Members    
 
E-mail: chairman@natobilc.org
Tel.: +386 4 532 3745
About us

The purpose of BILC is to foster cooperative professional support and to extend support to NATO within the field of language proficiency, language training and education, and language testing.

Mission

To promote and foster interoperability among NATO and PfP nations by furthering standardization of language training and testing, and harmonizing language policy. BILC supports the Alliance through the exchange of knowledge and best practice, IAW established procedures and agreements.

Vision

To achieve levels of excellence where progress made by one is shared by all.

BILC has the following responsibilities:

  1. The dissemination of information on developments in the field of language training to participating countries.
  2. The convening of an annual conference and a professional seminar during which participating nations review the work done in the co-ordination field and in the study of particular language topics.

Upon request from NATO and nations, BILC has expanded its roles and responsibilities over the years to include advice on language proficiencies as defined in job descriptions and has initiated training and co-ordination within the field of language testing and included other languages than the official NATO languages.

BILC has three component elements:
  1. The Members;
  2. The Secretariat; and
  3. The Steering Committee.

MEMBERSHIP

BILC was established in 1966. The founding members are France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Subsequently, the following countries joined:

1967: Belgium, Canada, Netherlands
1975: SHAPE and IMS/NATO (non-voting members)
1978: Portugal
1983: Turkey
1984: Denmark and Greece
1985: Spain
1993: Norway
1999: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland
2004: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia
2009: Albania, Croatia

All Member Countries of NATO are members of BILC and may vote at Steering Committee meetings.  All BILC activities are open to NATO, PfP and MD and ICI countries, as well as NATO bodies.

SECRETARIAT

One key duty of the Secretariat is keeping ACT and other NATO authorities informed regarding the BILC activities and projects undertaken in support of its mandate.

Leadership

Since its establishment in 1966, leadership of the BILC Secretariat has been provided by the UK, Germany, the US, Canada and Bulgaria. Slovenia holds the Chair since May 2019.
Chair: Senior Uniformed Specialist Branka Petek, Head of School of Foreign Languages
Secretary: CIV Tadeja Hafner, Head of Testing Department
Secretary: CIV Martina Grmek, Head of Teaching Department


Chair

Branka Petek

Branka Petek is the Head of the School of Foreign Languages of Slovenian Armed Forces. She has been working for the Military Schools Centre since 2005, and became the head of Testing Department in 2007 and the head of the School of Foreign Languages in 2013. She has many years of teaching and testing experience. She graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts. She has a M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Ljubljana.
E-mail:
branka.petek@mors.si


Secretaries

Tadeja Hafner

Tadeja Hafner works as the Head of the Testing Section at the School of Foreign Languages, Ministry of Defense, Republic of Slovenia. She has been responsible for development, administration and evaluation of tests IAW STANAG 6001 since 2013. Prior to her current job, she was a member of the Teaching Department at the same institution where she worked as a teacher of English and German.
As a facilitator, she has participated in teacher training courses, organized by the PfP Language Training Centre at Ajševica, Slovenia.
She graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, with a degree in English and German.
E-mail: tadeja.hafner@mors.si

Martina Grmek

Martina Grmek is the Head of the Teaching Department in the School of Foreign Languages, Slovenia. She has been working for the Military Schools Centre since 2005, and became the head of the Teaching Department in 2018. She has many years of teaching experience, and previously worked as a teacher of Slovenian and English language at different levels. She graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts.
E-mail: martina.grmek@mors.si



Associated secretaries


Keith L. Wert

Keith L. Wert is the director of the Partner Language Training Center Europe at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Mr. Wert has been the director of PLTCE and its predecessor since 1999. PLTCE provides language training to U.S., NATO and Partner linguists each year in several different languages and dialects which change according to defense requirements. PLTCE also conducts English for Special Purpose courses and professional training for ally and partner English language teachers and language testers.
He was reassigned to the Marshall Center from the Defense Language Institute English Language Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he served in civilian staff officer and management positions primarily focused on international programs. Over the years, in addition to numerous international assignments and postings, Mr. Wert served on the DLIELC campus as an English instructor, an oral proficiency interview tester trainer, a teacher trainer, and a as 1st line supervisor.
Keith served as BILC Secretary for PfP from 1997 to 2008 and as an associate secretary from 2008 to 2014. He became the BILC Chair in 2014.
E-mail: WertK@marshallcenter.org

Peggy Garza

Peggy Garza is the Chair of the English Language Programs Department at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE) in Garmisch, Germany, where she is responsible for overseeing the different English for Specific Purposes (ESP)/English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs, faculty development workshops and BILC language testing seminars. She previously worked at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) in San Antonio, Texas in various teaching, testing, curriculum development and managerial positions. She was the BILC Secretary from 1997-2008, the Associate BILC Secretary for Testing Programs from 2008-2014 and as of May 2014 serves once again as the BILC Secretary. Ms. Garza is an active member of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and has given numerous presentations at TESOL Conventions on the topics of ESP, testing, program administration, and teacher training. She has a M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas in San Antonio.
E-mail: GarzaP@marshallcenter.org

Julie J. Dubeau, M.A.
Chief Standards Foreign Language Programs
Canadian Defence Academy

Julie J. Dubeau has been involved in foreign language education, training and testing throughout her career: working as a trilingual court interpreter, French teacher, test specialist, tester and tester trainer.  She has been working for the Department of National Defence of Canada since 1990.  She currently works as of Chief of Standards, Foreign Languages, for Military Personnel Generation (MILPERSGEN HQ), managing the national foreign language standards’ section.  She holds an Honours B.A. in Foreign Languages (Spanish) and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics both from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  Ms. Dubeau attended her first BILC in 1994 and has been collaborating with BILC for many years on a number of interoperability-related initiatives such as updating the NATO STANAG 6001, developing the ‘plus’ levels, elaborating the Benchmark Advisory Test (BAT) and conducting research on language testing and language needs analyses. She travels frequently on behalf of Canada and NATO to assist requesting nations in setting up or modernizing their language training and testing programmes. In 2008, Julie was appointed BILC Secretary and Chair in 2013. 

E-mail: Julie.Dubeau@forces.gc.ca


Jana Vasilj-Begovic, M.A.
Foreign Language Standards Officer
Canadian Defence Academy

Jana Vasilj-Begovic holds an M.A. degree in Philology from the University of Belgrade, B. A. degrees in English and German literature and languages from the University of Sarajevo, as well as a B.Ed. degree in Dramatic Arts and English from Queen's University, Canada. She has worked for the Department of National Defence of Canada since 1993 and has occupied various positions including those of a Foreign Language Test Specialist, Curriculum Development Manager, and Foreign Language Standards Officer (responsible for testing and curriculum development in foreign languages). She has many years of teaching experience, and is also a certified translator of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario. Under the auspices of BILC, Ms. Vasilj-Begovic has participated in numerous projects, such as the delivery of the Language Testing Seminar, design and delivery of the Advanced Language Testing Seminar, development of the Benchmark Advisory Test and the Prototype Level-4 Reading Test, amplification of STANAG 6001 language descriptors, assistance visits to nations with the goal of helping them set up their testing programmes, etc.
E-mail: Jana.Vasilj-Begovic@forces.gc.ca