Tel.: +385 1 3786 214
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Since its establishment in 1966, leadership of the BILC Secretariat has been provided by the UK, Germany, the US, Canada, Bulgaria and Slovenia. Croatia holds the Chair since May 2022.
Chair: CIV Irena Prpic Djuric, Director, Katarina Zrinska Foreign Language Center of the Croatian Armed Forces
Secretary: CIV Suzana Horvat, Member of Croatian STANAG 6001 Testing Team
Secretary: CIV Borjana Soldo, Member of Teaching Department of Foreign Language Center


Irena Prpic Djuric

Irena Prpic Djuric is the director of the Katarina Zrinska Foreign Language Center of the Croatian Armed Forces. She has been working there since 1996. She is an English teacher graduating from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She also holds a M.Sc. degree in American Studies. She started working in the Center as a teacher. In 2001 she was appointed head of the Teaching Department. She has been the head of the Center since 2014. Besides teaching and translating/interpreting, she was a member of the STANAG 6001 examination board for a couple of years.


Suzana Horvat

Suzana Horvat works at the Foreign Language Centre at the Croatian Defense Academy. She has been working in the Croatian Testing Team since 2006 and has been responsible for development, administration and evaluation of tests. Prior to this position, she worked as a teacher of English in public and foreign language schools. She has been a member of the Shared Item Bank Working Group since 2019, working on the development of anchor items for listening and reading skills. She graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Borjana Soldo

Borjana Soldo has been working at the Croatian Military Academy, Foreign Languages Centre „Katarina Zrinska, Osijek Department, since 2004. She graduated from the University of Osijek, Croatia, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, with a degree in English and German language and literature. As an experienced language teacher her job includes course work at different levels of English/German as well as developing learning/teaching/testing material on everyday basis. She co-facilitated BILC Language Standards and Assessment Seminar (LSAS) in 2018.

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.

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.

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. 


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.