Police officers Kyaw San Lin and Thet Su San didn’t know exactly what to expect the first day they attended MYPOL’s English Language training course for MPF officers.
‘I guessed we would just learn English skills and grammar,’ says Second Lieutenant Thet Su San. She did but was surprised how the teachers went about it. ‘The first day, they taught us using law enforcement topics. We discussed the differences between Myanmar and European countries when it comes to law enforcement.’
Thet Su San’s experience is what MYPOL’s English Language trainings are all about: helping students improve their English language skills, but in ways that impact on their work as MPF officers. Taught over several months – not just days or weeks – students work in a small group under a highly trained and licensed international teacher from NX Myanmar. They focus on either conversation or writing, although some students are trained in both. Each is then tested by NX Myanmar in order to identify their progress and certify their English skills.
From there, they can put their knowledge to work in a variety of ways.
For example, First Lieutenant Kyaw San Lin recognised that good English conversations skills were essential for his role as a liaison officer working with other ASEAN police services.
‘We have to work with ASEAN countries, especially when it comes to combating human trafficking. It is very useful for communication – I could discuss topics fluently and confidently in meetings and it made me eager to learn more,’ Kyaw San Lin says. ‘It also helps a lot in various areas like translating UN reports, discussions with international law enforcement agencies, and work with ASEANAPOL.’
For Thet Su San, it has also made her a better public speaker.
‘Now, whatever language I’m speaking, it’s easier to share my policing knowledge in other areas just by being a good public speaker,’ she says.
Beyond their own careers, both Officers Kyaw San Lin and Thet Su San agree that having police officers who can communicate in English can be of great benefit to the MPF. They noted how much it will help Myanmar police communicate with the rest world and share their knowledge.
They are also eager to encourage future MYPOL English language trainees.
‘Beginners need to keep studying, even after the training is over – English news is a good way to keep practicing,’ Kyaw San Lin says.
‘Not everyone gets this chance!’ Thet Su San says. ‘If you have the opportunity – don’t throw it away! You might not get a second chance!’