English for Heritage Language Speakers

The English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program was created in 2005 to provide professional English language instruction to U.S. citizens who are native speakers of critical languages. Participants work to achieve professional proficiency in English that will lead to service in the federal government. The program, administered by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) with instruction provided through Georgetown University, aims to enable participants to achieve professional-level proficiency in English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

EHLS is the only English for Professional Purposes initiative that leads to ILR Level 3 proficiency for individuals preparing to embark on careers in the federal government.  Each year, this highly competitive program admits a cohort of scholars to participate in an eight month long professional development opportunity. The curriculum consists of interconnected courses that help participants develop language proficiency and analytical and critical thinking skills typical of the federal workplace. EHLS participants must complete a capstone 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. Since 2006, the program has graduated 250 participants, including speakers of Amharic, Arabic, Balochi, Bambara, Chinese-Mandarin, Dari, Pashto, Persian, Somali, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Uzbek, and Yoruba.

For more information about the EHLS program, please visit https://www.ehlsprogram.org/.