Skip to main content
Sri Lankan Fisherman sitting on a pole fishing near ocean shore.
Main content

Are you a heritage speaker of a language other than English? Would you like to work in the U.S. federal government?

Shibuya, Japan

Native speakers of critical languages are in high demand in the U.S. government. The English for Heritage Language Speakers program is a recruiting and training pipeline for specialized talent in the U.S. federal government. All EHLS participants receive a full scholarship from the National Security Education Program (NSEP) that includes tuition and a living stipend.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To be eligible for admission to the 2019 EHLS Program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen

  • Be a native speaker of one of the following languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Bambara, Dari, Hausa, Hindi, Kazakh, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Mandarin Chinese, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Punjabi, Somali, Tajik, Tamashek, Turkish, Urdu, or Uzbek

  • Have native language skills at Level 3 or higher on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale

  • Have English language skills at level 2 or higher on the ILR scale

  • Be able to use Microsoft Office software (Word, PowerPoint) and use the Internet to conduct research

  • Have completed university-level or equivalent professional education at the bachelor’s level

  • Be able to commit to full-time daytime study for 6 months at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, followed by 2 months of part-time online study

  • Be completely separated from any position with the U.S. government and any service in the U.S. military as of the date when instruction begins

  • Agree to fulfill a one-year service commitment with the U.S. government

Please note that a person can only receive the EHLS scholarship one time.

Applicants to the EHLS Program will be evaluated according to five selection criteria, aside from language and computer skills: language goals and motivationcultural knowledgeresearch skillsprofessional adaptability, and compatibility with the federal workplace. Detailed information about each criterion is available in the selection criteria rubrics. It is strongly suggested that you review these rubrics as you prepare your EHLS application.

For a preliminary idea of whether you qualify for EHLS, use the language self-assessment grids for both your English and your native language skills. The grids describe proficiency levels from A1 (lowest) to C2 (highest).

In your native language, you need to be confident that you meet the criteria for level C1 or better in all of the skill areas. In English, you need to be confident that you meet the criteria for level B1 or B2 in all of the skill areas.

These self-assessments were developed by the Council of Europe as part of the European Language Portfolio. Please note that this is only a preliminary measure. There is no formal validated correlation between these self-assessment grids and the ILR scale.

Use the computer skills self-assessment to determine whether you have the technology skills that the program requires.

 

PROGRAM SCHEDULE

The EHLS Program runs from early January through the end of August each year and is divided into four sessions of 7 to 8 weeks each.

Sessions 1-3: Full-time Study at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies (SCS)

For the first three sessions (6 months, January through June), instruction is intensive, and you are expected to be on the Georgetown University downtown campus every weekday for full-time study. You are not allowed to work or to study in another academic program during this period. A sample dailyschedule is provided below.

8:30–10 a.m.

Reading/Writing for Professionals class

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Independent Research

12:15–1:30 p.m.

News Analysis class

1:30–2 p.m.

Career Skills Development class

2–4 p.m.

Tutorials

4–5:30 p.m.

Professional Oral Communications class

Session 4: Part-time Online Study

For the fourth session (2 months, July and August), classes are part-time and online; there are no on-campus classes. You are allowed and encouraged to work during this period. You will log into the part-time online program from a remote location. Your weekly responsibilities may look like this:

Online Course 1: Analytical Writing

  • Post on the Discussion Board

  • Complete a weekly assignment such as writing an abstract.

    • Day 1: Task assigned

    • Day 4: Draft due to instructor

    • Day 6: Instructor gives feedback

    • Day 7: Final version due to the instructor

Online Course 2: Career Skills

  • Post on the Discussion Board

  • Complete a weekly assignment such as writing a narrative statement.

    • Day 1: Task assigned

    • Day 4: Draft due to instructor

    • Day 6: Instructor gives feedback

    • Day 7: Final version due to the instructor

 

The 2019 EHLS Program is open to native speakers of:

Arabic

Kazakh

Punjabi

Azerbaijani

Korean

Somali

Balochi

Kurdish

Tajik

Bambara

Kyrgyz

Tamashek

Dari

Mandarin

Turkish

Hausa

Pashto

Urdu

Hindi

Persian Farsi

Uzbek

 

The application for the 2019 program is now available at ehlsapplication.org. The deadline to apply is July 16, 2018.

Scenic view of The Great Wall of China Landscape.