School of Foreign Languages
The beginnings of the School of Foreign Languages date back to 1994, when the increasing need for international cooperation and communication in foreign languages have led to the realisation that the accomplishment of the set goals required foreign language teachers and translators. In the following years, the number of tasks of the School of Foreign Languages gradually increased (teaching, foreign language testing, translation, interpreting, proofreading and care for military terminology).
School of Foreign Languages today
Today, the School of Foreign Languages is an organisational unit of the Military Schools Centre. It has 18 employees and is divided into Section of Mobile Teaching Teams; Translation, Interpreting and Proofreading Section; and Testing Branch. Its organisational structure also includes the Partnership for Peace Language Training Centre. The mission of the school is to provide language training programmes, foreign language testing and translation, interpreting and proofreading. It provides for international comparability of education programmes and examinations and looks after military terminology. It also provides language training of members of foreign armed forces, and professional training of foreign language teachers.
School of Foreign Languages follows the development of specialised language training areas, language testing, translation, interpreting and proofreading as well as incorporates innovations into the development of new programmes.
- Organise and conduct language training programmes
- Develop general and specialised language programmes
- Develop, organise and conduct language testings and examinations according to STANAG 6001
- Provide translation, interpreting and proofreading services
- Look after the development of Slovenian military terminology
- Organise and conduct teacher training
- Participate in the formation of Slovenian Armed Forces language training strategy
- Monitor and provide for the development in the field of language training, testing, translation, interpreting and proofreading
- Prepare training materials
- Write language manuals, glossaries, dictionaries and databases
- Cooperate with military schools and military subject-matter experts
- Follow international language-related events and actively participate in them
Section of Mobile Teaching Teams
Mobile Teaching Teams provide language education for the needs of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, members of the Ministry of the Interior (Police) and members of foreign armed forces. The section plans, prepares and conducts language trainings. It develops and provides teaching materials, follows the development of the field of expertise and introduces innovations into the programmes. The section runs English courses, and, if need occurs, also courses of other languages, which are carried out by contractors.
Translation, Interpreting and Proofreading Section
The Translation, Interpreting and Proofreading Section provides translation, interpreting and proofreading services for the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence. In addition, it develops and documents Slovene military terminology in cooperation with subject-matter experts from the Slovenian Armed Forces and scientific research institutions in Slovenia and abroad.
In recent years, the section has made significant progress in the development and promotion of military terminology (it organised an international panel discussion on Slovene military terminology, it has regularly been publishing articles on terminology; administering internal and external websites on military terminology; and regularly publishing language manuals with specialised military contents).
The Testing Branch conducts language testings for the needs of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence and foreign armed forces. It also develops and provides language-testing materials, follows the development of the field of expertise and introduces innovations into the programmes.
Every month, it carries out placement tests and conducts exams according to STANAG 6001 twice a year (June and December).
Partnership for Peace Language Training Centre
Partnership for Peace Language Training Centre operates as part of the School of Foreign Languages. Its primary task is to organise international English courses and international teacher and instructor training courses in the field of foreign language teaching and testing. The Centre is one of the Partner Education and Training Centres (PETC) coordinated by NATO School Oberammergau. The basic mission of PETCs is to use international education and training cooperation to enhance international interoperability. Their activities include three areas: education and training of individuals; education and training of teachers and instructors; and international exchange of teachers and instructors. Ever since its establishment, the Partnership for Peace Language Training Centre has been active in all three fields.
Between 2001 and 2014, Language Training Centre trained 539 foreign candidates from 32 countries and 832 candidates from Slovenia.
The programmes carried out by the School of Foreign Languages within the PfP Langage Training Centre are gaining importance, since NATO documents have identified the lack of language skills as the major obstacle in the efficient functioning in the international environment.
Cooperation with other foreign and Slovenian institutions
The School of Foreign Languages actively participates in international organisations within the Alliance (Bureau of International Language Coordination, NATO Standardisation Agency – Office of Terminology Coordination). It has developed very good bilateral cooperation with Croatia in the field of testing and with Austria in the field of translation and terminology. On the basis of bilateral agreements, numerous countries have been appointing candidates to attend international language courses organised by the School of Foreign Languages. The School also links up with similar institutions in Slovenia (National Examinations Centre, Translation and Interpretation Division at the Secretariat-General of the Government, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Commission for Standardisation at the Ministry of Defence).
Vision of development
The School of Foreign Languages’ vision of development is to establish the conditions, where simultaneously with the development of military skills, it promotes and develops the knowledge of foreign language(s) and thus in the long-term provides for the personnel which is qualified to perform all tasks at home and abroad. The School of Foreign Languages supports the work of the Slovenian Armed Forces at home and abroad by providing translation, interpreting and proofreading services, by developing Slovene military terminology and by testing language skills.