Most Lao girls can speak broken English in Laos and a few can speak fluent English. Lao people over the age of 60 may struggle with the English language but the younger generation will know simple English.
In Laos, people tend to speak English better than our Thai counterparts. Don't we just love comparing Laos to Thailand, but it's true. Thai people usually find it difficult to speak another language because Thai language uses complex tones with the added problem of tongue twisting, and the Thais seem to be more comfortable speaking that way. Try to observe, and you'll notice that English language learners from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam can speak better English than Thai people.
Anyway, back to the subject of the article. Most Lao girls especially from the city will understand English if you speak to them slowly, but sometimes they are reluctant to reply in English to people they don't really know too well because of the fear of making mistakes and being embarrassed.
There are many schools in Laos that offer ESL (English as Second Language) courses at an affordable cost where anyone can enrol in. English is a universal language and it's the language that more Lao girls want to learn than French.