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MASARYK UNIVERSITY BRNO

FACULTY OF EDUCATION
English Language and Literature Department

The English Language Training


in the Czech Armed Forces
Bachelor Thesis

Brno 2010

MASARYK UNIVERSITY BRNO


FACULTY OF EDUCATION
English Language and Literature Department

The English Language Training


in the Czech Armed Forces

Bachelor Thesis

Brno 2010
Supervisor:
PhDr. Alena Kaprkov

Author:
Karla oltsov

Acknowledgements:
I would like to express my thanks to PhDr. Alena Kaprkov, who kindly assisted my effort
as the supervisor of this bachelor thesis.
Sincere thanks go to all the respondents who devoted necessary time to express their opinions
concerning their personal learning experience that served as a valuable study material for this
work.

Prohlen:
Prohlauji, e jsem bakalskou prci vypracovala samostatn, s vyuitm pouze citovanch
literrnch pramen, dalch informac a zdroj v souladu s Disciplinrnm dem pro
studenty Pedagogick fakulty Masarykovy univerzity a se zkonem . 121/2000 Sb., o prvu
autorskm, o prvech souvisejcch s prvem autorskm a o zmn nkterch zkon
(autorsk zkon), ve znn pozdjch pedpis.
Souhlasm, aby prce byla uloena na Masarykov univerzit v Brn v knihovn Pedagogick
fakulty a zpstupnna ke studijnm elm.

Declaration:
I declare that I have compiled this bachelor thesis by myself and I have used only the sources
listed in the enclosed bibliography.
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I agree with the placing of this thesis in the Masaryk University Brno in the library of the
Department of English Language and Literature and with the access for studying purposes.

Karla oltsov

V slavi dne 16.4. 2010

Abstract
This bachelor thesis The English Language Training in the Czech Armed Forces deals with
teaching English to professionals of the Army of the Czech Republic. It gives details about
the system of training designed to provide military personnel with practice of the English
language, acquiring necessary skills, knowledge of technical terminology and defines the
criteria and language proficiency levels according to the NATO standardization document.
The principal aims are focused on the development of the English language training in the
Czech Armed Forces from 1993 up to now including motivation of the learners and practical
usage of the English language in their professional career. The conclusion is dedicated to the
overall view and evaluation of the English language training in the Czech Armed Forces.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction............................................................................................................8
2. Concepts Definition.............................................................................................10
2.1 The Czech ArmedForces....................................................................................10
2.2 NATO...................................................................................................................10
2.2.1 Language Teaching in the NATO context..................................................11
2.2.2 The origins of NATO STANAG 6001 scale...............................................12
2.2.3 The Language Requirement........................................................................12
2.2.4 Criteria and language proficiency levels....................................................13

3. Basic concept of the English language training in the Czech Armed


Forces.......................................................................................................................14
3.1 The English Language Training Development................................................14
3.2 Courses Organization.........................................................................................18
3.3 Institutions and training Courses.....................................................................19
4. The study.................................................................................................................25
4.1 The motivational incentives and practical experiences of the students ........25
4.2 Students view on various aspects of learning English...................................34
4.2.1

Attitudes towards learning English...........................................................34

4.2.2

Initial knowledge and problems of the students at the beginning.............35

4.2.3

Teaching materials....................................................................................35

4.2.4

Organization of the teaching.....................................................................36

4.2.5

Views regarding the importance of the individual language skills in regard


to millitary professions .............................................................................37

4.2.6

Preference of the language topics..............................................................37

4.2.7

The concepts of the students regarding the practical usage of the language
...................................................................................................................38

4.2.8

Attitudes of the students towards the demandingness and suitability of the


test STANAG 6001 itself in regard to the content of the language
course........................................................................................................38

4.2.9

Attitudes of DLI representatives in Vykov............................................40

4.2.10 The utilization of the English Language...................................................41


5. Conclusion................................................................................................................43

6. Resume.......................................................................................................................45
7. List of References...................................................................................................46
8. List of Appendices..................................................................................................48
Appendix 1 - Comparison chart of the levels...............................................................49
Appendix 2 - Summary of STANAG 6001 levels.......................................................50
Appendix 3 - STANAG 6001 Test Syllabus For Teachers and Candidates................52
Appendix 4 - ALCPT + Answer sheet.........................................................................57
9. List of Abbreviations............................................................................................69

1. Introduction
There are several reasons for choosing The English Language Training in the Czech Armed
Forces as the topic of my bachelors thesis. In 1998 as a lecturer of English I became a part
of the educational programme focused on the process of perfection of English of the military
personell of the Czech Army. It was the year of preparations before the entry of our country to
NATO which took place the following year and where the knowledge of English became an
essential part of every professional soldier of the Czech Army. I can say that I nearly took a
part at the birth of the educational system which was accepted and implemented to our army.
It was agreed upon the introduction of the developing concept of teaching in the framework of
the whole NATO by means of the DLIELC (Defense Language Institute English Language
Center) Lackland Air Force Base, Texas where this concept was invented, developed and is
being improved till today. The seemingly simple task of implementation of this system of
teaching proved to be difficult due to the fact that the given concept had to be accommodated
to the conditions and needs of the Czech Army as there was a complete lack of experience
with this form of the language preparation. This situation was made more difficult because of
the unaccomplished transformation of the Czech Army which was suddenly facing an uneasy
task of solving the necessity of the professionals to be equipped with the knowledge of
English. Despite the first unpreparedness and ignorance which was apparent in the vaguely
defined concept of language teaching and the unsufficiently qualified lecturers, this concept
was being improved and even today is fulfilling its tasks despite minor deficiencies.
The following chapter is dedicated to the specification of terms which are necessary for the
introduction to the army milieu and the definition of which is vital for the understanding of
this study. I wanted to make clear in what manner was the language education in the Czech
Army influenced by the entry to NATO and what requirements had to be met by the member
states including the Czech Republic. The next chapter is focused on the development of the

language education from 1990s till now. I put the special emphasis on the complicated
implementation of the language concept of NATO to the Czech conditions since the
beginnings till the present state of the language preaparation. The important part of this
chapter is the attention paid to the present system of teaching in the schooling centers,
institutions, types of language courses, classroom equipment and the whole process of
education in regard to the development of the whole educational system. The study itself
consists of reports, partial statistic data and is analyzing the motivational process of their
attitude towards teaching and the usage of English in their professional career. The conclusion
is dedicated to the overall view and evaluation of the English language training in the Czech
Armed Forces.

2. Concepts Definition
2.1 The Czech Armed Forces
The Army of the Czech Republic comprise the military, air force and support units. After
joining NATO on March 12, 1999, the Czech Republic is completing a major overhaul of the
extensive Czechoslovak Armed Forces which until 1989 formed one of the pillars of the
Warsaw Pact military alliance. Czech forces have been gradually downsized and at the same
time modernized and reoriented toward defensive posture. In 2004 the army transformed into a
fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished.1

2.2 NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty, which gave rise three years later to the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation (abbv. NATO) was signed in Washington, D. C., on April, 1949. At that time,
ten European and two North American countries joined forces for the purpose of mutual
cooperation and defence. Although security and collective defence have been NATOs
primary missions, the organization has been more than a mere military alliance from the very
beginning. NATOs fundamental functional principle is one of indiviseble security of its
members: A threat to security of any of the members is regarded as a threat to security of all.
The solidarity within the Alliance gurantees that none of the member nations will have to rely
on itself in security matters. All decisions taken on the basis of discussions and negotiations
among Allies must be approved by all NATO members. (10 Years of the Czech Republics
Membership in NATO, pages 4-5 ).
The rich sixty years history shows that the Alliance has not lost any of its relevance and its
role is irreplaceable in the present security environment.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_Czech_Republic

2.2.1 Language Teaching in the NATO context


According to Julie J. Dubeau, the National Standards Officer for Language Programmes:
English has become the operational language, although both English and French hold official status at
NATO. Teaching and testing of the English language within the NATO community have gained
importance in the last few years due to the addition of new countries in 2004 and a large number of
peace-support operations.

(qtd. in Master Thesis, 2006)


As she mentions in her Master Thesis, English language teaching and testing plays a
significant role not only for individual military members, but also for countries aiming to
reach language goals. As she highlights this is the case of new NATO countries, of countries
aspiring to join NATO or of any military or civilian members to find satisfying positions
within NATO. Furthermore, all members must have a Standardised Language Profile (abbv.
SLP) based on the NATO STANDARDIZATION AGREEMENT (NATO STANAG) 6001
Language Proficiency Levels, the common scale used in this sphere.As she adds: For some
countries this means making a great effort on gaining a large number of human and financial
resources to language training, and ensuring that a significant percentage of the force has
achieved the prescribed SLPs through national testing systems.All SLPs are based on tests in
the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, which have as criteria the STANAG 6001
scale (Dubeau , J. J., 2006, p. 3).
Comprehensive language testing systems (such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language
(TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Cambridge
Assessment of Spoken English (CASE), or the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)
Assessment,) generally have a central testing authority responsible for test development, on-

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going validation, training of developers and testers, administration and monitoring of its testing
instruments and result.

(qtd. in Dubeau, 2006, p. 14)


The following chart compares the levels and the international tests mentioned above
(Appendix 1).

As Ms. Dubeau explains:


The STANAG testing system presents itself as standardized, but in fact, each country must
establish its own training structure, design its syllabi and teaching materials, implement a testing
framework, develop tests, and monitor training outcomes. In an effort to share the load, many
countries collaborate and exchange both materials and practices.

(qtd. in Dubeau, 2006, p. 14).


2.2.2 The origins of NATO STANAG 6001 scale
In 1976 NATO adopted a language proficiency scale related to the Interagency Language
Roundtable (ILR)s 1968 document whereby language proficiency descriptors had been
elaborated. The scale was standardized to six base levels, ranging from 0 (= no functional
ability) to 5 (= equivalent to an educated native speaker). In 1968, several agencies jointly
wrote formal descriptions of the base levels in four skills-speaking, listening, reading, and
writing. When the STANAG 6001 was first adopted in 1976, it responded to a NATO-wide
need to define language proficiency, and to have a common standard among countries that
would ensure a shared understanding of the language proficiency of members. The edition of
STANAG from 1976 did not undergo revision until a few years ago when identified
inconsistencies among NATO nations STANAG ratings such as varying interpretations,
different testing approaches including achievement, job-performance, proficiency as well as
different results for the same levels of proficiency were relieved. The NATO Standardizing
Agency integrated the updated interpretation and published Edition 2, in 2003. In 2005,
another similar international committee effort led to the development of plus levels which
were added as an optional component to the six base level document, in 2006. A plus level
defined in this context as a proficiency that is more than halfway between two base levels,

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and as proficiency which substantially exceeds the base skill level but does not fully or
consistently meet all of the criteria for the next higher base level. However, the fact is that
there are potentially forty-six countries using the STANAG 6001 as criteria, and

the

interpretation differs from country to country (Dubeau, J. J., 2006, p. 6-7).


