By Christine June, George C. Marshall European Center for Security StudiesSeptember 4, 2018
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Sept. 4, 2018) - Seven participants from five nations graduated from the English Language Enhancement Course during a ceremony held Sept. 4 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
These graduates will be joining about 90 other participants from more than 40 countries tomorrow, Sept. 5, for the Marshall Center's Program on Applied Security Studies. PASS is the Marshall Center's largest and lengthiest resident program, running 10 weeks and involving about 100 participants from countries around the globe, including Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa.
"The learning process was very effective, enjoyable and enriching for us, and we started to be more active and speaking in English more and more every day," said 1st Lt. Lucia Kuhejdova, senior officer specialist with the National Counter Terrorism Unit of the Ministry of Interior in Slovakia. She was speaking on behalf of her classmates in her seminar during the graduation ceremony.
"As a result, we feel more confident speaking in English about security related topics, and subsequently, this course has helped us to be able to participant in the PASS course," Kuhejdova said.
This ELEC is a specially tailored program for participants who will be attending PASS. All the reading, presentations and seminar discussions are in English only during PASS.
"ELEC was an excellent opportunity for you to improve your English language skills and prepare for the main event, which is, of course, is PASS where you will need to speak, think and read in English quickly during plenary presentations, seminar discussions and just talking with your fellow participants from around the globe."
The Marshall Center's Partner Language Training Center Europe developed the five-week English intensive language enhancement course for PASS candidates who are moderately proficient in English. Candidates nominated by their governments to attend PASS are required to be fully proficient in the English Language. More than 12 U.S. embassies worldwide administer the English comprehension-level test to determine future PASS participants' proficiency in English.
"This is an absolutely unique language program, which combines language skills development with the authentic PASS content," said Peggy Garza, chair of the English Language Programs Department for the Marshall Center's Partner Language Training Center Europe. "We designed the course to improve participants' oral communication and listening comprehension skills, while focusing on course-related terminology necessary for successful attendance in the PASS resident course."
Garza said this design includes reading materials, presentations by the PASS leadership team, classroom discussion, and videos. She said that the participants become familiar with the terminology used in PASS, while improving their understanding of the nature of security threats and challenges facing the world today.
"After each class, we felt more independent and self-confident in discussing security issues in English," said 1st Lt. Edwige Nama, desk officer with the Ministry of Defense in Burkina Faso.
She directed her last comment to German Col. Carsten Treder, PASS director, and said, "We are ready for PASS."