Monday, 30 April 2018

The UN English Language Programme

Our Programme

The Language and Communications Programme (LCP) at the United Nations promotes linguistic balance within the Secretariat by improving the English language skills of United Nations staff and the staff of Permanent Missions to the UN.

The English Language Programme at Headquarters offers regular English courses (listening, speaking, reading and writing), which are designed to improve general English language proficiency for beginner to advanced-level non-native English speakers.  The ELP also offers specialized courses to meet specific and work-related communications needs of members of the United Nations community.  Advanced level specialized courses enrol non-native English speakers as well as those for whom English is the primary language. 

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Regular English Courses            

Level 1 to Level 8
There are eight levels of regular English language courses, from beginner to advanced, plus Intensive Listening and Intensive Reading
Each regular level involves 12 weeks of classes.  Levels 2 – 8 meet in threeone-hour classes per week.  Level 1 meets in four one-hour classes per week. All the regular classes, levels 1 to 8 including Intensive Listening and Intensive Reading, meet at lunchtime for one hour between 12 pm and 3 pm.
Students are required to take end-of-term exams in all levels.
Intensive Listening and Intensive Reading Courses
The English Language Programme regular course includes Intensive Listening and Intensive Reading. These courses are associated with the Focal Skills Approach that has proven to help students reach communicative competency goals more quickly.
This means that the English Language Programme focuses on listening comprehension skills in levels 1 – 3 and on reading skills in levels 4 – 6.  It also means that students who fail the level 3 end-of-term exam will be given the choice of either repeating level 3 or taking Intensive Listening. Similarly, students who fail level 6 will be given the choice of either repeating level 6 or taking IntensiveReading. Students must pass the Intensive Listening course before moving to level 4 and the Intensive Reading course before moving to level 6.

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Communication Skills Courses

Since effective communication skills in speaking, listening and writing are essential to the daily work of the Organization, the English Language Programme offers a variety of additional courses in communication skills training, courses that are open to both native and non-native speakers of English.
In addition, departments may contact the English Language Coordinator to request a departmental course or workshop tailored to meet specific needs.
Eligibility requirements for these courses vary and require a supervisor’s permission since classes are given during work hours. (Please consult the course descriptions.)
  • Netiquette - This workshop focuses on writing professional e-mails and using e-mail professionally at the United Nations...
  • Principles of Report Writing - This course will provide participants with the opportunity to: determine reader and purpose, use one or more pre-writing techniques to get started, produce a flexible outline... 
  • Presentation Skills - Participants learn and practise techniques to speak more effectively before groups (opening a talk, presenting a theme, persuading...
  • Summary and Precis Writing - This six-week course is designed to focus intensively on summary and précis writing. At the United Nations, a “summary” refers to a condensed version of a written text; a précis refers to a condensed version of an oral text... 
  • Writing Letters, Memoranda and E-mail - Participants follow United Nations formats to produce work-related correspondence that is simple, clear and free from the kind of errors that impede understanding. 
  • Writing Skills Workshop - This six-week course is designed to focus intensively on two or three specific aspects of writing which often prove problematic for writers. Topics may include... 
  • Department-specific Writing Workshops - Based on the guidelines of their departments and the United Nations Editorial Manual, participants prepare reports, correspondence or other writing to meet the needs of their departments. This course is organized at the request of a department. Contact the English Language Coordinator to request such a course.
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