English Language Programs

The English Language Programs (ELP) is a public diplomacy initiative that sends highly trained and qualified TESOL professionals to work at academic institutions around the world. The U.S. Department of State sponsors this program. Participants teach English, train teachers, develop academic and cultural programs, and much more.

Program Details

Through projects set up by U.S. embassies, program participants work directly with teachers, students, and education professionals across the globe. ELP participants not only teach English and train local teachers, but also develop academic and cultural exchange projects that have a lasting impact on the communities in which they live and work.

Through the English Language Programs, thousands of educators have gone to over 80 countries around the world for short or long term assignments. Program participants have served in countries across Africa, the Americas, East Asia and the Pacific, Eurasia, South Asia, and the Middle East. The quality and global reach of the projects make these programs one of the most unique and prestigious opportunities available to TESOL professionals.

CIED has administered this initiative since 2005. Learn more at the English Language Programs website.


The impact of the English Language Programs is felt by individuals, communities, and institutions both in the United States and abroad.

As highly trained and skilled teachers, the English Language Fellows and Specialists who comprise ELP’s program participants enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught around the world. They provide valuable training to local teachers, develop sustaining educational programs, and promote mutual understanding between their host country and the United States.

Fellows and Specialists also report that they grow from their experiences abroad. They are challenged both professionally and personally to step outside of their comfort zone and are exposed to professional opportunities that would not be available to them outside of the these programs. Upon their return to the United States, they share their experiences with their colleagues back home to promote a global cultural and professional exchange.

As Byrne Brewerton, a Fellow in Sri Lanka and Maldives put it, “I feel that my career as a TESL professional would be nothing without this experience… In the 10 month I was away, I gained 10 years of experience.”

Case Studies

Mark Dorr standing next to a table with books and talking on a microphone to people.

Mark Dorr

The English Language Fellowship program didn’t just change Mark Dorr’s place in the world; it changed how he saw it.

Emily Ferris

Emily Ferlis

English Language Fellow in Bulgaria taught English and American culture at the University of Plovdiv.

“It was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. First it changed my perception of the world, then it changed my perception of myself as an educator, and finally it changed my perception of myself and a person.”

Ed Leffew, English Language Fellow

Related News

Paul Kei Matsuda in front of conference display.

English Language Specialist Connects Educators in Turkey

October 19th, 2018

English Language Specialist Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda connected with hundreds of English as a Second Language educators who traveled from around Turkey to attend his conference presentations and professional development workshops.