United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: ELO-2013-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service English Language Officer
Open Period: 2/27/2013 New Deadline: 04/24/2013
Series/Grade: FP - 03
Salary: $65,413 - $96,061
Promotion Potential: FP-01
Duty Locations: Vacancies Throughout the World
For More Information: HR/REE, 202-203-5173, ELOVacancyInfo@state.gov.
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be American Citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.
Duration of Appointment
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service English Language Officers vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-03, $65,413 - $96,061
The Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is responsible for the cultural and educational exchange programs that support strategic State Department policies and goals.
The Office of English Language Programs through its corps of Foreign Service English Language Officers (ELOs) serves as a catalyst for enduring, positive change via its active commitment to high quality education, access to information, and effective global dialogue. English Language Officers work with U.S. embassies to develop long-term English language programming strategic plans. English Language Officers develop sustained partnerships with English language professionals, encourage their membership in a mutually supportive global network, support their professional growth, and enhance their ability to influence positively the lives of their students. Through the programs that English Language Officers initiate, manage, monitor and evaluate, they enable teachers to teach more effectively through a variety of means such as social media, virtual learning, in-country professional development programs, teacher and learner exchanges, courses for youth and support of local professional associations and their activities. Through these efforts, they offer a window on U.S. society, history, and culture, and encourage analytical thinking, tolerance for difference, and increased understanding among themselves and their students.
English Language Officers are often referred to as RELOs (Regional English Language Officers) because of the multi-country nature of their work. RELOs are currently based in Amman, Astana, Bangkok, Budapest, Cairo, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Kyiv, Lima, Manama, Manila, Mexico City, New Delhi, Pretoria, Rabat, Santiago and Seoul. Country-specific ELOs are based in Ankara, Beijing, Islamabad, Moscow, and Sao Paulo. All RELOs/ELOs are required to serve at least one tour in Washington, D.C. ELOs based in Washington provide leadership and administrative support for the ELOs overseas, design and administer exchange programs, develop English teaching materials and may travel abroad to conduct training and consult about English language programming. All overseas ELOs work closely with the Public Affairs Sections of their home embassies and regularly visit all the U.S. embassies within their areas of regional responsibility, which may include five or more countries. All English Language Officers participate fully in the work of the embassies to which they are assigned and often serve as duty officers, assist with high level visits, and other embassy functions and events. ELOs based in Washington provide leadership and administrative support for the ELOs overseas, design and administer exchange programs, develop English teaching materials, and may travel abroad to conduct training and consult about English language programming.
While the preference of an applicant for a particular post or area of assignment is given every possible consideration, assignments are dictated by the needs of the Foreign Service. Key Requirements
All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
- Be available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
- Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct that falls short of suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.
Foreign Service English Language Officers (ELOs), under the supervision of the Office of English language Programs and embassy Public Affairs Sections, provide professional expertise and program support to U.S. embassies and consulates around the world through a variety of responsibilities:
- Counseling and assisting U.S. mission officials in determining and developing the most effective use of English language programs and services to meet posts’ Public Diplomacy and Mission goals.
- Establishing and cultivating professional relationships with U.S. academic institutions, other government agencies and NGOs in areas of policy and program development for English language programs both in Washington and in the field.
- Conducting contextual analyses needs assessments and institutional assessments to guide the development of English language strategic plans and programs that serve to realize those plans.
- Establishing and maintaining contacts with host country education officials and academic institutions involved in delivering English language programs, especially programs training teachers of English.
- Evaluating and reporting to Washington on the English language programs in the geographic area of regional responsibility and, when appropriate, recommending new programs.
- Providing policy guidance for English Language exchanges and programs.
- Acting as liaison to Department regional bureaus to explain policies and provide guidance on the development and implementation of programs in the regions.
- Providing guidance and expertise to bureau officers in the development and administering of bureau exchange programs through which foreign teachers of English visit and observe English teaching programs in the United States.
- Providing administrative and logistical support from Washington for the ELOs overseas.
- Researching, developing or supervising the development of printed, audio, visual, and electronic media English teaching materials.
- Assisting with the editing and production of the Department's journal for English language professionals, English Teaching Forum.
- Using U.S. government reporting tools like the Mission Activity Tracker, embassy websites and other related online publications as well as public social media resources, reporting on programs, activities and developments related to English language programs.
- Negotiating partnerships with private and public sector entities that serve to advance the shared interests of all involved partners in the field of English language education.
- Nominating participants for USG-sponsored exchange programs (vitual and physical) and participating in the selection process as appropriate.
- Traveling abroad at the request of embassies to work on strategic planning, needs analyses, program monitoring and evaluation or consulting with relevant contacts and embassy personnel regarding English language programs.
KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have a Master's degree in the field of TESL, TEFL, TESOL, Applied Linguistics or related field from an accredited United States graduate program. Substantial advanced academic work beyond the M.A. is preferred. Candidates must have substantial formal experience in studying a foreign language or demonstrated ability to use a foreign language in an international setting.
|GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS|
|Grade Level||Annual Salary||Education||Specialized Experience|
|FP-03||$65,413 - $96,061||MA||5 years|
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs please http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.
Applicants must have a minimum of five years of recent, progressively responsible experience in academic programs for teaching and learning English. A minimum of two of these years must have been in an overseas setting.
- Knowledge of current U.S. theory and practice in the teaching and learning of English, with special emphasis on the training of teachers of English, including knowledge of professional organizations in the U.S. and abroad.
- Experience in designing, monitoring, managing, evaluating and implementing pre-service and/or in-service teacher training programs.
- Experience in supervising or coordinating programs for teaching English language skills.
