About CAL
Join Our List
Featured Publication
Heritage Languages in America book cover
Email this page
Print this page


EHLS logo

English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)

Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, National Security Education Program

September 2005 – September 2015

The English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program is an intensive program of study for adults who possess a high level of proficiency in a critical language and want to achieve professional proficiency in English. Conducted by CAL in partnership with the Georgetown University Center for Language Education and Development, EHLS gives participants the English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills they need to succeed in professional positions in the federal government.

The EHLS curriculum consists of four interconnected courses that enable participants to develop language proficiency and analytical and critical thinking skills through a series of tasks that are typical of the federal workplace. The capstone of the instructional program is an analytical research project on a topic provided by a federal agency; participants develop papers and presentations on their topics with guidance from federal agency mentors.

CAL’s role in the program has seven main components: program design, participant recruitment, language proficiency testing, scholarship management, instructional program support, federal job search support, and program quality evaluation. Since 2006, the program has graduated 150 participants, including speakers of Arabic, Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Dari, Farsi, Hausa, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Pashto, Persian, Swahili, and Urdu.

Visit the EHLS website or contact Deborah Kennedy
for more information about the program.


Project background

Before initiating the actual EHLS program, CAL conducted a feasibility study to locate communities of qualified speakers of critical languages, determine their English language needs, ascertain areas of need within the federal government, and identify possible models and locations for the program. The report on the feasibility study is available in pdf format and can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

Read the report's executive summary
Download the full report

Return to CAL's current project list.