2.2.3 The Language Requirement
Presentations given at BILC2 Conferences and BILC Professional Seminars, stress the need
of personnel in units operating or liaising with NATO land forces, air forces, naval elements
or headquarters to be able to communicate in English.
Competency in English language skills is a pre-requisite for participation in exercises,
operations and postings to NATO multinational headquarters.The aim is to improve English
language skills of all personnel who are to cooperate with NATO. These individuals must be
able to communicate effectively in English with added emphasis on operational terminology
and procedures.

(qtd. in Master Thesis, 2006).


According to the previous document, such goals include not only the improvement of the
language proficiency of military professionals but also the integration of adequate language
training as a part of their normal career development.

2.2.4 Criteria and language proficiency levels


A STANAG, or STANdardisation AGreement, is an international military standard created by
the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for regulating equipment, procedures, tactics,
training and almost everything that affects the cooperation among the armed forces from
different countries 3 .
STANAG 6001 is a language proficiency scale designed to allow comparisons of language
ability in different countries. The scale consists of a set of descriptors with proficiency skills
arranged into six levels, coded 1 through 6. In general terms, skills may be defined as follows:
Level 0 - No practical proficiency
Level 1 - Elementary
Level 2 - Fair (Limited working)
Level 3 - Good (Minimum professional)

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Level 4 - Very good (Full professional)


Level 5 - Excellent (Native/bilingual)
( listed in Campaign, NATO STANAG 6001)
________________________________________________________________________________________
2

BILC - The Bureau for International Language Co-ordination (BILC) established through the British Ministry
of Defence in 1966 is the consultative and advisory body for language training matters in NATO.
3
http://www.campaignmilitaryenglish.com/Course/teacher.htm

Language proficiency is recorded with a profile of 4 digits indicating the specific skills in the
following order: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. For example, a person with the level
SLP (Standardized Language Profile) 3232 has level 3 in Listening, level 2 in Speaking, level
3 in Reading and level 2 in Writing. (mentioned in Campaign, NATO STANAG 6001). There
is no one official exam for the STANAG 6001 levels and countries which use the scale
produce their own tests and are responsible validating their tests in terms of the STANAG
6001 levels.The original version of STANAG 6001 was created in 1976 and this document
was modified in 2003. Summary of STANAG 6001 levels shows the general language
requirements relevant for the particular skills (Appendix 2).

3. Basic concept of the English language training in the Czech


Armed Forces
The beginning of this chapter is devoted to the English Language Training and Testing
development within the educational system in the Czech Armed Forces from the 1990s up till
now. The situation of the current organization of the language teaching, including the
description of individual courses, institutions and schooling centers, are presented in the next
chapter.

3.1 The English Language Training Development


Since the existence of the Czech Republic through the preparation period, the following entry
to NATO and further till 2005 when the process of professionalization of the Czech Army
was accomplished, the language preparation of military personnel has remarkably improved.
It is my intention to show in detail the process of the development of the language
competency of the members of our army which is considered to be very advanced. Despite

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many problems and difficulties in the implementation of the language concept intended for
the member states in the framework of NATO to which the Czech Republic belongs either,
we can consider this process successful. We are aware of the fact that there are certain
deficiencies which were not possible to remove and which represent obstacles in the complete
accomplishment of the language preparation. It is necessary to mention that the language
preparation was in process before our entry to NATO but in a limited mode. English teaching
was not a priority between the years 1993-1995 and that is why only selected individuals were
studying it. In 1995 the army switched to the classification of the knowledge of language
according to the norm NATO STANAG 6001. This schooling system was introduced to the
Czech Army in connection with the planned entry to NATO. The usage of official languages
within NATO thus became necessary. The language was to be English and for a limited group
it was French. The second logical step was the necessity to create means for the measurement
of the language competency of the members of the Army of the Czech Republic which had to
be accommodated to the Czech conditions originating from a solid, adapted concept.
According to PhDr. Vlasta Nepivodov, a language tester at the Department of Languages at
Mendel University in Brno, the language preparation in the Czech Army was seemingly in
advantage compared with the other resorts because the requirements of the profile of the
graduate of the course were set by the descriptors (Appendix 3) of individual levels according
to the norm STANAG 6001. However, the BILC standards were formulated very roughly and
the national teams of all the states of the former Central and Eastern Europe applying for the
membership in NATO had to create their own programme and teaching plans. They had to
choose suitable textbooks and last but not least, create their own system of classification, i.e.
system of testing originated from the descriptors. The Czech Army also had to face this
situation. Since there was no official testing system, (Defence Language Institute

was

founded later in 2004), the centres functioning at that time, created their own independent
testing teams. There was a lack of communication not only among these teams but there was
also a lack of cooperation between the national teams of the current and new NATO
members. These teams had no possibility of studying the documents dealing with the study
and testing materials, nor were they able to compare systematically the test materials
composed by the colleagues of different member states of the Aliance. It was the task of the
Czech national testing team to interpret and work with the norm STANAG 6001 to a more
concrete shape as specified by the testing specifications. Uniform interpretation and the
usages of the standards of the norm STANAG were not centrally controlled, however it was
being monitored and discussed at international meetings and many seminars of the
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representatives of the testing teams. Processing the tests to a concrete shape was in the
competency of testing teams of different countries. Every national team was creating their
own shape of the test format, i.e. selection of test types for reading and listening, the usage of
testing techniques, selection of types of tasks, composition of criteria for the evaluation of
productive as well as receptive skills and so on. The authors of the tests according to
STANAG 6001 were limited by several factors. One of these aspects was the fact that the
descriptors were written by native speakers for native speakers who perceived the language
differently than non-native speakers who created the testing materials in a foreign language
for their own army members. During the composition and creation of the materials it was
necessary to consult an educated and experienced native speaker who had to be always
available and who was supposed to be critically assessing them. It meant that one of the weak
points in the initial introduction to NATO was the absence of the pretestation of every
material and the following insufficient analysis of the very course of the schooling process as
well as the interpretation of the test results (Vojensk rozhledy, 2005, p.123-124, transl. by the
author). As the next weak point in the initial period of preparation turned out to be the
organization and the way of teaching in different courses. Every schooling center interpreted
the form and method in their own way and that is why there occurred apparent differences in
the quality of teaching. Also the significant lack of uniformally trained tutors for this type of
lecturing with a specific specialization contributed to this state. The majority of the lecturers
came from the civic area and that is why they could not support themselves by the the
practical as well as theoretical experience from the military milieu necessary for the full
understanding of the education. The unsuitable choice of teaching materials represented also a
big problem. This process was not centrally coordinated and the choice of textbooks depended
in most cases on individual lecturers. In the course of the following years were used in the
army facilities the following textbooks of English language: Anglitina pro samouky (Dr.
Ludmila Kollmanov, Leda), Anglitina pro jazykov koly (E. Zbojov, J. Peprnk, S.
Nangonov, SPN Praha), The Cambridge English Course (M. Swan and C. Walter,
Cambridge University Press), Look Ahead (M.D. Vivier, A. Hopkins, J. Potter, Longman
Group Limited and The British Broadcasting Corporation),Headway (Liz and John Soars,
Oxford University Press), and American Language Course (DLI, Lackland-Texas). It turned
out that some of the teaching materials were not suitable for a given type of teaching. In the
course of time and according to achieved results and experiences was this literature selected
and limited to teaching materials such as ALC (American Language Course) and Headway. It
was possible by means of ALCPT (American Language Course Placement Test), which was a
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part of the ALC textbooks, to differentiate and place the students to groups according to their
level of knowledge. This meant for example that one group could start with the textbook ALC
Book no. 1, the second group with the ALC Book no. 4 and the third group with ALC Book
10 and students did not have to waste time by concentrating on the stuff they had already
mastered. DLIELC Lackland, Texas yielded us a helping hand in the form of already
mentioned ALC textbooks with audiovisual materials and with the equipment and with the
equipment of classrooms in all the schooling institutes (Chaloupsk

Jandov, transl. by the

author).
There had been no substantial changes regarding the basic concept of language training in the
Czech Armed Forces until 2002, when a new concept was prepared and a year later the
system was introduced.
According to National Report - Czech Republic 20044:
Language training remains a permanent focus and goal in the area of education and professional
training for military professionals. Within the context of the transformation of the Armed
Forces of the Czech Republic new measures have been adopted to improve the language
proficiency of personnel in the defense sector. These measures will increase the effectiveness of
the language training system implemented at both MoDs military schools and military facilities
throughout the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. Particular attention is paid to those
personnel planned for involvement in NATO operations.

The establishment of the Defence Language Institute meant a big step ahead concerning the
military language training. DLI compiled all required materials and worked intensively on
the stable concept adaptable in the conditions of the Czech Army. The principal aims were
focused on the formation of the fixed reguirements and rating scales.
The mission statement of DLI has been the same since its establishment: The Mission of the
Defense Language Institute

is to ensure sufficiently that trained and ready personnel be

available to meet the foreign language skill requirements of the Ministry of Defense (abbrev.
MoD) and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (qtd. in National Report - Czech
Republic 2004).
There has been a great development in this sector of military education since 2003. The
essential role in the military language training is presented by the assistance with the Defence
Language Institute English Language Center (abbrev. DLIELC), Lackland, AFB (Air Force
Base), TX (Texas). Its continued support of teaching and the supply of testing materials,

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along with the availability of highly-qualified lecturers and specialists in testing, represents an
invaluable help in improving the level of the knowledge of languages in the Czech Army.

<http://www.bilc.forces.gc.ca/conf/2004/nat-rep-doc/Czech2004.pdf>
The Defense Language Institute at Vykov was established on September 1, 2003 and Lt Col Ladislav
Chaloupsk was appointed the Commander of the Institute. Although the move from Brno to Vyskov in 2004
had an initial negative impact, DLI is now the largest institute within the MOD and has successfully dealt with
the problems
5

3.2 Courses organization


According to the Czech Republic National Report 2005 , the language training is focused on
specialized education for military professionals selected for work in NATO countries,
including international operations and peaceful missions.
The Czech Republic National Report 2005 informs about the intensive programmes of
language training consisting of full-time and external study courses. These both short-term
and long-term courses are provided by the Defence Language Institute (abbrev. DLI) and its
compliance with the Vykov training and Doctrine Directorate. DLI offers a program of
language training courses served at MoDs military schools and at training and educational
centres. All the studies culminate in passing STANAG (STANdardization AGreement) 6001
examinations. The following chart demonstrates the number of students trained in different
foreign language programmes, English having priority

and tested by the DLI from March

2006 through March 2007 (Table 1).

