student of the Vietnamese language course


We ask each student to apply what they've learned in a culminating creative final project. Here are a few we'd like to highlight from the most recent program.

  • What are the classes about?
    The classes are a fun, engaging, and student-centered environment with intensive content catered to adult learners. Curriculum is broken into weekly themed topics (geography, history, social etiquette, etc) with a balance of basics in grammar lectures, reading, writing, listening comprehension and speech practice as well as in-class exercises and light homework. To apply what students learn, there is a culminating creative final project that students are required to complete; which will be worked on throughout the course. On the last day of class, all language cohorts come together to present their final community projects.
  • When and where are the classes held?
    Spring 2024 language workshops run for 8 consecutive weeks, usually on Saturday mornings from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM US Central Time. Starting date TBD. All workshops are held 100% virtually to include students from across the country. Classes are taught via Zoom livestream platform, Google Drive, Google Classroom, and other tech tools. **Spring 2024 registration period TBD
  • How will I get my class materials?
    All registered students will receive their coursebook and materials by mail and will need to access Google Drive and Classrooms in order to get their materials electronically. Please note that registered students will need to have stable internet access, an appropriate study area for yourself to learn without distractions (as much as possible), and other technology requirements in order to take the online class successfully.
  • How much are the classes?
    Registration fee will be $450 per student. For those unable to pay the full fee, there is a sliding scale between $250 – $425 based on two requirements: 1) You identify as having Southeast Asian heritage and/or are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) and 2) You are low income (individual annual salary is less than $40,000). For those who qualify, you may pay any amount within the sliding scale range. No one will be turned away if they are unable to pay, so please reach out to us if you need financial support. Fee includes 8 weeks of teacher’s time, class instruction, coursebook, technology, Zoom software, materials, etc. A processing fee will be charged at the time of payment. Limited scholarships are available for anyone who is unable to financially pay for the class. There are also scholarships for those who cannot afford the fee.
  • Who are your teachers?
    All of our teachers come from various levels of teaching backgrounds and are made up of teams with native speakers who are fluent in the language and have a wealth of teaching, facilitation, and community experience. Hmong Teachers Team: Yer Her, Koobmeej Lee Lao Teachers Team: Stacey Phengvath Khmer Teachers Team: Sotheary Duong, Bunchung (Liam) Ly Vietnamese Teachers Team: Hung Nguyen, Joan Dao, Tri Vo
  • What level of language fluency do I need in order to take the class?
    We accept all levels of language learners. The difficulty of the course is determined by our collective student registration and their abilities.
  • What do I need to have ready for the class?
    Bring an open and patient mindset, pencil, notebook, and a working laptop and internet. Review the student tech requirements here. And don’t forget grace. Classes will be intensive, but they’re engaging and fun and you are part of a lasting and supportive cohort community.
  • How many hours a week should I expect to study?
    In addition to 3.5 hours of class time, students should expect to study up to 8-10 hours per week (this includes homework exercises, etc).
  • What is the age range for the class? Can youth take it, too?
    The curriculum and content is geared towards adult learners who are at least 17 years old or older. If youth are under the age of 17 and would like to take the class, we will allow it as long as a parent/guardian gives permission and an adult family member (who is 17+) is able to take the class with them. Please inquire with us at
  • Are there in-person classes available?
    We will continue to only teach virtually to focus our efforts in making this resource accessible nationally. But who knows? We frequently check our organizational capacity to see if we can resume in-person classes.
  • I’ve decided I can’t take the class anymore. What is the refund policy?
    For the integrity of our program and to respect our teachers’ time, energy, and resources, registration is non-refundable after the registration deadline (less any online transaction fees). If you find you can’t continue the class for any reason, we welcome you to speak to us about retaking the class again for free.
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