Enhancing Diplomatic English Communicative Skills

An interactive and participatory 5-Day retreat

Retreat description

The workshop offers an overview of the essential linguistic and intercultural communication skills in the field of diplomacy. Through a comprehensive exploration of diplomatic English as a distinctive linguistic variety in various diplomatic settings, students will develop a nuanced understanding of this register, enabling them to navigate various diplomatic challenges with confidence and professionalism. The workshop will provide students with ample classroom-based and hands-on activities to hone their diplomatic English skills.


The course consists of a combination of brief introductions to the basic concepts covered in the course, including speech act theory, politeness theory and the cooperativeness principle, and numerous hands-on activities involving groups, who will be asked to participate in mock diplomatic negotiations, role-play exercises, diplomatic correspondence writing, simulated diplomatic visits, and cultural sensitivity training.

Objectives (benefits)

  1. To develop a solid understanding of diplomatic English vocabulary, grammar and discursive strategies.
  2. To enhance students’ comprehension and production of written, diplomatic texts, including reports, memos and diplomatic correspondence.
  3. To render students’ oral communication skills in public speaking and negotiation more tactful.
  4. To enhance critical thinking in the context of diplomatic communication.
  5. To cultivate cultural sensitivity towards and awareness of intercultural communication dynamics in diplomatic settings.
  6. To familiarize students with diplomatic protocols, etiquette and conventions.

Designed for

  • Government officials working in government ministries or agencies involved in international affairs, foreign policy, or diplomacy
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students in International Affairs
  • NGO and non-profit workers working in humanitarian agencies, or non-profit organizations involved in international advocacy, development work, or conflict resolution
  • Journalists and media personnel, including reporters, editors, or media correspondents covering international affairs or diplomatic events who need to conduct interviews, write articles, or report in English with a diplomatic tone and language
  • Academics and researchers in the fields of international relations, diplomacy, or political science who publish papers, participate in conferences, or collaborate with colleagues globally and require proficient English communication skills
  • Anyone interested in sharpening their intercultural communication and negotiation skills in a globalized environment

Programme Outline

Introduction to Austin’s (1962) Speech Act Theory with a focus on the concepts of “locutionary act”, “illocutionary act”, and “perlocutionary act”. Participants will participate in mock diplomatic negotiations, where they will be divided into groups representing different countries or diplomatic entities. Each group will be assigned a specific diplomatic scenario or negotiation topic, such as a trade agreement, climate change policy, or peace talks. Participants will then engage in mock negotiations using diplomatic language and Speech Act Theory.

Local Evening – welcome reception

Introduction to Brown & Levinson’s (1987) Politeness Theory with a focus on “positive” and “negative” politeness and impoliteness. Participants will participate in role-play exercises, in which they will be assigned specific roles, such as diplomats, heads of state, or United Nations representatives, and they will be given scenarios to act out. In these exercises, they will be asked to exercise positive and negative politeness strategies through diplomatic language and nonverbal communication.

Introduction to Paul Grice’s (1975) Cooperativeness Principle with a focus on the maxims of “Quality”, “Quantity”, “Relevance”, and “Manner”. These maxims will be explained on the basis of sample diplomatic documents. Participants will participate in diplomatic correspondence writing, where after their familiarization with the format and conventions of diplomatic correspondence, such as letters, memos, and diplomatic notes, they will be asked to draft their own correspondence on various diplomatic topics or issues.

Participants will be split up into groups, and they will have to interact with locals, in order to get information on how to get to their target. In this activity, participants will be trained in cultural sensitivity in diplomatic communication and negotiation with non-diplomats in a real-life context with local Cretans. In this way, they will be encouraged to research the cultural norms and customs of Crete to better understand its culture.


At the end of the course, participants will present short research projects on diplomatic history and protocol on topics such as the history of diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, or landmark diplomatic agreements. They will be encouraged to analyze the language and strategies used in historical diplomatic documents and speeches, on the basis of the theoretical frameworks and discursive diplomatic strategies that we will have discussed on days 1-3.

Morning Check in.
Opening Round Group presentations.
Sharing and processing round for the whole group.
Debriefing and Closing.