Language
English

German
French

Level

Total

SLP 1

881

SLP 2

1167

SLP 3

272

SLP 1

78

SLP 2

63

SLP 3

SLP 1

26

SLP 2

23

18

Russian

Hungarian

SLP 3

20

SLP 1

40

SLP 2

30

SLP 3

SLP 2

Table1. Number of students tested May 2006 - May 2007 at DLI

The language training programme in all courses consisting of intensive, combined, refresher
and enhancement courses includes also these crucial features (listed in National Report Czech Republic 2004):

six to seven 50-minute training units per day

one mandatory lesson dedicated to listening practice in the language laboratories


per day

maximum attention to the choice of textbooks and teaching materials

curriculum input from language training specialists from military language centres
abroad (primarily DLIELC, Texas)

strong emphasis on student participation and motivation

lessons conducted exclusively in the target language

instructors applying a highly communicative approach

use of authentic materials in the target language

The courses are designed according to the levels and intensity of language training:
- four-month intensive courses for SLP 1111
- four-month intensive courses for SLP 2222
- six or five-month intensive courses for SLP 3333
- Combined courses (10 months, one week a month) for all three levels
- one- or two-week military terminology courses for specific purposes (for Rapid
Deployment Force, UN missions, etc.)
- four-week refreshment courses for SLP 1111 and 2222
- eight-week refreshment courses for SLP 3333
- IMET Programme courses for all levels
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- British Council courses for SLP 2222


(See National Report - Czech Republic BILC, 2003)

3.3 Institutions and training courses


As the central and largest language training facility of the defense sector, DLI operates a
program of language training courses, coordinates language training at MoD training and
educational centers and contributes to the conceptual development of the language training
system of the Czech Army.The DLI continues to maintain highly skilled teaching and testing
departments, which supports: 12 intensive, longer-term, SLP-3 English courses (with eight
students per course), 6 SLP 2 English courses (with ten students per course), and 17 English
refresher courses per year ( mentioned in National Report, 2007). There is approximately 30
hours of teaching with the continuing individual preparation in SAC (Self Access Center) and
homework processing. Native speakers from USA, Great Britain and France regularly
participace in the teaching. The basic teaching material in the courses of English is American
Language Course Book 1-34 (abbv. ALC) with these additional ones: English Vocabulary in
Use, English Grammar in Use, Headway, AZ Discussions, Campaign. The concept of ALC
books is to cover one book weekly. There is a bookquiz at the end of every book which is
focused on the covered stuff. There is at least one hour a day dedicated to controlled listening
in laboratory. In the intensive courses for SLP 2222 there are at least two lessons managed by
native speakers and in the SLP 3333 the native speaker is present in the lesson every day.
DLIs resources are no longer allocated for lower level (e.g. SLP 1) language training of
armed forces personnel. These very basic level courses are now handled by MoD-contracted
agencies. In accordance with the STANAG 6001, DLI satisfies the linguistic requirements for
our soldiers serving with multinational units abroad and continues to set the standard for
military language education and testing (National Report, 2007).
The second largest MoD language training installation is the Education and Training Center
in Komorn Hrdek maintaning an excellent standard of language teaching. The Center can
accommodate 50 students, with the average of 30 students in its SLP 2 course, 8-10 students
in its SLP 3 course, and 10 students studying the French language (National Report, 2004).
Additional students are trained at the following schools and facilities:

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Military College of Ground Forces in Vykov

Military Medical Academy in Hradec Krlov

Military Academy in Vykov

Military Technical School in Moravsk Tebov

Military Technical School in Brno

Military High School in Vykov

American Program in Prague

(Listed in National Report, 2004).


Language training is also conducted at the

bases and garrisons in: Litomice, Lzn

Bohdane, Perov, Nm nad Oslavou, Olomouc, Prostjov, slav, and Prague. Even
when these installations have different chains of command and differing training needs, DLI
ensures program consistency and quality by organizing testing seminars so that teachers from
all installations from all installations are informed about the innovations and essentials
changes of the language education (See National Report, 2004).
A significant role in the language educational process in the Czech Army plays also the
University of Defence6. The requirements for the language competency are applied on the
graduates of the University of Defence (abbrev. UD). In regard to the needs of the Defence
sector in the framework of our NATO membership and the command of the Minister of
Defence, graduates of the bachelor programme of UD are supposed to reach the level SLP 3
of the language competency according to the NATO STANAG 6001 which is in fact the
upper intermediary level corresponding to the European level C1. The Centrum of the
Language Preparation has consistently taken care of the education of the future military
professionals. It is expected from University of Defence graduates that upon starting to
perform their tasks, they will be able to work with documents in English and fluently
communicate with other members of the NATO armies during mutual exercises, international
missions and also during their stays abroad. The education takes place in special language
classrooms (laboratories) which are in conformity with the latest trend of the educational
theory and the teaching of a foreign language. It is supported by the utilization of information
and communication technologies and new forms of teaching methods. Students have the
advantage of individual preparation in the classrooms of the Self-Access Centre (SAC), where
they can find a wide range of materials for the development of their language skills. It is very
interesting and inspiring to teach by means of videofrequential technologies realised in
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cooperation with the organization ICI Wave (Quebec) and Canada School of Public Service
(Montreal). There is a wide range of study materials at the portal of the University of Defence
which is available for students as well as for the staff of the school. There is also a list of links
to web sites with the content of various interactive tasks such us vocabulary, grammar,
reading, listening and writing exercises. LMS (Learning Management System) BARBORKA

UD Brno was established in 2004 as the Defence Departments single university- level educational facility.

is serving the purpose of the presentation of study materials, study management and
communication in the framework of the combined study programme (Vuka jazyk na UO,
2009, transl. by the author).
Students of English have at their disposal also a range of other types of a material such as
interactive CD containing a file of twenty lessons from the military environment with the
focus on professional vocabulary of all units of the Czech Army.
The other training centers offer language learners nice classrooms equipped with modern
teach-ware, whiteboards and audio visual devices of high-quality (Fig. 1). Most of these
facilities enable a practice of listening for advanced students in
laboratories with high-tech headphones (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Lessons at DLI at Vykov.

22

comfortable language

Figure 2. Listening at DLI at Vykov.

In line with the trend, the English language training was enhaced through the English
language courses for specific purposes. These courses are designed to prepare potential
NATO staff officers and other military personnel for their roles in the NATO Alliances.
These courses are stimulating and wideranging and the language development is achieved by
active participation in practical work. These courses are concerned with creating,
understanding and using communicative skills necessary for fulfilling their professional
functions effectively in NATO missions and operations. These trainings are held both in our
republic and abroad. DLIELC offers a variety of resident courses at Lackland AFB (Air Force
Base) Texas as well:

English Language Course for OSN Observers - Komorn Hrdek

English Language Course of Aviation radio-communication - The British Council


in Prague

English Language Courses for Staff Officers in Multinational Operations - a


DLIELC Mobile Training Team (MTT) conducts this seminar for staff officers who
arepreparing for positions requiring an advanced level of speaking and writing in
English. The minimum class size is six, and the maximum is ten. The course is
designed to teach communicative skills and the fundamentals of military writing.

Managing English Language Training (MELT) Course - this eight-week course is


intended for international personnel who are or will be in English language training
program (ELTP) managerial positions in their countries. Seminar participants are
providedwith basic knowledge in various areas of administering, managing, and
supervising .
23

American Language Course - this nine-week course focuses on language and study
skills and terminology associated with technicaltraining and professional military
education.

American Language Course for Aviation Leadership Program Scholarship - this


is established for AF ALP Scholarship students and is used for funding purposes only.
All students will complete aviation terminology.

Oral Proficiency Skills for Aviation (OPSAV) Course - this course is designed to
help students achieve the necessary oral proficiency level The course offers extensive
practice in pronunciation, global speaking proficiency,and listening comprehension
within a variety of contexts and a wide range of formats. Particular emphasis is given
to the comprehension of electronic voice communication over two-way radios and
telephones.This training prepares students for the unique challenges of radio
communication. While the course focuses primarily on routine, day-to-dayproficiency
needs, a variety of aviation-related themes are woven into each lesson. and classroom
materials. The course focuses on the communication skills needed for work and
interactions in a multinational situation (Listed in DLIELC Catalogue 2010, p. 33).

A great attention is attached to studies abroad, because of the benefit of providing special
practical training and qualifications that the Czech defence education system doesnt support.
In 1999-2008 the total number of personnel sent abroad amounts to 3,949 (Table 2).
Courses

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 TOTAL
115

109

145

101

114

108

106

87

126

108

1,119

Specialised 218

177

136

152

169

215

359

237

256

243

2,162

89

48

45

52

53

135

69

48

52

31

622

46

Language
short-term
Speciliased
long-lerm
General
Staff

Table 2. Personnel assigned for studies in foreign countries,MoD in the Czech Republic

24

4. The Study
In the framework of my study dedicated to the development, course, fixed target and
effectiveness of the tuition of the English language in the military milieu, I addressed several
students from the ranks of the former as well as contemporary employees of the 21st Tactical
Air Base slav who attended the language training at the schooling centres, universities or
international courses. I have documented their reports also with the attitudes of the
representatives of the Defence Language Institute in Vykov. The aims of this study are as
follows:
1. Clarify the motivational incentives and to analyse practical experiences of the students
of English in regard to the development of the Czech Army prior and after its entry to
NATO according to the reports of the students.
2.

Analyse the respondents opinions on the aspects of the English language training.

3. Summarize the information received during the open discussion with the respondents.
4. Compare attitudes of the Czech representatives of DLI Vykov to the military
language training.
5. Evaluate the utilization of the English language.

25

4.1 The motivational incentives and practical experiences of the


students
As far as the results of the following study regards, the motivation of the individual students
does not differ significantly due to the fact that the process of the language preparation has
become necessary not only for individuals but also for whole groups to utilize in a given
fiction. All the respondents had in common the same incentive such as to maintain their
positions as well as the ambition to learn something new with the posibility of a professional
advancement. After the entry of the Czech Army to NATO, the knowledge of English became
essential during the training of special units and groups such as the air-fighter pilots and so
on.

