Working knowledge of the target language (Spanish, Portuguese or French) is necessary. Those who have not studied the target languages formally in some time must still request a language evaluation from a professional or academic recommender. There are two ways to do this. 1) Contact the foreign language department of your college or university to arrange a language-proficiency evaluation; the person who evaluates your proficiency will be your language recommender). 2) Ask a supervisor who has seen you use the foreign language in the workplace (either paid or volunteer work) to be your language proficiency evaluator.
Applicants who speak more than one of the target languages have the option of requesting more than one language proficiency recommendation; simply inform PiLA and ask the second language recommender to send their recommendation directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prospective applicants with limited language competency may express an intention to improve their language skills before beginning a post, but it is unlikely that applicants without basic professional competency in the language will advance to the interview stage. (Part of the interview is conducted in the target language, and partners will interview candidates in the target language as well, so a solid command of the language is essential.)
Interested individuals who recognize their limitations in the target language are encouraged to improve their competency via academic courses, intensive summer language study (e.g., Middlebury Language Schools), or a volunteer or paid position where they are required to use the language regularly. These experiences can help a prospective applicant become more competitive for the following year.