Institute names its 2016 Teacher of the Year

Institute names its 2016 Teacher of the Year

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Zhenshuai Liu, a chairperson in the Chinese Mandarin School, is the teacher of the year for 2016 at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. His success has also earned him the 2017 Allen Griffin Teaching Award, given in May by the Community Foundation of Monterey County to outstanding educators for secondary and post-secondary education. Liu was recognized for exceeding excellence based upon several criteria. Liu arranged target-language-only cultural classes to discuss Chinese history, culture and current events in Chinese. He also prepared authentic teaching materials by collecting the most-updated Chinese news and most-current materials for students. He then carefully organized the materials into a recommendation list for reading on a daily basis for students. From playing games to graphic stories, Liu contributed to students’ motivation through engaging learning activities. His excellent lesson designs inspired one student to comment, “Every class of his is so elaborately prepared that every session is a masterpiece.” Liu tailored everything he could for his students, including tailored homework, quizzes, and one-on-one activities. Liu’s professionalism proceeds him as eight out of 12 students graduated with honors or high honors, including the Commandant’s Award. Liu also received the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian...
FAOs and Special Operations bring benefits to country teams

FAOs and Special Operations bring benefits to country teams

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Lt. Col. Gordon Landale from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center March 15 about U.S. Army Special Operations and how it can work within a country team to advance U.S. priorities. A country team is the foundation of a U.S. Embassy and includes many interagency personnel to promote diplomacy abroad. Some country teams are further augmented by the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Special operations, which include U.S. Army Special Forces, Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs, can bring even more capabilities to the team, according to Landale. Landale, with special operations experience in various theaters and joint task force duties with NATO, began his 21-year career as an infantry officer before going to Special Forces selection in 2001. During the qualification course he trained in a mock embassy, but it would take 15 years before he stepped foot into a real embassy in Tajikistan. “Without the Defense Attaché, I would not have known what to expect,” said Landale, speaking about the importance of interoperability. U.S. Government agencies along with the departments of State and Defense must collaborate to achieve U.S. priorities in a given country under the Integrated Country Strategy – the ambassador’s multi-year plan that articulates those priorities. Peacetime engagements by special operations go hand-in-hand with the diplomatic relationships built by FAOs. Special operations has a diverse portfolio and are used for...
Congressman Panetta “wowed” by Presidio visit

Congressman Panetta “wowed” by Presidio visit

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center welcomed U.S. Representative for California’s 20th Congressional District, Jimmy Panetta, to the Presidio of Monterey, California, Feb. 22. Panetta visited a classroom in the Institute’s Persian-Farsi school where he interacted with some of the students who were about 30 weeks into their 48-week intensive foreign language and culture program. “I was honored and humbled to visit with the students personally and hear and see these young kids who are anywhere from 19 to their early 20s – how much they appreciated being able to learn the language and have the teachers and the facilities to do so,” said Panetta, visibly impressed by his classroom experience. Panetta, who grew up in Monterey, also said that DLIFLC students give him hope for the future and the nation’s security, explaining that the world has changed greatly since he was a child when his father, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and his brothers would eat sandwiches while gazing over the Monterey Bay from the Presidio of Monterey on a Sunday afternoon. “Being here today, in my official capacity, which is my first visit as a congress member, you realize how important DLI is to our country and to our national security,” said Panetta. “Congressman Panetta received a command brief about the entire enterprise, student body, faculty size…types of languages we teach, etc.,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. Phil Deppert. “I am confident that he has a full understanding of what we do and what we are for.” Later in the day, Panetta met with a consortium...
FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

FAO program guest speaker on U.S. – Israeli policy

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Guy Ziv, an associate professor at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Feb. 15 about current Israeli policy and the role of the U.S. Coincidentally, Ziv’s lecture took place on the same day Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Donald Trump in Washington, in which they spoke about settlements, the Iran Deal, the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and the two state solution – two states for two groups of people. Trump has declared that he is not wedded to the two state solution, a change from U.S. policy, according to Ziv. “U.S. support of Israel is one of the few bipartisan issues in Washington today and the reason is that the two nations are democratic and share common values such as self-determination, social justice, pluralism and multiculturalism,” said Ziv. But the U.S. and Israel also have shared interests. Israel is considered a very dependable ally, from the Cold War to fighting radical regimes of today and in the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially in Iran. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel receives an annual aid package from the U.S., receiving about $38 billion in 2016. In return, the U.S. receives Israeli technology, which is considered well advanced in areas such as airport security and cyber security,...
FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

FAOs attend first Joint Foreign Area Officer Course of 2017

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Foreign Area Officer Program at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center hosted the Joint FAO Course Jan. 23-27 at the Weckerling Center on the Presidio of Monterey. FAOs, who come from the four branches of the U.S. military, are regionally focused and are considered experts on political-military issues. FAOs typically begin their careers at the one-week course. Once their FAO training is completed, which includes language training and graduate school in a regionally focused topic, they are expected to serve as defense attachés, security cooperation officers and political-military planners worldwide. Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC commandant, welcomed all the new FAOs to the Institute and to their profession during his welcoming remarks Jan. 24. Though Deppert is a military intelligence officer, he spoke about the cooperation and the need for FAOs in the services. The week consisted of training and guest lecturers who are experts in the field of foreign affairs, specializing in regional topics, global plans and operations, and security cooperation. The advice offered ranged cultural faux pas in a foreign country, to how to navigate the diplomatic halls of the Embassies where they will be serving.   Welcome to the community Keynote speaker Rear Adm. Todd Squire, director for international engagement, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., welcomed the young officers to the community of FAOs. “I’ve always wanted to be a FAO, even before I joined the Navy,” said Squire, who is a two-time graduate of DLIFLC in German in 2002 and Turkish in 2010. He offered some...
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