Kosovo Diplomats Hone Their English Language Skills at Marshall Center Workshop
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (May 5, 2016) – Seasoned diplomats from the Republic of Kosovo's Ministry of Foreign Affairs enhanced their English language skills during a Language for Diplomacy Workshop held April 18 to May 6 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
"You are ground firm in your native language so you know all the nuances. You can calculate and calibrate the way you speak, and the affect you want to have from your audience," said Ulpiana Lama, director of the Department for International Organizations with Kosovo's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "This workshop is helping us to have that same confidence when we speak English."
The three-week workshop assisted six members of Kosovo's diplomatic corps to develop highly-polished, executive-level professional writing and communication skills that are directly related to their jobs as embassy and consular officials.
"They completed tasks to further their competence in English, such as targeting various audiences both orally and in writing," said Roxanne Harrison, program manager of PLTCE's English Language Program Department. "They also analyzed written and spoken English.
In its second year, the workshop was specifically designed for Kosovo's diplomats by the Marshall Center's Partner Language Training Center, Europe and Non-Resident Programs.
The idea for this workshop started during the visit of the Republic of Kosovo's Diplomatic Academy's Staff two years ago, said Dr. Matt Rhodes, professor of National Security Studies and director of Central and South Eastern Europe at the Marshall Center.
He added that the Marshall Center and the Republic of Kosovo's Diplomatic Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2014. This MOU established a basis for academic cooperation and other activities to increase cooperation between the Marshall Center and the academy.
"One of the unique aspects of this language workshop is that the diplomats heard the English language in a security studies setting," Rhodes said.
The participants heard presentations from Marshall Center faculty on a wide-range of security issues that dealt with South Eastern Europe. These topics included economic security, cyber security and fragile states.
To practice what they learned, the diplomats gave a panel presentation discussing the pros and cons of Kosovo joining the European Union. Each individual spoke for five minutes. After everyone spoke, the audience asked questions to each diplomatic on their presentations.
"We have tend to focus on very micro issues as we work in our departments, but here at the Marshall Center, we get the bigger view of contemporary politics," Lama said.