Various BELT projects have taken place in Lao PDR, including projects focused on tourism and agriculture. One project specifically focused on facilitating communications among multi-national teams doing humanitarian work. A four-week course was developed and implemented, enabling better communication between all parties and aiding safer completion of the clean-up task.
Bespoke English Language Training (BELT) is a programme originally designed to enable the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to respond to bilateral agreements in Southeast Asia. As English is the official language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), these English Language courses serve a variety of purposes.
Since 2013, BELT programmes have been tailored to particular government needs, which align with MFAT’s strategic priorities.
Wellington UniVentures delivers contracts on behalf of MFAT by partnering with the English Language Institute, part of Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. The English Language Institute designs, develops and delivers offshore training courses to meet specific needs.
A content-based, integrated skills approach is taken on all BELT courses. This ensures that the development of English language skills and specific concepts and content develop alongside each other. The English language training typically focuses on oral communication to promote enhanced engagement between participants, regional counterparts, donors and prospective project partners.
A multi-year BELT program has run in Myanmar over the last three years, designed to develop capability in public sector leadership, good governance and promote engagement between ministries and different levels of officials. Around 105 officials, from junior to senior levels, within 34 ministries across the civil service are participating in this program.
When Vietnam hosted APEC in 2017, MFAT engaged the ELI to deliver four-week BELT programmes to assist with professional workplace communication such as the language of meetings, hosting delegates and writing emails.