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English for Heritage Language Speakers Scholarships

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This federal aid program is managed by:



The English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program is designed to provide intensive English language instruction for U. S. citizens who are native speakers of critical languages. The goal of the program is to enable participants to reach professional working proficiency in English, as measured by the federal Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) level 3 and/or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) superior level. The program equips participants with the ability to read, write, speak, and listen at a superior level in an effort to build a critical base of future leaders to serve in the federal government service and the broader professional community.

Funding obligations:

FY 07 $2,000,000; FY 08 est not reported; and FY 09 est not reported.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Scholarship awards are made to U.S. citizens with at least a bachelor's degree participating in one of the EHLS program sites. Scholarship recipients agree to seek employment with the U.S. federal government, and serve in a position for no less than one year.

Examples of Funded Projects:

A native Arabic speaker with a Masters degree in agriculture wishes to work in horticultural sciences and issues related to food security. A native Mandarin Chinese speaker with expertise in accounting is currently looking for positions in federal financial management. A native Russian speaker with a Ph.D. in nuclear physics hopes to secure a position with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Program Accomplishments:

The first cohort of participants completed the programs at the University of Washington, Seattle and Georgetown University in August 2006. Results will be available later in the year.

Types of Assistance:

Project Grants.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

Scholarships include all tuition and fees and a small monthly stipend for the duration of the program approximately six months. The average scholarship is approximately $24,000.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Eligible students may receive EHLS scholarships for the duration of one program term (approximately six months).

Applicant Eligibility:

(1) Must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application; (2) Must have a minimum proficiency in English of advanced low (as defined by ACTFL) or level 2 (as defined by ILR); (3) must also possess excellent skills in your heritage/native language (ILR level 3/ACTFL superior language proficiency or higher in all modalities of English; (4) Must have received at least an undergraduate degree by the time of application; and (5) may not be a current U.S. government employee. Eligible native languages of interest are updated annually, a list of which is available on the program web site.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

U.S. citizens with superior-level proficiency in their native language, and partner institutions of higher education.

Award Procedure:

Award decisions will be based on a competitive selection of proposals resulting from an independent merit review.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Dr. Kevin Gormley, Department of Defense, National Security Education Program, Rosslyn P.O. Box 20010, Arlington, VA 22209-2248. Telephone: (703)696-1991, E-Mail Address: or Mr. Christopher Powers, Institute for International Education, English for Heritage Language Program, 1400 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-2403. Telephone: (800)618-6737, E-mail Address:

Website Address: .

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