The NATO Writing Strategies Course: Empowering NATO Staff Officers Through Effective Writing Strategies
By Andrea Gjorevski
Partner Language Training Center Europe
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (May 3, 2022) – The Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE), George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, is pleased to announce the successful completion of its newest offering, the NATO Writing Strategies course. The fully online course was conducted from 4-28 April with seven participants from six nations, all NATO SHAPE staff officers. The course began as an extension of English Language Training Enhancement Course 2 (ELTEC2), a digital, module-based writing resource produced by the Partnership for Peace Consortium’s (PfPC) Advanced Distributed Learning Working Group (ADL WG) in an effort to improve the professional writing of the NATO staff officers.
The NATO Writing Strategies course has since been developed into the current version and is unique in the field of online education in that it consists of self-paced work combined with live virtual sessions and individual conferencing. Each week, participants learn effective strategies to produce clear and concise writing as they focus on a NATO-specific writing task, including a point paper, official e-mail, executive summary and meeting minutes. Participants watch informative micro-lectures on a variety of topics such as the writing process, principles of effective NATO writing, tips for self-editing and analyses of different writing genres. In virtual sessions, participants collaborate and apply the principles of effective writing through hands- on activities and meaningful interaction, such as peer review of writing assignments. During individual weekly conferencing sessions, course facilitators provide specific, tailored feedback to each participant and work with them on their unique writing goals. The course culminates in a final writing portfolio assessment and writing reflection piece in which participants assess their individual progress.
The SHAPE staff officers all agreed that the ten hours they spent each week on this professional development did much to bolster their confidence and make them better writers. Their end-of-course feedback was overwhelmingly positive. “I wish that all courses I have attended so far were as helpful as this one,” said one of the participants, and “You have completely changed my approach to the writing tasks.” Another participant stated, “I wish I had the chance to go through the course at the beginning of my tour at SHAPE and I would recommend it to anyone who needs to understand NATO writing conventions and/or needs more practice with writing.