- Experience in the administration of an English language program including needs analysis, student and faculty assessment and evaluation, policy development, curriculum development, materials development, personnel supervision and budgeting responsibilities.
- Experience in grant and cooperative agreement management to include negotiating grants, approving budgets, monitoring and evaluating grantee performance and program effectiveness.
- Ability to assess needs of English teachers and learners at both a national and local level and design appropriate programming to meet those needs.
- Proven ability in leadership and management, preferably in a multi-cultural setting.
- Skill in oral communication, including public speaking and conducting workshops and seminars.
- Skill in written communication, including writing concise evaluative reports and program development plans.
- Knowledge of and experience with applications of information technology to language teaching and learning.
- Ability to prioritize among competing demands simultaneously manages multiple projects, deal with short timelines and adapt to changing priorities.
- Ability to work effectively with embassy and professional colleagues from host country institutions to design, implement, evaluate, and promote English language programs in a cross-cultural environment.
- Ability to supervise and effectively manage the activities of subordinates involved in English language programming and related public diplomacy activities.
- Ability and stamina to carry out extensive travel, including long international flights, as well as regular travel in overseas areas of varying climates and conditions.
Candidates must be U.S. citizens and have a native speaker command of English. As Foreign Service Officers, they must be willing to serve in any U.S. mission as well as in Washington, D.C. Most positions require travel, usually from 40 to 60 % of the time, according to program needs and budget restrictions. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age but not more than 60 on the date of the appointment.
A qualifications evaluation panel will review all applicant files and recommend only the most competitive applicants. Selected applicants will participate in an examination that assesses the applicant's writing skills. The ability to draft an essay demonstrating a strong command of English grammar, spelling and punctuation is essential. A passing grade on the written essay allows the applicant to proceed to the personal interview and oral assessment portion of the candidate selection process, all to be carried out in Washington, D.C.
Prior to appointment, English Language Officer candidates must undergo a thorough background investigation to determine eligibility for a security clearance, undergo an extensive medical examination to obtain a medical clearance for worldwide service, and be determined suitable for appointment to the Foreign Service.
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
Superior oral and written communication skills: In order to pass the Foreign Service's thorough and competitive assessment process, successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness). Those who fall short of this standard will have little chance of passing through the Foreign Service's highly competitive assessment process.
Professional-level speaking ability in a foreign language is welcome, but not a requirement for applying. However, the applicant must be willing to be trained by the Department of State in a foreign language to meet a job requirement or expectation. These will be important considerations in the competitive promotion process.
Purpose: To allow an opportunity to describe your experiences that relate to the personal and professional skills required to accomplish the work of the Foreign Service English Language Officer.
Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service English Language Officer is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Leadership and Managerial Abilities: Describe a specific example or examples of your leadership and managerial abilities in an English language program; evaluate the impact of this action and project how these experiences might apply to your job as an English Language Officer.
- Functional Experience: Describe specific examples which demonstrate your experience in planning and implementing significant English language programs in teacher training, curriculum design, or materials development. Describe how you evaluated the success of the program and assess the long-term effects, if any, of the program.
A two-to-three page typed narrative autobiography (maximum 4,000 characters, equivalent to two or three typed pages) which discusses your:
- Personal background
- General comments on work experience
- Personal interests and hobbies
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service
The request for the narrative autobiography is included inside the online applications.
How to Apply
We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.
To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process select the 'Apply Online' button to the right of the vacancy. That button will transfer you to Gateway to State.
Follow the 'Apply Online' instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you must fax or upload some information to complete your application package.
As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
- Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State online application).
- Official transcripts, plus any other documentation which includes all courses taken, grades, semester or quarter hours earned, cumulative grade point averages for all courses taken, class standing/s, major (copy of Masters Degree).
Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to either upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.
If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate cover sheet.
You have until 11:59 p.m. Washington, DC Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.
Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process.
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
What to Expect Next
All applicants will be notified within a few weeks via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits on our website, careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)
Foreign Service English Language Officers will spend approximately 75 percent of their careers stationed abroad, moving at two-to-four year intervals. The remainder of their time will be spent at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Individuals must be willing to serve worldwide. Career Track:
English Language Officers are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their grade level. Promotions are given to those who have the best performance. Persons promoted are advanced to the next grade and receive additional salary equivalent to at least two within-grade increases.
Initial Salary and Salary Increases and Tenure:
The salary grade for entering Foreign Service English Language Officers is FP-03. The actual salary is dependent upon such factors as additional graduate-level education (e.g. completion of a field-relevant doctorate) and directly related specialized experience (e.g. overseas program management and evaluation) beyond that necessary to satisfy basic qualification criteria. Entry level salary for current or former Federal civilian employees will be set at the rate, within the Foreign Service grade to which they are appointed, that is nearest to the base salary rate of their previous grade, provided the work performed at the previous grade is relevant to ELO activities.
In general, employees with good performance will receive a within-grade increase annually up through Step 10 and biennially from Step 10 through Step 14 of the Foreign Service salary schedule.
Foreign Service Specialist Career Candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after a minimum of two years experience in the Foreign Service.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by US Code 310, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IS COMMITTED TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND FAIR AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT FOR ALL WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEX, RELIGION, AGE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, DISABLING CONDITION, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, MARITAL STATUS, OR PRIOR STATUTORY, CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED ACTIVITY. THE DEPARTMENT PROVIDES REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES. APPLICANTS REQUIRING ACCOMMODATION FOR ANY PART OF THE APPLICATION OR HIRING PROCESS SHOULD SO ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov WITHIN ONE WEEK OF RECEIVING THEIR INVITATION. ALL DECISIONS FOR GRANTING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE MADE ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.