English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)

EHLS  new logo

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 directs and oversees the program, with responsibility for program design, participant recruitment and selection, language proficiency testing, scholarship management, instructional program support, program quality evaluation, and information dissemination. Program graduates since 2006 include native speakers of Amharic, Arabic, Balochi, Bambara, Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Dari, Hausa, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Kyrgyz, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Swahili, Somali, Turkish, Urdu, Uzbek, and Yoruba.

Visit the EHLS website.

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. An executive summary and a full report on the feasibility study are available in pdf format and can be downloaded by clicking the links below. 

EHLS Final Report 911.10 kB