Language Schools

Middle Eastern School

DLIFLC’s Undergraduate Education Directorate houses three Middle East resident basic course schools. The student population consists of all four branches of the U.S. Armed Services and members sponsored by the DoD and Department of State.


Middle East language students listen to their instructor during an in class assignment. (Photo by Natela Cutter, DLIFLC Public Affairs)

Middle East Schools I, II, and III are responsible for 64-weeks of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in the Egyptian, Iraqi, Levantine and Sudanese dialects. Dialects are taught from the beginning in the classroom, along with one to two hours of foundational MSA each day. Additionally, instructors teach culture, customs, religion, geography, and socio-economic conditions of the countries students are learning about.

A key component of DLIFLC’s success in teaching foreign language so effectively is the highly educated faculty who are motivated to teach their language and culture to American students. The instructors, 98 percent of whom are native speakers of the language they teach, take great pride in preparing students each year to perform during DLIFLC’s annual open house in May called Language Day. Several thousand visitors come to the event from all over Northern California and beyond.

In addition to the first-class international staff, DLIFLC supplements the unique learning experience at the institute  with state-of-the-art technology such as interactive whiteboards called SMART Boards™, while students are issued MacBook Pro® computers and iPads®™ for use in class and at home. DLIFLC further enhances the learning environment with the implementation of overnight immersions from one to two days at a time off campus. The students are completely immersed in the target language and culture as they carry out real-life situation scenarios which range from negotiations at a border crossing, haggling at an open market for goods, to making hotel reservations over the telephone. To enhance this experience the faculty and staff dress in traditional garb, prepare foreign cuisines, and, most importantly, only speak in the target language.

Select students are afforded the opportunity to further their understanding of a foreign language by their participation in the overseas immersion program. About 15 percent of students go abroad for approximately 30 days to study their language at a foreign university and tour the various sites of that country. Selection is made on the basis of student scores, and recommendations of the teaching team and military unit.