These claims are supported by the three following reports of the students of the total of 15
who describe not only their motives but also give their view as students on the teaching of the
English language in the army. There is a report of a pilot, an air-traffic controller and also of a
technician of the aircraft JAS 39 Gripen. Statements and opinions of the commander of the
Air Base slav are to be found at the end of the reports which support the fact that the
language competency affected the prestige of our Air Force abroad.
In order to understand better the significance and the course of the study of English I include
the two following cases.
Second Lieutenant Ing. Milan Nikodm (Pilot):
I personally first came across English at Military Academy in Brno in 1994 needless to say that
it is not possible to compare with todays level of teaching. There was no concept, nor purpose,
nor qualified lecturers and necessary teaching materials. During my university studies I got only
a rough notion about the language with no possibility to apply our knowledge in everyday
conversations and during the air traffic. Of course, there were no demands for this either. All the
communication took place in Czech and our ambitions to fly abroad were nill. Fortunately
things took turn for the better and English got its way back to my professional life. The year
1999 proved to be for the Czech Army and especially for the Czech Air Force critical. As early
as during the entry of the Czech Republic to NATO it was decided by the Air Force

26

Headquaters that all pilots must be sufficiently equipped as far as a language competency
regards because the air traffic would be further controlled in English. I was facing the decision
whether to study English and be allowed to continue flying or not to study with the consequent
result. This proved to be really a mighty incentive. I found the three-month preparation course
for STANAG much more effective than the clumbersome way of life of a self-learner.

Further I asked a former pilot of MIG 23 BN, Ing. Petr Hrub about the beginning of his
studies.
It was hard for our generation to switch from Russian to English. Those of us who were
complete beginners were in disadvantage as opposed to our younger colleagues. As far as I can
make a comparison, the colleges with the knowledge of English gained at primary and
secondary schools were almost ready to pass STANAG of the first level. However, for me and
many of my contemporaries it was necessary to attend a preparatory course of a much wider
extent. As it turned out, I found this course satisfactory and thus I fulfilled the conditions of the
certificate STANAG 1111.

The question whether the entire language training was thus acomplished was answered by
Ing. Petr Hrub as follows:
This level proved to be satisfactory for the majority of the Air Force which was unfortunately
my case. As a pilot I had to acquire a wider range of knowledge because in order to perform my
function it was necessary to achieve the second level and to attend a special course of
phraseology.

Ing. Milan Nikodm was of the same opinion when he added:


In order to attend aviation trainings and international missions it was necessary to reach the
second level. I attended a three month course at the British Council, one of the schooling centers
positioned in Brno. I found this course enriching not only as far as the content regards but first
of all in terms of the professional approach of the lecturers, mainly native speakers with
pedagogical education. As my colleague has already mentioned, it was not sufficient at all.
Every pilot and commander of the air traffic had to possess English Correspondence permission
- a licence to use the official English terminology. This authorisation was possible to achieve
only after attending the above mentioned course of professional air phraseology.

27

And how was the general language in our army classified by Ing. Milan Nikodm according
to his personal experiences?
During my activity in the Air Force I attended three English language courses in the duration of
9 months. I think that had I been dispatched abroad for half a year immediately after the school,
everything would have been solved once and for all. I think, it is a sheer nonsense for a pilot to
spend his most productive years in attending courses. That is why I see the aggravating mistakes
of the initial concept of the military language education in the inadequate language preparation
at the University of Defence. I suppose that the young applicants for aviation should be leaving
the university with the required language level SLP 2222 at minimum. Passing the test of
professional army phraseology and acquiring the licence should be a part of the study program.
Scholarships abroad should not be missing. It would not be necessary for the graduates to be
sent to courses at the time when they should concentrate on acquiring experiences. A person
equipped with the knowledge of English will have no difficulties in attending any international
missions and will be able to cooperate with the members of foreign Air Force and will be able
to control and organize the work of international teams. Career advancement and salary rise also
represent a big motivation. I am sure that the level of the knowledge of English is at least in our
profession on increase. The new generation already had English at primary and secondary
schools which makes them better prepared for their jobs. My generation as well as the older
ones had to make up for this handicap.Nowadays there is a sufficient number of courses of a
satisfactory level available and in contrast with the past there is a possibility to study abroad
which is an invaluable help in acquiring certain language skills.

Ing.Petr Hrub concluded:


I attended five different language courses between 1999 and 2004. As far as I can judge, the
introduction of military language courses was lacking a solid concept. The teaching was
proceeding according to various materials and the extent and level was not set. The level of
teaching was different because it was secured by various language agencies. It affected also the
successfulness of final exams. We did not know what was awaiting us, we were learning bits
from every topic but on the whole, we were not prepared at all. I must say that most of us failed
and had to attend one-month preparatory course in order to be allowed to sit again for the exam
which was very exhausting and for most of us demotivating. However, these deficiencies were
gradually eliminated. I can say that the last course I attended in Prague in 2004 was intensive
with a fixed concept and aims. When I look back at my student years I can say that I was
enriched by this course more than by all the previous ones. It corresponded to the requirements

28

raised during the during the STANAG exam of the second level. I would like to mention one
more negative aspect of teaching which we students had to face. It was apparent, first of all, at
the beginning and I am of the opinion that it was the weak point of the teaching. It regarded the
communication between the teachers and the performers of the testings. Further, what was
covered during the course was not a part of the exams. Lecturers were not aware of the content
and the form of the exams and vice versa. The testers were not present in the lessons to see and
compare whether the tests contained everything that was covered in the lessons. As far as my
personal experience regards, this weak point was removed as well. When attending the last
course we knew exactly how the exam would look like, we could also try a mock test which
indicated to us our weak as well as strong points. This we found very encouraging and
motivating.

To give an overview of the specific aims concerning the language proficiency of the
employees of the Air Base slav, there is nobody as competent as Colonel Ing. Petr
Mikulenka, the Base Commander of 21st of AFB (Air Force Base) slav. He commented as
follows the posibility of utilization of the English language in the framework of NATO.
The knowledge of the English language in the Czech professional army should be automatic for
every professional soldier especially after the Czech Republic was admitted to NATO. There
are certain requirements set for every function. Unless the set of requirements are fulfilled, it is
not possible for a professional soldier to perform tasks necessary for a given position or there
are limitations of the duration of the function until all the conditions have been fulfilled. The
length of the limitation is two years maximum. The level of the accomplished knowledge of the
English language is a decisive factor influencing the choice of applicants for the position in
question. In most cases a certain level of the knowledge of a language is a precondition. The
language training of the employees at the Air Base in Caslav has been going since 1999 and as
the commander of the Base Ing. Mikulenka put it: The results are apparent and the prestige of
the base is being improved year by year also thanks to the language competence of our
employees.

(Translated by the author)


The commander gave the following response to the question whether language courses are in
demand and where they take place:
The demand exceeds an offer. And because of the limitations of the schooling centre on our
base (max. 30 students), the majority of the remaining students are forced to study in other

29

schooling centres in Vykov, Komorn Hrdek, Moravsk Tebov or in Prague. The demand on
the level and necessity to use the English language is given according to the category of the
position. For example, there is an elite squadron functioning on the base which cannot do
without a good knowledge of English which lies not only in the framework of the knowledge of
general English but also in mastering of military terminology. The reason for this is as follows:
The members of this squadron operate with the airplanes of the fourth generation JAS 39
Gripen, where all the technological procedures, documentations of maintenance, manuals and
prescriptions are in English. What is more, there is a support team of the Swedish Royal Air
Force working with this squadron and the communication and mutual solving of difficult as
well as common problems take place solely in the English language. As this squadron ensures
the air defense not only of our state but in the framework of NATO, it attends numerous
exercises in the Czech Republic as well as abroad, so the knowledge of English is indispensable.
If the service in international missions is also taken into consideration, where mutual help of
other members in the framework of NATO is an indivisible part of it, then you have to agree
with me that a quality education of the English language is inevitable and belongs to the
equipment of every participant of this mission.

(Translated by the author)


After a short pause the commander added that almost all the pilots and technicians
functioning in this squadron passed a preparatory course for the airplane JAS 39 Gripen in
Sweden between the years 2004-2005, where it would have been unthinkable to succeed
without good knowledge of English.
The English language is generally considered as the air language. That is why the entire
controlling and coordination of air traffic is run in English. All the internationally valid
regulations are published in this language as well as the tests and examinations of expertise are
done in English regardless the country where they take place. Upon taking all these facts into
consideration, it is clear that whoever wants to work for the Air Force will face the problem to
learn and use the English language and radio correspondence. As a pilot, speaking of my own
experience, I can affirm that air communication and mutual planning of flights in the framework
of peace as well as combat missions takes place only in English. Every misunderstanding can
have as an effect a fatal mistake. That is why the majority of the pilots of our base have passed
through special language courses abroad, where their speaking and listening skills are being
tested during the flight training. Also the introduction of English typed radio correspondence
helped to quicken the air traffic and make it more flexible.

(Translated by the author)

30

At the end, he emphasized the fact that the performance of the base abroad was well
appreciated as well as the cooperation with the employees judging from both the professional
and language adequacy aspect.
Selected comments are provided below to demonstrate the thinking of a few students
regarding their motivation for learning and using English for their professional career.
Warrant Officer Romana P. (Chief Warrant Officer):
Our base is visited by international delegations with which it is necessary to communicate. By
means of English I find it possible to present my work and compare my abilities and the way of
cooperation with my foreign colleagues. Healthy ambitions played quite an important part in
this case when it is possible to manage this language proficiency for a soldier from a lower
rank, then so must I. And if I have mastered lever one, I feel motivated to achieve a higher
competency.

Captain Ing. Roman H. (Air-traffic Controller) :


To join NATO, officers need to speak English. It is especially important for the traffic
controllers. After training in the language course, I will be an air-traffic controller in English,
too.

Captain Ing Ji M. (Unit Commander):


As an aviation student, I must prove that I can communicate orally in English. I have chosen
this course to improve my speaking and reading skills. All the documents and maintanance
plans and instructions are in English and the important part of our everyday work is
communication and discussion with the Swedish Support Group located in our Squadron.

Captain Ing.Tom M. (Pilot) :


As far as my biggest motivation regards, I have to state that it comes with the practical
experiences of the air traffic control, especially with the arrival of a foreign aircraft during
which all the communication had to be carried on only in English. It was not possible to solve

31

difficult situations in Czech as usual after the previous experience which proved to be a big test
of the language competency and of its usage in practice.