  • Importance of a healthy mind and body for maximum effectiveness
  • Understanding personality profiles and how to communicate with them
  • Picturing the current situation of the Organization or individuals (skills, manpower, organization and personal effectiveness, adequacy of available resources)
  • Developing openness to creativity and lead innovation
  • Designing the necessary actions for the company or the individual to achieve their objectives or the desired issues
  • Creating and sustaining effective teams’ development
  • Helping to maximize their ability to clarify the clients’ and team vision, to deal with the problematic symptoms from another perspective or other important issues
  • How to resolve conflict and apply anger management techniques

Duration:    5 days

Dates:         10 – 14 June 2024 (workshop days)

Arrival day 9th of June & Departure day the 15th of June

Location:    Chania – Crete, Greece


Upon successful completion of this training course, a Fractality Certificate will be awarded to all participants.


Irene Theodoropoulou is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics at Qatar University. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of Modern Greek and Arabic sociolinguistics, intercultural communication and discourse analysis with politics, and media studies. Her most recent publications include journal articles in Metaphor and the Social World, the Journal of Multilingual Discourses, Language Policy, Sociolinguistic Studies, and Lingua. She is also the author of Sociolinguistics of Speech Style and Social Class in Contemporary Athens (Benjamins, 2014) and the co-editor (with Johanna Tovar) of the Research Companion to Language and Country Branding (Routledge, 2021).

She is also an Honorary Cultural Ambassador in Qatar Museums and a member of Qatar Concert Choir.

Dr. Markos Perrakis is a leadership development and process facilitator, psychologist, speaker, consultant and trainer of individuals and teams, founder and Managing Director of the EU Adult training & Counseling Provider Fractality. He designs and implements EU projects in the fields of leadership development and strategic planning, and uses eclectic appreciative approaches in the public and private sector in order to promote effective communication, individual and collective process development.   Member of International Intervision Groups, Scientific Assistant of SOL (Society of Organisational Learning), Scientific partner of the European Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (EUMU) in Greece, in the fields of Strategic Planning and Human Capital Development programmes.

Dr. Perrakis is one of the first persons in Greece who applied the methodology of Appreciative Inquiry, which is used in the UN Summit by UN leaders.


Fractality is registered as an EU Adult training and Counselling Provider implementing EU and National Programmes


Our program takes place in the Island of Crete, one of the most exotic destinations of the Aegean Sea in Greece. The workshop and the accommodation is at the unique 5-star village resort of Porto Platanias in Chania that provides you with safe and luxurious accommodations. It is the perfect place to combine personal growth with holidays.


This Mediterranean destination embraces both sea and charming nature. Porto Platanias Village is located within walking distance from the beach and the village of Platanias. Local taverns, Greek eateries, and arts shops draw people from all around the world and contribute to the vibrant feeling of the Cretan summer, still offering 30°C (86°F) daytime temperatures and 25°C (77°F) warm sea to enjoy in June. For more information on the venue, visit: http://www.portoplataniasvillage.gr . Closest international airports: Chania (24 km); Heraklion (165 km).

Participation Fee*

Total full package price for participants with single or double room accommodation: 3.500€

We are offering an early bird fee (15%) until 25th of April 2024.

All prices include:– A 5-star hotel accommodation.

  • Breakfast
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Dinner
  • Excursion / entrance tickets.
  • VIP transportation to the hotel served during the entire seminar.
  • Workshop tuition fee
  • Educational materials
  • Certificate of participation at the end
  • one-day excursion with the group led by locals and Instructors

* Extras (upon request):

  • Analysis of personal leadership style
  • Evaluation of educational and organizational needs for your organisation
  • Online support, follow up (possibility of video conference)
  • Possibility of private session after the Workshop

Terms and Conditions

  • Mode of Payment – The delegate has the option to pay the course fee directly via Bank Transfer or request to send an invoice to his/her company/sponsor.
  • Cancellation / Substitution – Request for seminar cancellation must be made in writing & received two (2) weeks prior to the seminar date. A €300 processing fee will be charged per delegate for each cancellation. Thereafter, we regret that we are unable to refund any fees due, although in such cases we would be happy to welcome a colleague who would substitute for you.
  • Hotel Accommodation Full board – is included in the course fee. If you wish to extend your stay contact our team for a reduced corporate rate for a limited number of rooms at the hotel venue.

Contact us

Questions or concerns? please contact us at [email protected] or call +302106010522.