English for Heritage Language Speakers Grants to U.S. Institutions of Higher Education

The English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) program is designed to provide intensive English language instruction for U. S. citizens who are native speakers of critical languages.

The goal of the program is to enable participants to reach professional working proficiency in English, as
measured by the federal Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) level 3 and/or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) superior level.

The program equips participants with the ability to read, write, speak, and listen at a superior level in an effort to build a critical base of future leaders to serve in the federal government service and the broader professional community.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The University of Washington, Seattle and Georgetown University offer professional-level English instruction to native speakers of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), and Russian.

Participants have additional critical language proficiencies in Korean, Vietnamese, and a variety of regional dialects.

Agency - Department Of Defense

The Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the United States through five major areas: peacekeeping and war-fighting efforts, Homeland Security, evacuation and humanitarian causes.

Program Accomplishments

The first cohort of participants completed the programs at the University of Washington, Seattle and Georgetown University in August 2006. Results will be available later in the year.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant awards are made to U. S. institutions of higher education to develop or strengthen their capabilities to enhance the national capacity and provide English-as-a-second-language instruction to native speakers of critical languages who are U. S. citizens.

The National Security Education Act places no special or unique requirements on grantee institutions.

Only requirements that govern all Federal grants will apply to NSEP grants.

No International exchange programs may be funded by NSEP.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any accredited U.S.

institution of higher education (defined in Section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C.

1141(a) is eligible to apply for a grant.

This includes 2 and 4 year colleges and universities, both public and private.

Other organizations, associations, agencies, and foreign institutions may be included in proposals but may not be direct recipients of a grant.

Federal government schools are not eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Accredited U.S. institutions of higher education, their students, and U.S. citizens with superior-level proficiency in their native language.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

All eligible, private and public U.S. institutions of higher education may submit proposals in response to the relevant agency announcements.

Award Procedures

Award decisions will be based on a competitive selection of proposals resulting from an independent merit review.


Specified in requests for applications released on behalf of NSEP by the Center for Applied Linguistic (CAL).


50 U.S.C. 1901-1911.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 45 to 60 days at each stage of a 2 stage process.




Renewals are negotiated through CAL, and are conducted annually based on performance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are multi-year renewed each year based on performance.

Post Assistance Requirements


Monthly progress reports.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program- specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The Comptroller General of the United States or a duly authorized representative from the General Accounting Office shall, until 3 years after final payment under this grant have access to and right to examine any of the recipient's directly pertinent books, documents, papers, or other records involving transactions related to this grant.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $2,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Grants ranges from $250,000 to $400,000 annually for multi-year projects. Average award is approximately $300,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Requests for Applications are released by CAL at http://www.cal.org/ehls.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Dr. Kevin Gormley, Department of Defense, National Defense University, National Security Education Program, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1210, Arlington, VA 22209-2248. Telephone: (703) 696-1991, E-Mail Address: nsepo@ndu.edu, or Ms. Deborah Kennedy, Center for Applied Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Telephone: (202)355-1572, E- mail Address: ehls@cal.org.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals


Social Entrepreneurship

Philanthropy: Fortifying American Democracy

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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