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Public officers are being prepared to function effectively in simple authentic foreign language situations and are honing valuable skills in the process.

The Learning and Development Directorate (LDD) of the Ministry of the Public Service has organised Beginner’s Chinese for Business and Tourism and Beginner’s Portuguese for Business and Tourism courses for public officers. They are being offered by the Centre for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning, The University of the West Indies.

Director of the LDD, Fay-Marie Browne, said one Portuguese and two Chinese cohorts had already been conducted.  Another Portuguese course would be held in March/April of this year, she added, noting that officers may begin applying for it. 

Explaining that the courses target public officers at all levels who desire training in beginner’s conversational language for business and travel purposes, Mrs. Browne said they are held for eight weeks, via the Zoom platform.

Underscoring their importance, the Director stated: “The courses seek to expose all public officers to a second language, in keeping with the national objective of having all Barbadians becoming bilingual.

“Barbados sees the globe as its oyster and some public officers interact with many non-English speaking officials professionally and socially, so this training will allow them to feel more comfortable in their interactions and may even propel them to take steps to further their studies in the areas.”

During the training, participants learn greetings and expressions of courtesy; grammar; how to introduce self and others; make business calls; ask for and give directions; express their likes and dislikes and leisure time activities.

Mrs. Browne continued: “The public officers even get to listen to and interpret simple communications from a native speaker, thus they are able to develop and improve their foreign language skills and proficiency.”

Persons interested in taking the courses should download the LDD’s in-service nomination form from the website www.mps.gov.bb and complete and email it to ld@mps.gov.bb.

For queries, officers may contact Human Resource Officer, Fay-Ann Jordan, at 535-6719, or email fay-ann.jordan@mps.gov.bb.


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