DLIFLC students win big in Mandarin speech contest

DLIFLC students win big in Mandarin speech contest

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Service members studying Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center participated in the 41st Annual Mandarin Speech Contest in San Francisco April 23, with 36 DLIFLC students winning awards. This year, 451 registered contestants from Northern California schools and universities such as Stanford, Berkeley, San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California – Davis, competed in the contest. Teachers in DLIFLC’s Chinese department encourage their students to participate in the annual contest, which many of them see as a measure of both faculty and student success. “With Asian School I leadership’s continuous strong support, DLI students have been participating in this speech contest for many years, which has become an effective driving force in promoting student proficiency,” said Dr. Liwei Gao, assistant dean of DLIFLC’s Asian School I. Sixty eight Chinese Mandarin students at DLIFLC registered for the contest and won a total of 36 prizes that included six first place winners, 10 second place winners, four third place winners and 16 honorable mentions. “This is the best result that we have had so far. DLI students outperformed their rivals from all other participating colleges and universities,” said Gao. During the contest, students deliver a three to five-minute speech which they wrote, memorized, and delivered on their own, on any appropriate topic the student chose to speak on, appropriate to his or her level of training. Teachers at DLIFLC such as Kevin Yang and Yunhua Zhang also participated as judges in the contest, though they did not judge their own...
FAO program guest speaker on National Security Strategy

FAO program guest speaker on National Security Strategy

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. Craig Whiteside, a professor at the Naval War College Monterey located on the campus of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, spoke about the most recent National Security Strategy with Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center April 21. The National Security Strategy is a document prepared by the executive branch of the U.S. Government for the Congress, which outlines the major national security concerns of the U.S. and how to deal with them. The Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986 required that the President issue a National Security Strategy annually. However, according to Whiteside, though the strategy is “supposed to be done every year, it is not a strategy if you change it every year.” “What is a strategy?” Whiteside asked as he began his discussion. “It’s really big picture stuff. How do we achieve our end state, what are the ways, and what are the means?” Whiteside focused most of his discussion on the differences between the 2010 and 2015 National Security Strategy. The 2010 strategy was called a dramatic departure from its predecessor as it advocated increased engagement with Russia, China and India, and introduced the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. However, since then, the world has seen dramatic events occur such as the Arab Spring, the Syrian Civil War and the rise of the Islamic State, as well as a renewed fear in Europe of a resurgent Russia....
Navy celebrates 40th anniversary of anchor drop

Navy celebrates 40th anniversary of anchor drop

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – About 50 Sailors, leadership from the Center for Information Dominance Unit and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center celebrated the 40th anniversary April 14 of the U.S. Navy dropping anchor on the Presidio of Monterey. The U.S. Navy officially formed a detachment for their students at the Presidio in 1976 under the leadership of Lt. Harry Rakfeldt, who attended the brief ceremony aside the anchor. In 1972, Rakfeldt arrived in Monterey as the Naval Security Group liaison and the highest ranking Navy officer on the Presidio. “At that time we had 68 personnel. Some were over here. Some were over there,” said Rakfeldt pointing to various buildings on the Presidio. “Some were living with the Army.” By 1975 there were more than 100 Sailors when a rear admiral from Washington, D.C., arranged for them to form a detachment. Beginning as the Naval Security Group Monterey, it has changed names over the years and today it is the Center for Information Dominance Unit. As the first commanding officer, Rakfeldt wanted the Navy detachment to “mark its territory.” He learned of an anchor sitting on the beach at the Naval Postgraduate School, also in Monterey, and arranged to have it moved. “Shortly thereafter the first ever anchor on the Presidio of Monterey was set into a bed of concrete in front of the barracks. The United States Navy was here to stay and firmly anchored,” said Rakfeldt. The anchor was set in place July 14, 1976. Rakfeldt retired from the U.S. Navy on July 31. One detail Rakfeldt forgot when he...
DLIFLC opens new Language Training Detachment in Germany

