Services for Language and Communications Skills

"We value learning, and continuously seek to develop ourselves and support the development of others."

Values and Behaviours Framework


Short presentation video LCTU (see Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) - Short Presentation (

The Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) is part of the Capacity Development and Operational Training Service (CDOTS) – Office of Support Operations in the Department of Operational Support.

The LCTU is composed of experts in learning, language, communications and instructional design, in all six official languages.

In addition to the year-round language and communication courses, the LCTU provides resources, services and solutions for communications skills development. 


Since the completion and promulgation of the United Nations Language Framework the LCTU leads initiatives in support of staff language skills development, which is decisive for a more linguistically diverse and multilingual workforce.



Customized Training Solutions

The LCTU team designs, develops and delivers customized training solutions in all six official languages for UN entities, on demand and on a cost-recovery basis. We work together with learning and programme managers to understand their needs and create tailored products to build staff capacity in language use and communications skills, specific to UN-related substantive issues and skill areas, in all six UN official languages.

Common topics include general principles of writing, correspondence and report writing, effective presentation skills and communication skills. Customized training is often tailored for managers and takes the form of a training of trainers; the delivery is either in-person, online or hybrid.

The LCTU also partners with client entities to train staff at large through various iterations or a specifically designed training or through the creation of toolkits and online content.

To request a tailored course or a customized solution for your entity, please contact Your request will be carefully reviewed against specific criteria, such as resources availability, expected impact and project scope.

Please note that customized solutions require a lead time of three months in average, and pedagogical and financial agreement.



Enhancing Language Learning

The UN Language Framework (UNLF) and the UN Levels are the standard reference for learning and assessing languages (ST/SGB/2023/2).


The UN Language Framework Training of trainers provides a thorough understanding of UNLF key components, along with a library of practical applications and class sample materials. See how to enroll at UN Language Framework.

The LCTU supports entities in applying the UNLF, including aligning language training. Contact


The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) and the Special Assessment Section (SAS) maintain a close collaboration to guarantee that the yearly edition of the Language Proficiency Examination (LPE) is a consistent, high-quality exam and aligned with the UNLF standards.

To ensure equal opportunities to all candidates in the UN System, the LCTU offers six online LPE Preparation Courses that accessible and open to everyone to enroll.

LPE Local Administrators, learning managers and language instructors can benefit from the LPE courses content to inform their staff about the exam structure, exam scope and the expected language range at the UN III Level.

To enroll, staff can go to Language Learning (UNHQ) and Supporting Multilingualism.

To get to know more about the preparation courses, contact


The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) offers a specific programme for learning languages through online licenses providers, which includes:

  • Sponsoring of licenses, and distribution in partnership with learning managers.
  • Procuring and maintaining contracts with providers of language learning licenses.
  • Guidance on purchasing and deploying language learning licenses for learning managers or HR practitioners in the Secretariat and in the UN system.

Get to know more abou the programme at Language Learning Licenses Programme.


The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) has a long-standing expertise in providing training in language learning and written and oral communications skills training for UN contexts and text types.

The LCTU partners with interested entities to provide guidance and services for new or existing language and communications programmes at the local level.

Specific topics include but are not limited to: implementation of the UN Language Framework in learning and/or assessment projects, implementation of the gender-inclusive guidelines, teacher recruitment, training of trainers and local language programme management. 

Contact for more information. 

The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) is committed to creating a working environment that embraces equality, inclusivity and diversity, in support of the System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity.  

To this end, the LCTU co-created the Gender-Inclusive Language Guidelines in the six official languages of the United Nations.

UN personnel at large has access to a Toolbox in the six languages for guidance and gender-inclusive use of language learning resources. 

Staff can access ongoing training on language inclusiveness and gender-inclusive use of language at Self-study Courses

The LCTU supports learning and programme managers in designing and facilitating workshops or training of trainers. Contact


Open workshops and Language Days events

The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) offers webinars on communication and language acquisition specific topics, open to the UN community. Salient examples are “Foundations of Language Assessment: An Introduction to the Whys, Whats, and Hows” (Feb. 2023) and the upcoming “Language and diversity; language and discrimination” (Nov. 2023).

Get to know more at Supporting Multilingualism.

Examples of language use to illustrate the UN Levels

The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) is currently developing a set of video, audio and text language samples to illustrate how staff members communicate, in the workplace and other settings, in speaking and writing at the UN I-Basic, UN II-Intermediate, and UN III-Advanced levels.

The French samples were created with the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the collaboration of the UNOG Language Programme. Samples in English, Spanish, Arabic and Russian are expected by 2024. 

Practice Exams - UN I Examination and UN II Examination

The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) is partnering with the Language Training Programme at UNOG to offer a Secretariat- wide pilot of the UN Examinations at the UN I and UN II levels, with the generous support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

Consult Supporting Multilingualism.for additional details

To know more about the pilot examination, contact



Immersion Programmes

The CDOTS Language and Communications Training Unit administers a Chinese Summer Immersion Programme.

Sponsored by the Chinese government, the programme offers a three-week intensive summer study and culture programme at Nanjing University in China, which typically runs in July. Tuition and housing are covered by the Chinese government and the international travel fees are the responsibility of the participants. Upon approval of their supervisor, particpating staff members in the Secretariat are eligible to receive Special Leave with Pay.

The application period opens around March and it is announced via Iseek.

Requisits are:

  • Be a current UN Secretariat staff member
  • Demonstrate completion of at least two courses at any Secretariat language programme

To know more, visit Summer Study Programme in China | HR Portal (