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

The program will provide 160 hours of English classes to journalists at Kazakhstani print, TV, radio and online media outlets in eight cities. Classes will run for a year from February 2019, with breaks over the summer and for Kazakhstani public holidays. Classes will be scheduled outside of normal working hours (exact schedule will depend on your location and English level).

Classes will be free for all participants, supported by a grant from the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. We will accept applicants with varying levels of English, from complete beginner through to upper intermediate.

To be eligible for a place on the program, journalists 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, Aktau, Karaganda, Kostanai, Oskemen or Shymkent
  • Be able to commit to attending 4.5 hours of classes per week, plus completing any homework assigned by their teacher.

Applications close on 11 December. To apply, please complete the application form at this link.

Based on journalists’ answers to the questions on the application form, the US Embassy and British Council will carry out a pre-selection process. Applicants who are pre-selected will be informed by 14 December. Applicants who already know some English will be sent an online English placement test to be completed by 12 January. They may also be contacted by a language instructor to take part in a short spoken interview, to further help us assess their levels of English. These results will be used for placement in the correct group only; they will not affect whether a journalist is selected to join the program. 

The final decision on participation in the program will be taken by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. The decision will be taken based on a number of factors including city of residence, motivation for participation in the program, and level of support expressed by the employer.

Selected participants will be informed by 25 January. Courses will start on 11 February 2018.

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 approximately 12 months.

How many hours a week will I need to study?

All participants study for 4.5 hours per week. We expect that some participants will take three classes per week, where as some participants will take two. 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 eight cities covered by the program. Can I apply for a place on the program?

No. This program is only for journalists living and working in Astana, Almaty, Aktau, 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 eight 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 for a place on the program?

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

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 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. We may contact your employer to check the details you have supplied in your application.

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

At the end of the program, all participants will get a certificate confirming that that they have attended the course. The certificate will show details of what percentage of classes they have attended. 

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

There are no minimum requirements for level of English – you can join the course even if you are a complete beginner. 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 11 December 2018. Applicants who are pre-selected will be informed by 14 December 2018. Applicants who already know some English will be sent an online English placement test to be completed by 12 January. Selected participants will be informed by 25 January. Courses will start on 11 February 2018.

When do classes start?

Classes will start on Monday 11 February. 

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 teaching venues. 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.

Contact us

Should you have additional questions, please contact us at info@kz.britishcouncil.org.