According to the contributions of several students who were studying by means of language
courses, it is obvious that the strongest motivation factor for the study of English was the
necessity to fulfill a professional requirement for a given function as a condition for further
stay in the army. However, the following graph also confirms the fact that during the
preparation and the consequent entry of our republic to NATO, the motivation to study
English is remarkably different due to the practical usage of the language during the everyday
activities of the member of

the Air Force.The opening of a common cooperation and

fulfillment of international missions effecting the obligation to study English as well as the
increasing interest of the soldiers in English came with our entry to NATO.
100
%

p ro fe s s io n a l re q u ire m e n t

80
60
40

p ra c tic a l u s a g e

20
0
B e fo re th e e n try to
N AT O

Afte r th e e n try to
N AT O

Motivation factor to study English before and after the entry to NATO.
It corresponds with the testimony of the technician of this air craft who confirmed that the
main stimulus to study English was the prospect of becoming a technician of JAS 39 at the
Air Force Base. As Second Lieutenant Miroslav Fiala said:
The knowledge of English language is absolutely vital for this function which came also with
the very introduction of the fighter to the army in 2005. In 2004 I was sent together with a
chosen group of technicians and pilots to a training course in Sweden. Prior to this I had to
attend a quite demanding language preparation which was indispensable in order to attend this
training course. As a holder of the SLP 1111 certificate I was forced to attend four-month
intensive English language course in Komorn Hrdek with the aim of achieving the language
level SLP 2222 which was a condition for attending the training course. I achieved the required
level and became a part of a small group of technicians which was despatched for the training
course to Sweden. This course was progressed only in English.

32

I was very confident myself as a brand new holder of the STANAG 2222 certificate and hoped
that there would not be any problems during the course for me to face. This did not turn out
according to my expectations and I had to admit that I lacked the knowledge of a concrete
aviation terminology. I had to make up for it by studying this parallelly with the course. There is
no end to the application of the English language in my profession. The course I attended as
well as all the manuals, documentation and technological proceedings are in English. Also the
communication with the Swedish Support Group which is active at our base takes place in
English. When I ask myself a question if all the effort and incentives leading to the achievement
of the English language competency were worth it, I must say yes.

(Translated by the author).


According to Miroslav, generally, the English language competency opens new horizons for
us which were unatainable in the past and also in this aspect, the level of English has been
appreciated by the partners from the aliance many times as he admitted proudly:
Our American colleagues commented admiringly on our ability to communicate in their native
language. I myself am confident of the fact that the level of the knowledge of the Czech
professionals and not only of the Air Force is of a very high level when compared especially
with the other non-English speaking members of the alliance.

(Translated by the author).


These are the reports of only a small group of professionals working on the tactical Air Force
Base slav.
Conclusion
As it is obvious from the preceding commentaries and personal reports, there are specific
requirements for every position in regard to the English language competency. It is not only
the matter of the levels gained on the basis of the STANAG 6001 exams but also of acquiring
a special English terminology for a given position. It represents in most cases hours upon
hours of self-study which turns out to be in the long run a big advantage. It is also plain from
the reports that in order to achieve this success, every individual had to go through differently
long path which consisted of many obstacles.

33

These were possibly caused not only by the age of the students but also by the non-uniform
concept of education and inadequateness of the technical and material equipment of the
schooling centres. Also the incompetency of the teachers with no pedagogical education
contributed to this situation which also influenced the length of language training. Nowadays,
all the respondents hold the certificate of the STANAG language proficiency SLP 2222.
Not only the Czech Air Force, but also Ground Forces and special forces operate in the
framework of NATO in various foreign operations and international fight missions which
would be unworkable without high-quality preparedness of the English language.

4.2 Students view on various aspects of learning English


In order to ascertain the opinions of students as to different aspects of studying the English
language, I conducted an open discussion with 15 students. These students attended the
English course at the Air Force Base slav intended to achieve the targeted knowledge of
English as per SLP 2222. The results of this discussion served for the purpose of the
elaboration of the analysis found further in the text.
4.2.1 Attitude towards learning English
English is regarded by more than half of the students (10) as a very popular language. Only 5
respondents regard English as a middle popular language. As far as the usability of the
language is concerned, it is regarded by 12 students as very useful and by 3 as middle useful
in the framework of its usability not only in the professional but also in the civil area.
This attitude of students towards the English language teaching affects their preparation for
classes. 10 students take an effort in preparing themselves at least two or three hours a day,
for the everyday six-hour classes. The next three students need at least three hours a day to be
prepared. The two remaining students spend approximately one hour in preparing themselves.
The time of self-study also depends on the age and family status of the students. Out of the
total amount of 15 the students, there are seven students of the age between 30 and 40 years,
six students of the age between twenty and thirty years and two students under the age of

34

twenty-five. Out of these, 11 students are married, living with their families in the vicinity of
the base whereas 4 respondents are single. These are commuting or staying at dormitories.
All the respondents devote their time for the preparation according to their abilities which is
contributing to their effective mastering of English. There was no unwillingness displayed on
the part of any of the respondents to improve their abilities and attend the lessons. Quite the
opposite, some of the students used individiual consultations with the lecturers apart from the
classes.
The students felt secure at the air base where they could fulfil their professional tasks without
the need to take care of accommodation and thus feel free to dedicate their time to the selfstudy of the English language or to make use of their offices in the afternoon for that purpose
after the end of the classes. This aspect was appreciated by 7 of the inteviewees. On the other
hand, 8 students found these surroundings disturbing due to the fact that they would be called
away from the classes by their commanders. The constant interrupting of the course had a
negative impact on the other students. These 8 students rather preferred to be taught in
schooling centres outside the air base due to these factors.
4.2.2 Initial knowledge and problems of the students at the beginning
All the students of this course had to sit for the entrance test - American Language Course
Placement Test (Appendix 4) in order to ascertain the level of knowledge and adapt to the
pace of the teaching process.
8 students scored more than seventy per cent and the other less than that. The biggest
difficulties at the beginning of their studies were connected with the perceptive skills and
vocabulary. This fact was confirmed by all the 15 interviewees. These two problems are
closely linked together as the unsufficient vocabulary may cause obstacles in communication.
There is no time, however, for the student to dwell on the meaning of unfamiliar words during
the listening.
4.2.3 Teaching materials

35

The choice of a suitable basic teaching material is a frequently discussed topic. Only one third
of the students regarded the set of textbooks - American Language Course as a suitable and
sufficient teaching material, whereas two thirds of the students were rather dissatisfied with
them. American English presented only in American military environment and the absence of
the key to the exercises intended for a self-study were considered as critical drawbacks of
these textbooks.13 of the 15 respondents appreciated the book quizzes, which represented
complementing of the knowledge of every finished textbook and by means of which they
were shifted to the following volume. The students agreed that this served the purpose of a
very useful feedback reporting about their actual knowledge of the English language. They
were tested according to the four language components found in the ALC course books
(vocabulary (V), function (F), grammar (G), and skills (S)), by means of which they were
informed about the quality of their knowledge, their progress as well as about the areas in
which they stagnated in order to pay closer attention to them.
More than the majority of the students (9) approved of the implementation of the additional
materials. The main acquisition of these materials consists in the broadening of the horizon of
the non-military environment. The biggest success and usability of all the textbooks was
accorded to Headway. The remaining students considered the implementation of additional
materials as a pleasant distraction but also and more importantly as a burden as some tasks
intended for a self- study were prepared from these materials.
All the respondents would unanimously welcome the possibility of the usage of interactive
and multimedial teaching with the focus on general as well as military English. However,
only 4 students would change completely the way of teaching, the other 11 would make use
of this system as a complementary teaching. Generally speaking the new interactive method
would be preferred by a younger generation.
4.2.4 Organization of the teaching
None of the students had any objections towards the arrangement of the teaching as such. All
the objections regarded the schedule of the course. 9 of 15 students complained about the time
they spent in the classes per day. According to the opinions of the students, the teaching
schedule should be reduced to four hours a day even if the course was made longer by this.
All the students agreed unanimously that the total number of the students in a class should be
between 5 and 10 students, definitely not 15 students or more. The equipment of the
36

classrooms was regarded as satisfactory by 8 students, the remaining 7 students suggested


improvements of design. There was almost no one satisfied with the audio laboratory as it was
quite obsolete. Equipped only with a tape recorder, the quality of a listening is considerably
influenced. All the respondents would welcome if the laboratory would be equipped
according to the standard of the 21st century teaching.
As far as the evaluation of teachers regards, 10 students were satisfied with their approach, 5
refused to express themselves. The requirements of the teachers were regarded as demanding
yet effective by 12 students. 3 students considered them as adequate. 11 students were
satisfied with the teachers classroom instructions which they regarded as student-centred and
fast faced. 7 of all the respondents appreciated the instructors meaningful language activities
that remarkably improved their absorption and understanding of the English language. 11
students regarded the teachers as qualified possessing a professional aproach. All the students
had already attended at least one course in the past and thus being able to compare qualities
of various teachers, they unanimously agreed on the necessity of trainings and seminars for
teachers and a concrete as well as transparent concept of teaching and preparation for every
lesson. There appeared some suggestions and requirements on the part of the students
regarding to the animation of the lessons by means of activities such as watching the news
with the consequent analysis, watching movies in English with subtitles and so on. Upon the
questiom if they appreciated conversation with native speakers, all 15 said yes. However, a
constant presence of a native speaker was regarded as necessary by 9 students, as needless by
3 students. The remaining 3 students did not express themselves explicitly.
4.2.5 Views regarding the importance of the individual language skills in
regard to military professions
As all the respondents unanimously agreed, the language skills are directly proportional to the
function and the professional enlistment of every individual soldier. However, as far as the
career of military professionals regards, do the respondents consider the ability to speak
English as the most important. 5 students out of 15 prefer listening with a comprehension, 5
prefer knowledge of technical English and vocabulary, 3 students consider reading skills with
comprehension important for their profession and for 2 students is important writing and
grammar.

