Public sector clients

Language courses for the public sector

We have a long and successful history of delivering language training to the public sector including the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and other government departments (OGDs). Our work on these prestigious contracts sets us apart from other providers and makes us an excellent partner for our public sector clients.

The client case studies presented below demonstrate our depth of experience in designing and delivering highly tailored language courses for the public sector.

FCO and other central government agencies

In 2012 Language Services Direct won a contract with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to become their prime provider of language training across 86 languages.  This contract is open to other government agencies, and as a result, we now deliver training to over 15 central government departments in Whitehall and across the UK.

The work we do for these departments (including the FCO) spans a wide variety of training types:

  • Full time, intensive training from beginner to advanced level, for groups and on a 1-1 basis
  • Part time training at all levels, scheduled to fit in around other work commitments
  • Weekly group language training at lunchtimes and after 5pm
  • Online training delivery

We work primarily at the re-opened FCO Language Centre in Whitehall, as well as offering training at clients’ offices and our training suite in London Bridge. FCO students have access to a purpose-built Virtual Learning Environment which contains a wealth of digital resources for learning.

Our teaching team

We have a fantastic team of world-class language trainers, and we work hard to maintain and develop their skills while they are working with us.

Our Pedagogy Manager, along with our team of 7 Lead Teachers deliver a wide-ranging programme of trainer development including:

  • training workshops
  • lesson observations with feedback and follow up
  • mentoring and coaching
  • regular updates on language teaching developments, supported by attendance at industry conferences and events
  • training in use of Virtual Learning Environments and other digital learning technologies

Languages we deliver

Our core languages, in which we deliver the most training, are:

  • Arabic
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • and Spanish

But this is not all we do – from Afrikaans to Zulu we’ve got it covered.


Creating bespoke training is at the heart of what we do across all areas of our business.  At the FCO we deliver training that is designed for civil servants across all areas of government, not just diplomats. From beginner to advanced levels, our courses incorporate current affairs, politics, economics and job-specific language – all tailored to the learner’s work requirements and professional goals.  We also design syllabi, course learning plans and milestone tests according to the FCO’s specifications.

Quality assurance

We have a variety of methods for ensuring that we are doing the right things, in the right way. Results are measured using in-house bespoke testing, which we have developed, as well as by external examinations. Our service level agreement and key performance indicators cover all aspects of our service provision, from information management to recruitment of staff. We work closely in partnership with all clients to ensure that we deliver on our promises and achieve the results clients need and expect.

Ministry of Defence

Language Services Direct has provided language training to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) since 2009 and was the only company to be retained on the new Ministry of Defence contract administered by Capita since 2014.  We provide high quality and tailored foreign language training to a range of MoD learners with varying needs – for example in preparation for military postings overseas or to execute more diplomatic roles. Many learners take specialised MoD examinations at the end of their training.

Our tailored approach to training delivery

Working with the MoD necessitates a flexible and quick response to urgent training requests and our team of experienced and highly-qualified teachers deliver this training across high security sites in the UK and overseas.  Using a combination of specialised MoD course materials and their own supplementary materials specially designed for the MoD, they are adept at delivering language training that will enable learners to carry out military assignments in the target language.

A large proportion of training takes place at the Defence Academy’s elite training site in Shrivenham, where teachers incorporate state-of-the-art technology such as the MoD virtual learning environment, the latest audio-visual technology and interactive whiteboards into training delivery.  Other training venues are based in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Europe.

Our bespoke language courses

Courses range from very short, intensive training that focusses on revision and consolidation of existing language skills to one to two-year long courses that fully immerse learners in the target language so that they can live and work in the country of their posting. We also deliver cultural and role-play formats to allow pragmatic exposure to and knowledge of the situations that learners will encounter in their work and training to spouses who will relocate overseas. In addition, our teachers are called upon to translate, interpret and develop new core training materials.

Languages we teach for the MoD

Some of the most common languages that we deliver to MoD learners, to name but a few, include:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Dari
  • Russian
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • and Spanish

Teacher development

We work with our teachers on a consistent and ongoing basis to enable them to develop their teaching prowess through a programme of Continuous Professional Development workshops, lesson observations and feedback and coaching / mentoring based on client and learner feedback. Example workshops have included:

  • teaching speaking skills for military examinations
  • successful use of technology in the classroom
  • maximising learner involvement
  • task-based learning and information-gap activities

Consequently, our teaching team is able to combine a professional and military-focussed delivery with an innovative and resourceful pedagogical approach.