Vietnamese teacher reflects on journey to DLIFLC

Vietnamese teacher reflects on journey to DLIFLC

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Every year on Language Day at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Margarita Thao Nguyen, a Vietnamese teacher in the institute’s Continuing Education Directorate, participates by wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes and sharing her knowledge of the culture of Vietnam. This year she took part in a ceremony that honored veterans of the Vietnam conflict as the U.S. commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war. The war forced Nguyen to flee her home country and start anew in America when she was 27 years old. Even though coming to the U.S. put her out of danger from the communists, she still had to adapt to living in another country. Her journey would be long, but eventually she became a much-loved instructor at DLIFLC. Early years in Saigon Nguyen was born in the northern part of Vietnam, but when the country was partitioned in 1954 she moved to Saigon with her parents where she grew up. As a five-year-old at the time, her only memory is getting sick on the boat as the family traveled south. Prior to 1975, it could be said that Saigon was relatively calm and stable throughout the Vietnam War, aside from a few skirmishes and the 1968 Battle of Saigon. However, for most residents, the war was something that was fought in the countryside, not the city. Life in Saigon was very normal for Nguyen and her 12 siblings as she was growing up. She had the opportunity to go to school and even had a job when she entered adulthood. Nguyen’s father was a...
DLIFLC celebrates Language Day 2015

DLIFLC celebrates Language Day 2015

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center held Language Day 2015 at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 8 to promote and encourage cultural understanding and customs found around the world. “Each performance reflected the spirit and authenticity of each culture, demonstrated the dedication of all students and teachers involved,” said Sameera Sharif, master of ceremonies for Language Day. “Overall the event projected the true colors of both DLI and its mission.” Many of the performances representing the 23 languages taught by the institute were provided by students and faculty members on the main stage area situated on Soldier Field. The event showcases the DLIFLC’s excellence in foreign language study and the diversity of its faculty and students. Displays for visitors to see firsthand how language is taught at the institute were held in the classrooms adjacent to the festivities on Soldier Field. Hadi Gardi, a former DLIFLC instructor, traveled from Fort Gordon, Georgia, to participate in the annual event by presenting visitors an overview of Kurdish holidays and traditions. Gardi teaches Kurdish, Modern Standard Arabic and the Iraqi dialect. “I enjoy Language Day because people are very impressed,” said Gardi. “This is a good day to share my culture and to see other cultures, behaviors or anything related to language.” Language Day has been a tradition at the Presidio for more than 60 years and every year it gets larger with more visitors and more cultural events. It is the one day a year visitors can enjoy access to the Presidio of Monterey and catch a glimpse of the daily life...
Egyptian general visits DLIFLC

Egyptian general visits DLIFLC

Story by Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Egyptian Brig. Gen. Mohamed Moustafa Kamal Ibrahim Fahmy, the Commandant of the Defense Language Institute of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, May 4. Moustafa visited to further the relationship between the U.S. and Egyptian language training schools. The language institute in Egypt teaches 14 languages including English and will add Japanese at the end of the year. Moustafa met with DLIFLC’s commandant, Col. David K. Chapman, to discuss educational methods, faculty development opportunities, faculty administration and teaching innovations. “We are looking to see what is being done better than in previous years and see if it could be a model for us to take back with us,” said Moustafa. Following the meeting he visited DLIFLC’s Middle East School III and was able to interact with students studying Arabic. Moustafa also visited with Foreign Area Officers in training at the Presidio. Following his visit to DLIFLC he visited the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, also in Monterey. Moustafa is a career linguist. He entered the Egyptian Army in 1978 and studied English at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in...
B Co., 229th Military Intelligence Battalion changes command

B Co., 229th Military Intelligence Battalion changes command

Story by Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Captain Nick Sabatino assumed command of Bravo Co., 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, from Capt. Phil Novak on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 1. The 229th Military Intelligence Battalion assigned to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center facilitates the production of qualified warrior linguists and sustains Soldiers and their families to support the operational force. Command of Bravo Co. is considered the most challenging in the 229th due to the quick turnover rate of students. Most students are enrolled in the 26-week European language courses, which also means students have less time to become proficient than the other languages. In his outgoing remarks, Novak complimented his Soldiers on their perseverance and dedication to becoming proficient military...
HHC, DLIFLC changes command

HHC, DLIFLC changes command

Story by Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Captain Sarah A. Martin assumed command of Headquarters and Headquarters Co., Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, from Capt. Alicia D. Scott on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 1. “As I stand before you for the last time, I could not be more proud or more humble, because to command is to serve,” said Scott. “My service to you is the rent I paid for the privilege of being charged with command.” Scott will move on to a new position at U.S. Army Headquarters at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Martin is coming from DLIFLC’s Persian-Farsi School where she served as associate dean since August 2014. “I am honored to take command of this outstanding company,” said Martin. “I fully understand that command is a privilege and I want to ensure that I give my all to this unit and its mission.” HHC consists of the command and staff of DLIFLC as well as additional support and administrative offices. The HHC company commander is primarily responsible for the administrative and training aspects of the...
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