37

As far as the demandingness of preparation for individual skills regards, the majority spend
most of their time by the study of grammar and elaboration of grammatical exercises and
composition of essays. It is interesting that according to 12 students, the vocabulary is rather
extensive, however it is adequate to the level of language competency for which the students
are being prepared.
4.2.6

Preference of the language topics

All the effort of the lecturers is to lead the students towards topics clearly defined in the MoD
specifications. These topics (thematic areas) comprise mainly military as well as general
topics. According to the respondents, the following topics were regarded as important:
military ranks and commands, organization and structure of the army, branches of the Army,
armaments and equipment, uniforms and drill training. As far as the general conversational
area regards, the students preferred topics connected with employment, arrangement of
appointments, attending to official matters and commentaries to the local as well as foreign
events.
4.2.7

The concepts of the students regarding the practical usage of the


language

The question how to make use of English in their professions was answered differently by the
students according to their enlistment. 3 interviewees will utilize it in conversations and 2 in
the work with documents, 5 with manuals in English and the 5 remaining ones for the flight
correspondence and the air traffic control.
Of course that all the students expect to make use of the knowledge of English in their
personal lives, on holidays, on business trips as well as on international missions and
trainings.
4.2.8

Attitudes of the students towards the demandingness and


suitability of the test STANAG 6001 itself in regard to the content
of the language course.

38

I have to state that out of 15 students, 6 passed the exams according to SLP 2222, 7 students
partially succeeded, 2 students were able to succeed only in one of the skills which was
unsufficient according to the requirements given for their positions. After personal
consultations with the students, I came to the conclusion that the most difficult part of the
exams was listening with comprehension and speaking. The least difficult part was writing.
12 students were astonished by the usage of British English only in the recordings of the
listening part, 3 students were disappointed by the choice of the topic for the conversation, 6
students found the exams very demanding and the remaining 9 students as adequate to the
preparation and knowledge gained in the language course. The approach and willingness on
the part of the examining comitee were evaluated positively by 13 respondents.

Conclusion
According to the results of this analysis, the age of the students differs, which has a dirrect
impact on their attitude towards the English language training. As to the undertaken survey,
the students are quite satisfied with the course of teaching, however, they would prefer
shorter teaching blocks and the prolonged year span of teaching at least for 4 months. The
language itself is very popular among the students. It is obvious that a frequent absence of the
students in the lessons caused by their professional duties has a disturbing effect on the
systematic language preparation. Because of this, the majority of the students would prefer
that the teaching take place in distant schooling centres. There is, however, one positive
aspect, that the problem is not caused by the quality of the teaching but by the negative
influence of the disturbing elements acompanying the process of teaching at the home base.
Also the fact that they are close to their families is not ideal for self-study because of the need
to attend to family matters.
There is one more thing to complete, namely the selection of the teaching material, which
should contain, according to the students, military as well as general English, provided that it
is not English courses for Specific Purposes. Also the set of the ALC textbooks dedicated by
DLIELC in Lackland proved to be a good choice for the thorough preparation for the exams
according to STANAG 6001. The only objections that appeared regarded the one-sided focus
39

on the American variation of English and the necessity to suply with keys the exercises
intended for self-study. According to the views of all the respondents, the availability of keys
would aleviate the teaching in lessons where quite a substantial time is dedicated to the
checking of these exercises. The implementation of modern medial and interactive elements
(e-learning included), which is already in process at some of the teaching centres, would
contribute to the acquisition of the knowledge of the language during the regular classes.
These elements are preferred especially by the young generation. As far as the organization
of the teaching regards, there were no negative coments of the students, to which also
contributed quality preparation of the lecturers and the gradual unification of the concept of
teaching. What the respondents would, however, modify was the schedule and the maximum
number of students in classes, as it is apparent from the study. As another disadvantage they
consider the fact that they were not able to communicate with native speakers which would
contribute to their language skills and motivation. As far as the expectations, interests and
wishes of the respondents regards, the majority of them unanimously agreed that the teaching
programme should be made more attractive. They would welcome the implementation of
authentical texts with general themes, according to the needs of the students and not only as a
supplementary material.
Another positive discovery I have made is the fact that the students consider passing the test
according to the norm NATO STANAG 6001 as their personal goal in the proscess of the
language acquisition. It serves as a proof that the students are fully aware of the importance of
study of English for their work of military professionals.

4.2.9 Attitude of DLI representatives in Vykov


It could be considered as very beneficial to compare the students attitudes with the remarks
of some of DLI representatives, the views and opinions of the authors as well as coordinators
of the English Language training in the Czech Army which are also illuminating for this
study.How do they view the English language teaching development in the Army of the
Czech Republic? It is plain from their responses, that they themselves had to undergo some
difficulties at the beginning.
They admit that goals were set too high for many countries to reach including the Czech
40

Republic. The testers from DLIELC Lackland had quite high requirements of training for
STANAG 6001 exams in countries where the English language learning tradition hadnt been
established yet. Firstly, it was necessary to accumulate all the facts and prepare the teaching
to conform with the the STANAG 6001 criteria and to be accommodated to the settings where
it should be implemented. It was necessary to set up the curriculum and to implement it to all
the schooling centres. In order to achieve this, it was important to equip these centres
accordingly with unified teaching materials, which was not easy due to the inflexibility of the
system. The fact that there did not exist any supervising institute intended for the coordination
and analysis of the Military language training led to chaos at the beginning. All the
representatives unanimously confirm that the realization of the new concept was started
together with the establishment of DLI in Brno in 2003. A detailed analysis was initiated by
means of which causes of the problems were searched together with the constructive solution
of these problems. What measures had to be taken?
Our principal objective was to clearly define the content and the length of the course and the
media used. As we became the only testers in the Czech Republic, we had to clearly define the
concept of test plans according to the duration and type of the course in question. We worked
hard at the preparation of the test materials and the development of tests such as the teaching
point level including the format, test standard and criteria. As a part of this study it was also
necessary to focus on the students profile (knowledge, experience, motivation, learning style,
age, cultural aspects, attitude, etc.) In the seven yearsof our existence we have taken a big step
ahead. All the DLI teachers have corresponding qualification, they edify themselves incessantly,
attend special actions, methodical courses and seminars in the Czech Republic as well as
abroad. Native speakers, qualified lecturers participate only at the chosen centres for the time
being. Military people provide materials and professional skills, which proved to be immensely
beneficial for our work. It is our aim to maintain the achieved standard and to highten it by
means of verified methods.

4.2.10 The utilization of the English language


ACR and its members can be contented with the course of the language preparation and the
achieved level. At present, out of 34,657 of total MoD service and civilian personnel, 11,188
individuals hold STANAG 6001 English language certificate (Table3).

41

STANAG 1

STANAG 2

STANAG 3

STANAG 4

5704

4232

1235

17

Table 3. Number of military personnal holiding STANAG 6001 English language certificate,
MoD, 2009.
This number does not give report about the actual number of soldiers who acquired any level
of language competency. It is mainly due to the fact that after 1999, the year of our entry to
NATO, our army had undergone significant structural changes with the releasement of 10 000
soldiers where a part of them disposed of certain level of knowledge of English. There is a set
number of positions for each country in the framework of the NATO structure where it is
necessary to fullfil STANAG levels of language proficiency apart from necessary education
and the professional requirements for given functions. In favour of the high level of the
language competency of our professionals speaks also the fact that although they are
incorporated into the NATO stucture, they do not encounter any problems of language
communication and moreover, they are praised and approved by their aliance colleagues. In
order not to speak only about statistic data I decided to provide the readers of this thesis with
one practical example where the language comptency plays an important part.
It is the case of Command Sergeant Major (abbrev. CSM), Luek Kolesa, Senior Enlisted
Leader, for NATOs Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. He got the opportunity to
put to test his language skills at embattlement when he served in the United Nations Guard
Contingent in Iraq (UNGCI) between April 1994 and May 1995. There followed other
missions where he was able to deepen his professional knowledge as well as his language
skills. This period proved to be very productive as far as development and improvement of the
language regards. In the year 2000 he was despatched to Brusel to the headquarters of
NATO. During his three-year period of duty at NATO Headquarters (abbrev. HQ), he was
elected Secretary, and later President of the NATO Aide-de-Camp Association. On 1st August
2003, he was appointed as the first-ever Command Sergeant Major of the Armed Forces of
the Czech Republic. He was not satisfied with this already very successful career and with all
his modesty he set out to achieve further aims. CSM Ludek KOLESA completed the
American Language Course at the Defense Language Institute, Lackland AFB, Texas, and
then Class 54 of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, Texas. He graduated
on the top twenty percent of his class, and was awarded the International Leadership Award
after being named the top international student of Class 54. In 2005, CSM KOLESA
42

graduated from the BMATT Senior Sergeant Majors Course. In 2007 he was selected the first
non- American for the appointment for the biggest naval base in the world, headquarters of
the strategic NATO forces in Norfolk as Senior Enlisted Leader, for NATOs Supreme Allied
Commander Transformation.7

__________________________________________________________________________________________
7
http://www.vrchnipraporcik.cz/index.php/vrchprap-nato-hq.html

5. Conclusion
In conclusion, I summarize and describe my viewpoint on the English language training based
on the findings of the collected information and statistic data supplied by DLI or other
schooling centres or personal reports of students.
After the labour pains which were acompanying the introduction of English to the
educational system of ACR from the very beginning, I can state that this process has now
reached its adulthood. It is a living organism which keeps on improving and developing. The
first steps of the implementation of the language teaching according to the norms STANAG
6001 were heavy and clumbersome and needed to be attended tobut it was possible to achieve
the current state by means of them. Nevertheless, maturity is not a proof of perfection, on the
contrary, it is necessary to monitor the teaching, to learn from the mistakes of the past. It is
necessary to pay constant attention to the preparation so that the study of a language is most
effective with a stable value. Besides, the language competency is prestigeous for ACR as
well as for every military professional not only here but abroad also. The present state of the
English language training in ACR could be characterized by the increasing rate of
successfulness of passing STANAG 6001, the improvement of the work of teachers and
lecturers, their endeavour to prepare precisely teaching plans and last but not least the high

43

motivation of the students. It is apparent from the reports of the chosen members that the
highest factor is the taxative established requirement on the knowledge of English as far as
the requirements on positions regards.
It is also necessary to point out the possibility of enlarging the language skills and most of all
the professional knowledge by attending the English courses for specific puproses, which are
offered by ACR in a big range covering almost all the military professional areas. At present,
quite a substantial number of our professional soldiers make use of attending these courses in
the schooling centres of the armies of the NATO countries. The most utilised and appreciated
are the short-terms as well as long-terms courses organised by DLI Lackland in Texas, which
has been a big support of our army in the process of establishing and development of
language teaching for military personnel. After the accomplishment of the courses it is
possible to work in the military structures of NATO. It is also important to mention the
increased possibility of the application of the personnel in the civic sector after the end of the
active military service.
It is obvious from these facts that the education is taking the right course and by maintainig
this trend, ACR should be able to assure its allies of its professionality and interoperability.

