English Language Wing

English Language Wing (ELW) is part of the Defence Centre for Languages and Culture (DCLC), within the Defence Engagement School at the Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham.  

ELW provides:

  • English language training to overseas military personnel and civilian defence staff 
  • NATO STANAG 6001 English Language Assessment (SLP 1 – 4)
  • British cultural training 
Defence and military personnel from all over the world train with us at the Defence Academy, the only joint services training academy operated by the UK MOD. ELW also has capacity to send small training teams to different countries to facilitate assessments and deliver language courses as required.

Why study with us?

ELW provides an excellent training environment. Our English language instructors, both military and civilian, have a wide range of training experience. All are committed to our mission of delivering the highest quality language training and contributing to defence diplomacy. 

Students studying with us are given the chance to experience life on a British military base; staying in excellent accommodation, enjoying the social life in the mess along with British colleagues and making the most of the first-rate sports facilities in a beautiful part of the UK. 

Most of our classes comprise of a mix of nationalities and services as well as civil servants, enabling students to build new friendships with colleagues from other nations across air, land and sea.   

Training delivery 

ELW courses are taught entirely in English and aim to improve students’ communication skills in both military and civilian contexts. Lessons are highly-engaging and predominantly task-based. Training can be designed for a specific service or can incorporate a joint services approach.

Our courses include the following elements:  

  • listening
  • speaking
  • reading
  • writing
  • grammar
  • military vocabulary
  • task-based language learning
  • British cultural training and trips
  • assessments 
  • cultural trips
Most of ELW’s courses offer a war-gaming element which supports our task-based approach. Interactive games simulating various aspects of military operations, from small scale ground battles to delivering airstrikes and protecting essential units, offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their newly acquired language skills against their field of specialist knowledge. 


ELW offers a range of training courses in the UK:

ELW can also send language trainers anywhere in the world to deliver courses and/ or STANAG 6001 Level 1 – 4 assessments.


ELW regularly engage with the Bureau for International Language Coordination (BILC) to ensure our assessment techniques are maintained to the highest standards.  

Assessment takes place throughout each course; on entry, exit and via regular progress tests. All students receive a Certificate of Attendance and students taking a NATO STANAG 6001 Edition 5 examination will receive an SLP certificate at the end of their course.

NATO STANAG 6001 defines language proficiency levels as:

  • Level 0 - No Proficiency
  • Level 1 - Survival
  • Level 2 - Functional
  • Level 3 - Professional
  • Level 4 - Expert