The Professional English language training program for journalists is designed to support the aspiration of Kazakhstan to develop the professionalism of Kazakhstani journalists and expand knowledge of the English language as it becomes a trilingual society. It is delivered by the British Council on behalf of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan.

The program will incorporate both training in the English language and practical journalism exercises that make use of English language knowledge. 

To be eligible for a place on the program, you must:

  • Be currently working as a journalist at a print, TV, radio or online media outlet in Kazakhstan
  • Live and work in Astana, Almaty, Aktobe, Karaganda, Kostanai, Oskemen or Shymkent
  • Know English to at least Elementary (CEFR A2) level
  • Demonstrate that your Editor in Chief supports your participation

Participants will study in groups of 12 to 17 people, grouped according to language level. The duration of the course is 120 hours over a six-month period (three 90-minute classes per week). Classes will start on 10 January 2018 and finish on 4 July 2018. From March, in addition to attending face-to-face classes, participants will also be enrolled onto an English for Journalism online course developed by the University of Pennsylvania, which will help them to develop the skills needed for a career in modern journalism. 

During the course participants will sit two examinations (midterm and end of course tests). They will also submit a portfolio of work that they will be required to complete and gather during the course.

At the end of the course, participants who have attended 70% or more of classes will receive a certificate of completion. 

To apply for a place on the Professional English language training program for journalists, please complete the application form by 23:59 Astana time on Sunday 5 November.

FAQs:

Who is funding the program?

This program is funded by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. 

How long will the program last?

The program will last for six months.

How many hours a week will I need to study?

All participants will take three 90 minute classes per week. We expect that these classes will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, but we may have some flexibility to change times to suit different groups of participants. 

I am a journalist but am not based in one of the seven cities covered by the program. Can I apply?

No. This program is only for journalists living and working in Astana, Almaty, Aktobe, Karaganda, Kostanai, Oskemen or Shymkent. 

I am a journalist working for a Kazakhstani media outlet but am not a Kazakhstani citizen. Can I apply?

Yes. As long as you are working legally at a Kazakhstani media outlet and live in one of the seven cities covered by the program, you can apply for a place.

I am a journalist but am not currently working (on maternity / study leave, etc.). Can I apply?

No. This program is only for journalists who are currently working as journalists. 

I am a freelance journalist. Am I eligible to take part in the program?

Yes. Freelance journalists are eligible to apply for a place on the program. If you are a freelance journalist, you should upload as part of your application either a letter of support from the Editor of a media outlet we have collaborated with on a regular basis for at least six months; or links to six pieces of media you have worked on during the last three months.

I have already taken English language courses for journalists provided by the US Embassy. Can I apply?

Yes. However, this program is designed for students who are at a maximum of upper intermediate (CEFR B2) level. If your English is already more advanced than this, you may not be selected for the program.

What criteria will applicants be judged by?

We will choose participants based on a number of factors including their level of English, city of residence, motivation for participation in the program, and whether their employer has expressed support for their participation. 

Who will decide who is allocated a place on the program?

The selection committee, made up of staff from the US Embassy in Kazakhstan and the British Council, will take the final decision on who is allocated a place. 

Why do you need a letter from my employer?

It is important for us to know that your employer supports your participation in the program, and will allow you any time off you need to take part in all the scheduled classes. For this reason we need you to give us a letter from your employer stating that they are aware of your application and support your participation. 

Will I get a qualification at the end of the program?

At the end of the program, all participants who have attended at least 70% of all scheduled classes will get a certificate confirming that that they have completed the course. 

What is the minimum / maximum level of English required to take part in the program?

The minimum level required to gain a place on the program is elementary (CEFR A2). The maximum level is upper intermediate (CEFR B2).

What is the timeline for the selection process / when will I find out whether I have a place on the program?

You must submit your online application form by the deadline of 23:59 Astana time on Tuesday 31 October. If you pass the pre-selection process, you will be sent a link to take an online placement test, which you must complete by 22 November. We may then contact you by phone so we can assess your level of spoken English. We will contact successful applicants by 15 December to let them know they have a place on the program.

When do classes start? When will they finish?

Classes will start on Wednesday 10 January. They will finish on Wednesday 4 July.

Where will I be studying?

Classes will be held in one location per city. In Astana and Almaty, classes will be held in British Council offices. In other cities, they will be held at partner universities. We will let successful participants know the address classes will be held at when we confirm that they have been offered a place on the program.

Can I postpone my studies due to illness, heavy workload, or a change in personal circumstances?

No. Unfortunately, class times are set. Only participants who attend at least 70% of scheduled classes will receive a certificate confirming that they have completed the course.