English Language Programs

English Language Programs (ELP) is a public diplomacy initiative that recruits highly trained and qualified TESOL professionals for in-person and virtual English language assignments 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 English Language Programs, thousands of educators have participated in projects in over 100 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 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, Specialists, and Virtual Educators 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 countries and the United States.

Fellows, Specialists, and Virtual Educators also report that they grow from their exchange experiences. 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 these programs. When their assignments conclude, they share their experiences with their colleagues and their communities 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.”

Featured News

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 as a person.”

Ed Leffew, English Language Fellow
2023-24 ELP Alumni Ambassadors

The 2023-24 Alumni Ambassadors Make Their Entrance

September 8th, 2023

The 2023-24 Alumni Ambassadors are ready for their one-year honorary assignment recruiting new Fellows, Specialists, and Virtual Educators and building new relationships with the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs.…

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.…