44

6. RESUME
This bachelor thesis is called The English Language Training in the Czech Armed Forces
and the aim of this work is to outline the English language teaching development and to
describe the current state of the English training in the Army of the Czech Republic.
This work is divided into 2 parts theoretical and practical. The former provides information
concerning the historical background, development and the present system of the the English
language training of military personnel. The latter consists of the analyses and evaluation of
the students' as well as DLI representatives' response based on their personal experience.
The main objective of this work is not only to describe the process of the English Language
training but also to highlight the importance of the language proficiency for all military
professionals of the Czech Army.

RESUM
Tato bakalk prce je nazvna Vuka anglickho jazyka v Armd esk republiky a

45

clem tto prce je nastnit vvoj vuky anglickho jazyka a popsat souasn stav vuky
anglitiny v Armd esk republiky.
Tato prce je rozdlena na dv sti teoretickou a praktickou. Prvn st poskytuje
informace o historii, vvoji a souasnm systmu vuky anglickho jazyka vojenskch
profesionl. Druh st se skld z analzy a vyhodnocen odpovd student i zstupc
jazykovho institutu na zklad jejich vlastnch zkuenost.
Hlavnm zmrem tto prce je nejenom popsat proces samotn vuky anglickho jazyka, ale
tak poukzat na vznam jazykov vybavenosti pro vechny profesionly Armdy R.

7. LIST OF REFERENCES
Military of the Czech Republic. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved January
10, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_Czech_Republic.
adil, J. (2006). Rok Gripenu. Letectv+Kosmonautika , 5, 1-6.
esko-anglick a anglicko-esk slovnek vojenskch pojm. (1998). Praha: Ministerstvo
obrany esk republiky AVIS.
Chaloupsk, L.

Jandov M.(n.d.). Poznmky k vbru studijn literatury pi vuce

anglickho jazyka v rezortu MO. Retrieved January 12, 2010, from


http://www.army.cz/avis/vojenske_rozhledy/2000_1/eng.htm.
DLI Catalogue of Materials, Courses and Support. (2010). Retrieved March 12, 2010, from
http://www.dlielc.org/catalog/DLIELC%20Catalog.pdf.
Dubeau, J. J. (September 2006). Are We All On the Same Page?. An Exploratory Study of OPI
Ratings across NATO Countries Using the NATO STANAG 6001 Scale. Retrieved June
19, 2009, from http://www.bilc.forces.gc.ca/rp-pr/doc/OPIRaterSTUDY.pdf.
Handbook for Czech Armed Forces Abroad. (2003). Praha: Ministerstvo obrany esk
republiky AVIS.
National report - Czech Republic BILC - 2003. (2003). Retrieved January 19, 2010, from
http://www.bilc.forces.gc.ca/conf/2003/nat-rep-doc/CzechNatRpt2003.pdf.

46

NATO STANAG 6001. (n.d. ). Campaign Military English. Retrieved March 10, 2010,
from http://www.campaignmilitaryenglish.com/Course/teacher.htm.
Nepivodov, V. (2005). Nkolik poznmek k testovn. Vojensk rozhledy, 1, 14. Retrieved
January 12, 2010, from
http://www.army.cz/avis/vojenske_rozhledy/_2005/rozhledy2005-1.pdf.
The Czech Republic National Report 2005, Defence Language Institute, Czech Armed
Forces. (2005). Retrieved June 29, 2009 from
http://www.bilc.forces.gc.ca/conf/2005/nat-rep-doc/Czech_05.pdf.
The Czech Republic National Report Defense Language Institute, Czech Armed Forces 2007.
(2007). Retrieved June 29, 2009 from http://www.bilc.forces.gc.ca/conf/2007/nat-repdoc/Czech2007_a.pdf.
10 YEARS of the Czech Republics Membership in NATO. (2009, February 26).Praha: MoD
Presentation and Information Center.
Vrchn prapork NATO HQ SACT, Norfolk, USA. (July 8, 2009). Vrchn prapork.cz.
Retrieved April 2, 2010, from http://www.vrchnipraporcik.cz/index.php/vrchprap-natohq.html.
Vuka jazyk na Univerzit obrany. (2009). Univerzita obrany. Retrieved January 12, 2010,
from http://www.vojenskaskola.cz/skola/uo/sluzby zarizeni/Stranky/vyuka_jazyku.aspx.

47

7. LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix 1 - Comparison chart of the levels
Appendix 2 - Summary of STANAG 6001 levels
Appendix 3 - STANAG 6001 Test Syllabus For Teachers and Candidates
Appendix 4 - ALCPT + Answer sheet
Sources:
http://www.campaignmilitaryenglish.com/Course/teacher.htm.
http://www.mod.gov.rs/.../stanag/srpski%20stanag%206001/stanag%206001%20Syllabus%
20for%20candidates.doc.
American Language Course Placement Test ALCPT Form 44. (August 1994). Lackland Air
Force Base, Texas: Defense Language Institute English Language Center.

48

Appendix 1
Comparison Chart of the levels
STANAG
6001
Standardize
d agreement
6001 (1976)

CEF
Common European
Framework

ALTE Scale
ALTE: Association of
Language Testers in Europe

COE: Council of Europe

NATO: &
BILC:
5555
Native/bilin
gual

4444
Fully
Professional

C2 Mastery

1111
Elementary

The British
Council,
IDP &
Cambridge
ESOL

5
Good User

Upper
Advanced

CPE

4
Competent
User

Lower
Advanced

CAE

3
Independent
User

Upper
Intermediate

FCE

2
Threshold
User

Lower
Intermediate

PET

B2+
Vantage+

B1+
Threshold+

Independent
User

B1
Threshold
A2+
Waystage+
A2
Waystage

0
Unscaled

IELTS

Proficient User

B2 Vantage

2222
Limited
Working

Cambridge
ESOL
Examination
s. (formerly
UCLES)
(DIPLOMA
)

C1 Effective
Operational
Proficiency

3333
Minimum
Professional

Cambridge
ESOL

1
Waystage
User

3
Elementary

KET
2

Basic User

A1
Breakthroug
h

0
Breakthroug
h

1
Beginner

49

Appendix 2
Summary of STANAG 6001 levels

Level 1
Can understand common familiar phrases and short
Listening simple sentences about everyday personal and survival
needs.
Can maintain simple face-to-face communication in
Speaking
typical everyday situations.
Can read very simple connected written material directly
Reading
related to everyday survival or workplace situations.
Can write lists, short notes, phone messages to meet
Writing
immediate personal needs. Can complete forms.

Level 2
Listening Can follow conversations and talks about everyday
topics, including personal news, well-known current
events and routine job-related topics and topics in his/her
professional field.
Speaking Can communicate in everyday social and routine
workplace situations.
Reading Can read simple, straightforward, factual texts on
familiar topics.
Writing Can write with some precision simple personal
correspondence and routine workplace correspondence
and related documents, including brief reports.

50

Level 3
Listening Can understand conversations, briefings and telephone
calls about complex topics, including economics,
science, technology and his/her own professional field.
Speaking Can participate effectively in most formal & informal
conversations, including meetings. Can deliver briefings.
Reading Read with almost complete comprehension a variety of
authentic written material on general and professional
subjects, including unfamiliar subject matter.
Writing Can write effective formal and informal correspondence
and other documents on practical, social and professional
topics and special fields of competence.

Level 4
Listening Can understand all forms/styles of speech used for
professional purposes including on unfamiliar topics.
Can recognise nuances of meaning and irony and
humour.
Speaking Can use the language with great precision, accuracy, and
fluency for all professional purposes.
Reading Can read all styles and forms of the written language
used for professional purposes, including texts from
unfamiliar general and professional-specialist areas.
Writing Can write the language precisely and accurately and can
draft all levels of prose pertinent to professional needs.

Appendix 3
51

STANAG 6001 Test Syllabus For Teachers and Candidates


1. LISTENING
1.1 Description of the Listening Test
The listening test consists of six tasks, two per each level, getting progressively more difficult
in the course of the test. Each task consists of five items and each item is scored 1 point.
Maximum score that can be obtained is 30 points.
Duration : Recordings last up to three minutes per task. Total duration of the Listening test is
30-45min.
1.2
Types of listening
Monologue, dialogue and multi-participant in both catered and authentic English. These may
be lectures, briefings, interviews, discussions, radio broadcasts, TV broadcasts, etc.
1.3 Listening skills focus
Identify topic and specific information; Listen for gist; Understand common abbreviations
and acronyms, including those of a military nature; Understand explicitly stated information;
Identify detail correctly, be able to make predictions and infer from well-structured context;
Make inferences from incomplete information and emotional register of speakers; understand
implicit information.
1.4
Topics
Home and family, food, shopping, free time activities, sport, holidays, traveling, daily
routines, people, places, job procedure, military matters, current events, education, politics,
economics, business, culture, science and technology.
1.5
Types of tasks
Short-answer questions, table completion, sentence completion, gap-filling, diagrams, maps,
pictures, listing, multiple-choice, matching, sequencing, true/false/not-given questions, and a
combination of the above.
1.6 Test-taker performance
Level 1 is expected to score 8-15 points
Level 2 is expected to score 16-23 points
Level 3 is expected to score 24-30 points
2

SPEAKING

2.1
Test level
The test is for levels 1 to 3 of language competence as described in the BILC interpretations
of 2001.
2.2
Description of the Speaking Test
Stage One: Warm-up questions (up to 1 minute)
An interlocutor introduces himself/herself and asks the student to do the same.
Stage Two: Structured interview (3 minutes)

