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bilc annual seminar helsinki

Keith Wert, director of the Partner Language Training Center Europe at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and Peggy Garza, PLTCE English Department chair, provided the chair and secretary for NATO’s Bureau for International Language Coordination at its Annual Professional Seminar held Oct. 4 to 9 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo courtesy of Bureau for International Language Coordination)

By Keith Wert
PLTCE Director

HELSINKI, Finland (Oct. 15, 2015) -- The Bureau for International Language Coordination held its Annual Professional Seminar here Oct. 4 to 9.

The BILC is NATO's defense sector language consortium and advisory organization for language matters. Germany created the first BILC professional seminar 20 years ago to assist new Partner for Peace countries for NATO membership in the area of language interoperability.

Keith Wert, director of the Partner Language Training Center Europe at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and Peggy Garza, PLTCE English Department chair, provided the chair and secretary for BILC. 

The Finnish Defence Language Centre, a part of the National Defence University, organized and hosted the seminar for 66 participants from 26 countries and two NATO offices. 

The theme: "Increasing Proficiency Levels: What Works and What Doesn't" provided the framework for numerous productive presentations and panel discussions that focused on meeting the need for high levels of English language proficiency generated by NATO's language interoperability requirements for staff elements and operational units.

The PLTCE is an officially-recognized NATO Partnership Training and Education Centre and offers workshops and seminars for English teaching faculty from NATO and partner nations.  

The mission of the Marshall Center, as a vital instrument of German-American cooperation, is to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful, whole-of-government approaches to address transnational and regional security challenges; and creating and enhancing enduring partnerships worldwide.