DLIFLC opens new Language Training Detachment in Germany

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, headquartered in Monterey, California, opened a new language training facility at the Combined Arms Training Center, or CATC, in Vilseck, Germany on April 7. The official name of the DLIFLC center is the Combined Language Arms Training Center. The addition of foreign language training at this site will augment the current 67 courses taught at CATC and will provide military and civilian linguists throughout the U.S. European and U.S. Africa Command the opportunity to receive foreign language training closer to their home duty stations. “The leadership understands there is a need for growth in our language professionals. They also understand that in this region the best way to develop partnerships is through cultural and language understanding,” said Col. Keith M. Logeman, DLIFLC assistant commandant, referring to talks he conducted with USEUCOM and USAFRICOM leaders. “This effort was a true definition of teamwork,” said Lt. Col. Jeffery Hollamon, the CATC director. “It took less than a year to put this entire project together. CATC coordinates and provides individual training and professional education for U.S. Army Europe Soldiers, Department of Army and host nation civilians, as well as multinational partners with readiness training before deployment. Though several sites throughout Europe had been considered for the language training needs, CATC had ideal conditions for student attendance, including dormitories and dining facilities. One of the big advantages of the Vilseck location is that the entire facility is already dedicated to military training activities for civilians, Soldiers and multinational students. With more than 17,000 individuals trained at...
Tagalog teacher favors DLIFLC after meeting linguists

Tagalog teacher favors DLIFLC after meeting linguists

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – It is an unseasonably hot day in April on the Presidio of Monterey, California, and Marites Castro’s students are jumping off desks. The Tagalog language teacher does not discourage them. She shouts praises and encourages them to keep going. “Last year we did a bamboo traditional Singkil dance originating from the Lanao provinces located in Mindanao, southern Philippines, but this year we will do the bench dance. It will be very good. You’ll see,” said Castro, who teaches the most common language of the Philippines. About a month away is Language Day, the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s annual open house and showcase for multiple languages and cultures from around the world. Students practice in their spare time a dance or custom from the culture they are studying to present on Language Day. “These students are new, but on Language Day they’ll be ready,” said Castro. Castro, who is from Manila’s metropolitan area, loves teaching so much that she left her home and her close-knit family in the Philippines for the U.S. so that she could teach Tagalog. “My parents were very into education. They valued it and no matter how simple life was, they wanted us to get to college,” said Castro, who has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Santo Tomas and a law degree. She was working on her thesis for a Master of Arts in Special Education at the University of the Philippines prior to coming to the U.S. “It is a value in the Philippines that you help one another,” Castro...
AETC commander visits linguists in Monterey

AETC commander visits linguists in Monterey

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs MONTEREY, Calif. – The commander of the Air Education and Training Command visited Airmen at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center March 29, as a part of a tour of one of the 23 major units he oversees in 14 states. “I am very impressed with what you are doing here with these young Airmen,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander, to Air Force leaders of the 517th Training Group at the Presidio of Monterey. There are currently more than 1,000 Airmen studying at DLIFLC, many of whom are first-term Airmen. Roberson, accompanied by his wife, Cheryl and Chief Master Sgt. David Staton received a command brief from DLIFLC Assistant Commandant Col. Keith Logeman. He gave details of the type and rigor of foreign language training Airmen receive in the 26 to 64 week courses, depending on the difficulty of the foreign language. “Our goal is to have motivated Airmen and give them the language of their choice (whenever possible),” he said. “Currently, we have eight undergraduate schools and our instructors are mainly foreign-born,” said Logeman. He explained that more than 60 percent of the Airmen go through a military headstart program upon arrival, that refreshes their English grammar, teaches them study techniques, and offers an introduction of culture for the language they will learn. Roberson had the opportunity to visit with the 311th and 314th Training Squadrons where he met with essential staff and presented several Airmen with coins. Staff Sgt. Ryan Best, a Chinese Military Language Instructor, Staff Sgt. Donisha Lewis, a logistics specialist, and Capt. Kamisha Reeb, associate dean...
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