52

The candidate responds to a few questions, each requiring an increasing complexity of


response, on general topics. Candidates are prompted to extend their answers.
Stage Three: Long Turn (3 minutes)
The candidate is given a task by the examiner relating to a general topic, which occasionally
has a military flavour and asked to read the information for one minute before he/she
responds. The candidate is requested to speak for two or three minutes. Examiners who listen
expect a higher performance than STANAG level 1.
Stage Four: Discussion (6 minutes)
The candidate is asked to develop issues related to the task in the long turn. There are two
parts: A and B. Part A consists of three areas, each with three questions, related to the topic in
the long turn. These questions are of increasing complexity and should enable examiners to
distinguish between good Level 2 candidates and potential Level 3 candidates. Part B is
designed to confirm the capability of candidates reaching STANAG Level 3. It consists of a
discussion point related very generally to the long turn task. Candidates should produce a
range of language more complex than in the previous parts of the test.
Stage Five: Wind-down (up to one minute)
The interlocutor indicates that the test is ended and may ask a simple courteous question.
Duration of the Speaking test: 15 minutes
2.3
Types of Speaking
Interaction with an examiner, uninterrupted speech.
2.4
Speaking skills focus
Make introductions, express greetings, farewell and thanks; Ask and answer questions and
exchange ideas and information on familiar topics in predictable situations; Ask for services
and assistance in different situations; describe events and activities (habits and routines,
personal experiences); make plans and arrangements; describe hopes and ambitions; Compare
and contrast; explain likes or dislikes, opinions and plans; give directions and instructions;
Make suggestions; agree and disagree with others; talk about matters of personal or
professional interest and/or relevant to everyday life; ask for information in the workplace and
at an interpersonal level; request clarification, express satisfaction, dissatisfaction and
confirmation. Narrate and describe reactions.
2.4
Topics
Home and family, food, shopping, free time activities, sport, holidays, travelling, daily
routines, people, places, job procedures, military matters (units, duties, equipment, etc),
current events, education, communication, politics, economics, business, culture, science and
technology.
2.5
Types of tasks
Warm-Up questions; structured interview on general topics; long turn based on general topics
or general military topics; discussion on aspects of the topic introduced in the long turn; winddown
2.6
Test-taker performance
Level 1- Able to produce simple phrases and sentences providing relevant personal and
professional information; Get by with sufficient vocabulary on topics such as family, hobbies,
interests, work, travel, current events with some hesitations; Some repetition and hesitation
occurs requiring patience from the listener;

53

First language features are marked and sometimes impede communication; Errors are usually
in terms of agreement and tenses; The syntax and grammar of complex sentences have
frequent errors and may lead to confusion in meaning.
Level 2- Deal with most situations where the language is spoken;
Enter into conversations that are familiar, of personal interest or relevant to everyday life;
Connect phrases to describe experiences and events; Narrate a procedure or an event and
describe reactions; Use reasonably accurately a repertoire of frequently used routines
associated with predictable situations; Keep going comprehensibly even though pausing for
planning and repair in grammar and lexis is evident; Initiate and maintain close face-to-face
conversation; Express and respond to feelings such as surprise, happiness, sadness, interest
and indifference; Both simple and complex sentences demonstrate control in word order and
grammatical form although complex sentences have more errors, but this does not lead to
confusion in meaning.
Level 3-Briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans; Repeat back part of
what somebody has said to confirm mutual understanding; Link a series of elements into a
connected linear sequence of points; Start again with a new tactic when communication
breaks down; Syntax and grammar are usually accurate although errors still occur; Great
range and variety in communication is evident; Express thoughts about abstract or cultural
topics.
Scoring criteria: In assessing candidates performance, the following criteria are taken into
consideration: Discourse Competence, Pronunciation, Vocabulary, and Grammar.
3

READING

3.1 Test level


The test is for levels 1 to 3 of language competence as described in the BILC interpretations
of 2001.
3.2
Description of the Reading Test
The reading test consists of six tasks, two per each level, getting progressively more difficult
in the course of the test. Each task consists of five items and each item is scored 1 point.
Maximum score that can be obtained is 30 points.
Duration of the Reading test: 60 minutes.
3.2
Types of Reading
Notices and signs, announcements, post-cards, timetables, programmes, agendas, menus,
advertisements, handouts, leaflets, brochures, guides, forms, diary, maps, or plans, news, text
books, personal and professional correspondence, informational and editorial items in
newspapers, periodicals and professional journals (articles reports, reviews), encyclopaedia
entries, dictionary entries, imaginative literature of a contemporary popular nature
(novels/extracts and short stories, poems/verse), manuals, technical texts, charts, etc.
Texts should be drawn from the following functional types: narrative, discursive, descriptive,
informative and instructional.
3.3 Reading skills focus
Understanding the main idea, identify detail, guess meaning of unfamiliar words from
context, answer factual questions about texts, understand hypothesis, supported opinion,
argumentation, clarification, understand implicit information, distinguish between various
stylistic levels, recognize humour, irony, emotional overtones and subtleties.

54

3.4 Topics
Home and family, food, shopping, free time activities, sport, holidays, traveling, daily
routines, people, places, job procedures, military matters (units, duties, equipment, etc),
current events, education, communication, politics, economics, business, culture, science and
technology.
3.5 Types of tasks
Short-answer questions, table completion, sentence completion, gap-filling, diagrams, maps,
pictures, listing, multiple-choice, matching, sequencing, true/false/not-given questions, and a
combination of the above.
3.6 Test-taker performance
Level 1 is expected to score 8-15 points
Level 2 is expected to score 16-23 points
Level 3 is expected to score 24-30 points
4

WRITING

4.1 Test level


The test is for levels 1 to 3 of language competence as described in the BILC interpretations
of 2001.
4.2 Description of the Writing Test
The Writing Test consists of two parts.
Part One -Candidates are expected to produce up to 100-120 words of connected, factual,
coherent writing. They are instructed to spend 20 minutes on this task.
Task Part Two - Candidates are expected to produce up to 200-250 words of effective and
extended pieces of writing demonstrating appropriate command of language).
They are instructed to spend 40 minutes on this task.
Duration of the Writing test: 60 minutes.
4.3
Writing skills focus
Giving and asking for information; Expressing thanks and apologies; Making and responding
to requests; Writing and replying to invitations; Asking for and giving reasons for a course of
action; Descriptions and comparisons; Narrating and explaining a sequence of events in
paragraphs; Asking for clarification; Expressing own opinion on wide range of topics, both
personal and professional.

4.4
Topics
Personal information, job, family, home, free time activities, general routines, holidays,
travelling, food, festive occasions; Art, science and technology, culture, economics, politics
and military domain.
4.5
Types of tasks
Short personal correspondence related to job, family, home and other everyday activities, e.g.
lists, short notes, postcards, e-mails, short questionnaires asking for description, letters, phone

55

messages, filling-in forms; personal and routine workplace correspondence and related
documents, such as memoranda, brief reports, and private letters on everyday topics, CVs
(resumes), summaries; official correspondence, reports in a special field and extended pieces
of writing of analytical, hypothetical and argumentative nature, such as briefings, extended
reports, speeches and discussion papers.
4.6
Test taker performance
Level 1- Can complete writing tasks requiring information of phrase length. The range of
vocabulary is limited and there is a frequent repetition of basic vocabulary. Can occasionally
use examples of a wider range of words with certain errors in word choice. Attempts to use a
range of structures but the lack of control of grammar and punctuation can cause considerable
difficulties. Tries to use some complex sentences but errors in grammar, especially in verb
phrases are common and make the writing difficult to understand in places.
Level 2- Can complete tasks requiring language at the level of the simple sentence,
occasionally with complex sentences with common discourse markers, such as but. Ideas
may be roughly organized according to major points or straightforward sequencing of events.
However, relationship of ideas may not always be clear, and transitions may be awkward.
Simple, high frequency grammatical structures are typically controlled, while more complex
structures are used inaccurately or avoided. Vocabulary use is appropriate for high frequency
topics, with some circumlocutions. Errors in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation
may sometimes distort meaning. However, the individual writes in a way that is generally
appropriate for the occasion, although command of the written language is not always firm.
Level 3 -Can write effective formal and informal correspondence and documents on practical,
social, and professional topics with considerable ease. Can use the written language for
argumentation, analysis, hypothesis, explanation, narration and description. Although
techniques used to organize extended texts may seem somewhat foreign to native readers, the
correct meaning is conveyed. Transitions are usually successful. Control of structure,
vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation is adequate to convey the message accurately. Errors
are occasional, do not interfere with comprehension, and rarely disturb the native reader.
When it is necessary for a document to meet full native expectations, some editing will be
required.
Scoring criteria: In assessing candidates performance, the following criteria are taken into
consideration: Task completion, Organization, Vocabulary, Syntax and Grammar.

Appendix 4

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9. List of Abbreviations
ACR - The Army of the Czech Republic
AFB - Air Force Base
ALC - American Language Course
ALCPT - American Language Course Placement Test
BILC - Bureau for International Language Coordination
CAEL - Canadian Academic English Language
CASE - Cambridge Assessment of Spoken English
DLI - Defence Language Institute
DLIELC - Defence Language Institute English Language Center
ESP - English for Specific Purposes
IELTS - the International English Language Testing System
ILR - the Interagency Language Roundtable
LMS - Learning Management System
MoD - Ministry of Defence
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
SAC - the Self-Access Centre
SLP - Standardised Language Profile
STANAG 6001 - Standardization Agreement 6001
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
UD - University of Defence

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Bibliografick zznam
OLTSOV, Karla. The English Language Training in the Czech Armed Forces. Brno:
Masaryk University, Pedagogical faculty, Department of the English language and literature,
2010, 47 1., 22 1. pl.
Vedouc prce PhDr. Alena Kaprkov.

Anotace
Tato bakalsk prce Vuka anglickho jazyka v Armd esk republiky se zabv
vukou anglitiny profesionl esk armdy. Podrobn informuje o systmu vuky uren
vojkm, t.j. procvien anglickho jazyka, zskn nezbytnch dovednost a znalosti
technick terminologie a dle definuje kritria a rovn jazykov vybavenosti podle
standardizovan normy NATO.
Hlavn cle tto prce jsou zameny na vvoj vuky anglitiny v Armd esk republiky od
roku 1993 a po souasnost, kter zahrnuje motivaci student a praktick uit anglikho
jazyka v jejich profesnm ivot. Zvr je vnovn celkovmu pohledu a vyhodnocen vuky
anglickho jazyka v Armd R.

Annotation
This bachelor thesis The English Language Training in the Czech Armed Forces deals with
teaching English to professionals of the Army of the Czech Republic. It gives details about
the system of training designed to provide military personnel with practice of the English
language, acquiring necessary skills and knowledge of technical terminology and defines the
criteria and language proficiency levels according to the NATO standardization document.
The principal aims of this work are focused on the development of the English language
training in the Czech Armed Forces from 1993 up to now including motivation of the
learners and practical usage of the English language in their professional career. The
conclusion is dedicated to the overall view and evaluation of the English language training in
the Czech Armed Forces.

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Klov slova
NATO, Armda esk republiky, STANAG 6001, vuka anglickho jazyka, motivace,
jazykov vybavenost.

Keywords
NATO, the Czech Armed Forces, STANAG 6001, the English language training, motivation,
language proficiency.

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