New round of “English for NGOs” course has been launched

After the tremendous success of the first free specialized “English for NGOs” course that was offered earlier this year, it was clear there is great demand for professional English language skills within the humanitarian community in Ukraine. While course materials are available for free online, Ukraine NGO Forum recognized the value in providing structured courses with professional teachers.

That’s why Ukraine NGO Forum, in cooperation with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, opened a new round of the “English for NGOs” course. The four-month course, which will start on December 1, is designed for NGO employees responding to the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.

The course is based on the “English for NGOs” text book, developed specifically for NGO representatives who want to improve their English. The second “English for NGOs” course will be offered in 9 Ukrainian cities: Sloviansk, Severodonetsk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, and Kyiv.

537 employees from more than 100 NGOs from 9 cities applied to join the course. Participants will be divided into 16 groups according to their English level, with 15 students in each group. In total, 240 NGO employees will join the course. The 90-minute classes will be held twice a week, and each student who successfully completes the course will receive a certificate.

The first “English for NGOs” course enrolled 205 people from 64 national and international NGOs. The course was offered in 7 Ukrainian cities: Kramatorsk, Severodonetsk, Sloviansk, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Dnipro, and Kyiv.

The “English for NGOs” project is supported and funded by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Mr. Joe Bookbinder, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of English Language Programs shared some of his thoughts with us about the initiative.

Mr. Bookbinder, what do you think about the “English for NGOs” program?

“’English for NGOs’ is a meaningful and innovative program that will be of great benefit to Ukraine. It is a unique program‎ designed to meet the needs of NGOs in Ukraine and to support their vital work. The U.S. Embassy is proud to partner with Ukraine NGO Forum on this valuable program.”

Why do you think training teachers is important?

“Teacher training is one of the most effective methods to improve the quality of education. Based on the extensive training that the U.S. Embassy and other international partners have provided Ukrainian teachers, these teachers have attained the skill set necessary to develop world class courses like English for NGOs. Teacher training promotes economic mobility, increases professional standing in the education community, and benefits Ukraine in general.”

Tell us, please, why are you passionate about language?

“English language programs build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds and enhance international understanding. Learning foreign languages helps people expand their knowledge and increase their economic opportunities. My knowledge of Mandarin Chinese has enabled me to work constructively‎ with government officials, reach mass audiences through the media, and connect with student audiences. It even helped me meet my wife.”