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By James E. Brooks
Marshall Center Public Affairs Director

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 27, 2017) – Five diplomats from the Republic of Kosovo and one diplomat from Ukraine completed the three-week Language for Diplomacy course held March 6 – 22, at the Partner Language Training Center Europe, part of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

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Kosovo and Ukraine diplomats gather around instructor Thomas Soule (center) at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.  The diplomats attended a three-week Language for Diplomacy course held March 6 – 22. (Marshall Center photo by KarlHeinz Wedhorn)

The three-week course assisted the diplomats to polish their professional communication skills, which are needed at the highest levels of government service as they relate to their jobs in Kosovo and Ukrainian embassies around the world.

“This is the third year of this new resident course.  It was originally a workshop that began after a visit to the Republic of Kosovo’s Diplomatic Academy who asked for the program.  With feedback from the previous graduates and pre-course interviews with attendees, we’ve enhanced and tailored the curriculum to meet the specific needs of each unique group of participants” said Roxane Harrison, program manager of PLTCE's English Language Program Department.

The senior diplomat in the six-person class was Jetish Jashari who serves as the Director of Kosovo’s Department of Legal Issues and International Treaties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  For him, the course was not only valuable for a diplomat of his service but even more important for more junior diplomats who have begun their professional careers. 

“At the end of a three-week journey like this, the main question is ‘have we accomplished what we planned or have we accomplished what we wanted’.  It’s been more than that.  After three weeks, we know better how to talk at higher levels of government.  But as much as I learned from the lectures, books and training, I learned from my colleagues,” said Jashari. 

The Language for Diplomacy course had its beginning in a 2014 memorandum of understanding between the Marshall Center and the Republic of Kosovo Diplomatic Academy.  The former workshop has developed to a three week resident course and new curriculum has been introduced with each group of participants.  In this course, media training provided by the Marshall Center’s public affairs office and visual information departments was one of the new learning opportunities. 

“I can honestly say that it was an unqualified success and that the participants raved about how much they learned.  As a teacher, I am so appreciative of how much public affairs and the visual information department tailored it to our participants' backgrounds and interests," said Tom Soule, the instructor for the Language for Diplomacy course.

According to Marshall Center's Partner Language Training Center, Europe Director Keith Wert, this was the first time a diplomat from other than Kosovo attended.

“The feedback we’ve received from our country team leaders has been very positive and the embassies we work with see a lot of value in the course.  We are looking at expanding the course and making it available to other partner nations.  But we will keep the class size to about eight participants which is about as large as a specialized language class like this can be without it losing its effectiveness,” said Wert.