English Language development for European Police Cooperation

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24 October 2017
Xanthe Schembri

The CEPOL activity 55/2017: Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation was recently held in Malta between the 2nd and the 20th October 2017. This activity was aimed at senior police officers or senior police staff, with the intention to improve and increase their ability to identify technical terms, mostly appropriate to the law enforcement context. Adding to this, the activity provided all participants with a range of skills useful for speech fluency to enhance accurate spoken interventions on a pragmatic level of conversation analysis. Considering the audience present for this three-week course, the main emphasis for the taught component was to support the participants in learning specific and appropriate policing terminology, whilst using the language of comparison, and giving clear and effective instructions or presentations in an operational or educational situation related to cross-border and international police co-operation.

Although the world is becoming an ever smaller place to be, borders are dividing us, but communication and effective English knowledge is essential and instrumental to key co-operation within European borders. This course was organised by the Malta Police Force in conjunction with the Academy for Disciplined Forces, as well as the University of Malta, specifically the Centre for English Language Proficiency.

For this course, 27 participants have attended despite many others who have shown interest in attending. The participating countries represented 20 European Member States and 2 associated countries, all of which increasingly added value to the course itself, and for the European cross-border co-operation and network.

Since the course was ultimately aimed at the English language development, the main trainers throughout the whole course were 2; namely Ms. Larissa Attard and Ms. Jeanette Theuma. They are both very professional in their way of working, but most of all very proficient in their subject and in coming up with various methods and techniques for delivering their lectures. Their strong academic background and personal interest in the subject have featured in the successful course content and the participants’ knowledge and language competences achieved. Other trainers and experts were invited to teach relevant policing components. Dr. Mary Muscat, who is a lawyer by profession, but has embedded experience with policing, criminology and family court has delivered lectures about Police systems and Data protection. Similarly, Inspector Timothy Zammit, serving within the Malta Police Force for the past 16 years has incredibly vast knowledge and experience within cybercrime and open source intelligence as it works both locally and internationally. Indeed, his lectures witnessed his competences in the mentioned subjects, of which all participants found interesting and informative.

Other components within the three-week schedule included a visit to the Malta Police Headquarters and touch down with representatives working within the IT section, Europol, Interpol and SIRENe. The participants had the opportunity to visit the working offices and hear about the Maltese daily operations within the highlighted sections. Besides, the flow of information disseminated, the participants had the time to ask questions and equally practice English language skills. Another off-site visit was at the European Asylum Support Office in Malta (EASO), where all participants were given a presentation of its work on a local and on an international level to involve and support hotspots in two specific countries. A good number of participants engaged well in this activity, and have curiously asked several stimulating questions.

Despite the course being intense and very rich in the teaching component, the whole learning experience and the inter-relatedness between all participants have surpassed our expectations. “Somewhere beneath the Maltese sky” rain or shine, the motivation never faded away. It was definitely effective for all those present. Their language skills have surely improved and so did their confidence in speaking the language. The overall aim was achieved and the baggage of experience was packed with all that they learnt, connections made and friendship to be sustained. This course represented time well invested and great moments that were shared from beginning to end;

“I had the chance to improve especially my oral skills and to meet new colleagues”

“Interact with others in a language I thought I am not so fluent, and relating to people from different countries and also with different accent”

“I love it!!”

Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation

Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation

Language development – Instruments and systems of European Police Cooperation


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