Helping officials maintain their language skills

Language Faculty image - a man and a lady sitting in front of a bookshelf full of books about various countries, holding the Oxford Chinese Dictionary
25 September 2023
Are you APS staff and looking to maintain your second – or any number of – language skills?

If so, the Diplomatic Academy offers a series of courses and discussion group, as well as dedicated language training programs for DFAT officers posted overseas.

Speaking a foreign language is an important diplomatic tool. As a government official representing Australia where English is not the first language, being able to speak the language of the people you are working alongside offers benefits far greater than just communication. It helps when it comes to understanding cultures and context. It shows investment in the relationship, dedication, interest and respect. It also allows you to notice nuances that others without language skills might not see.

Learning another language is a serious investment of time and effort. In reality though, these skills are something that can be easily lost if you are not used regularly.

To help all APS officers maintain their language skills, the Academy offers:

  • 1 to 3-day Language Immersion Courses
  • Weekly Lunchtime Discussion Groups.

We deliver immersion courses for 14 languages over three levels (Level 2 through to Level 4).

In these courses you will practice translating and interpreting skills, and participate in formal and informal discussions, including on contemporary issues and current affairs.

Visit the 2023 Language Immersion Course Timetable (on Lumi) to see the full selection of courses available.

Every week, we offer 37 free, 1-hour lunchtime language discussion groups across 22 languages.

The discussion groups are led by tutors and focus on vocabulary used in international engagement settings.

Visit the 2023 Lunchtime Language Discussion Group Timetable (on Lumi) for more information.


If you don’t have a Lumi account, you will need to create one with your email address.