DLIFLC students compete in 39th Annual Mandarin Speech Contest

DLIFLC students compete in 39th Annual Mandarin Speech Contest

SAN FRANCISCO — Service members studying Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, made the trek north to test their skills and compete for honors at the 39th Annual Mandarin Speech Contest in San Francisco April 26. The day-long competition, the largest of its kind in the United States, is sponsored by the Chinese Language Teachers Association of California, or CLTAC, and was held this year at the Lowell High School auditorium. The purpose of the speech contest is to foster good language skills in Mandarin. The CLTAC, established in 1962, is a nonpolitical, nonprofit educational and professional organization that seeks to promote the study, teaching and research of the Chinese language and culture and provides a platform for Chinese instructors to share and exchange teaching experience, ideas and information. The annual speech contest rewards excellence in speaking and comprehension. Although it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and spoken by more than 1.3 billion people worldwide, Mandarin is considered exceptionally hard to learn for western language scholars, in part due to the fact that few speakers of Mandarin emigrated from China until the late 20th century, and its spoken complexity, which relies on tone to determine a word’s meaning in a sentence. Competitors were divided by age group and required to be students enrolled in a Mandarin Chinese program during the 2013-2014 academic year. Also, as a prerequisite, all contestants passed through a rigorous preliminary contest in their own school in order to compete. The competition required students to deliver a speech, which they wrote, memorized and...
Col. Danial Pick, DLIFLC Commandant, retires

Col. Danial Pick, DLIFLC Commandant, retires

Col. Danial D. Pick, the Commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, has retired from the military after 29 years of service in the Army in a ceremony held on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey April 18. Pick is retiring after an illustrious career where he served as a military intelligence officer at various unit levels to include command. He became a Middle East Foreign Area Officer in 1996 and served multiple tours in the region. A graduate of the DLIFLC Basic Arabic course, he speaks Arabic, Persian-Farsi, Persian-Dari and Assyrian. He served as the director of the Army’s Foreign Area Officer program at the Presidio prior to taking the position of DLIFLC commandant. The incoming DLIFLC commandant is expected to assume command on May 22. Pick is expected to stay in the Monterey Bay area where he lives with his...
Korean consul general addresses DLIFLC students

Korean consul general addresses DLIFLC students

Students of the Korean program at Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center had a rare opportunity to hear directly from a spokesman of the South Korean government in their target language on Jan. 24. Republic of Korea Consul General Dong-man Han presented his thoughts on U.S.-Korean relations and the status of North Korea to an auditorium of participants with standing room only. “We are excited to make this connection with the Consul General and grateful that he has shared his thoughts and experience with us,” explained Dr. Steven Berbeco, dean of the Asian School II Korean program. “Mr. Han’s willingness to engage with our students in Korean sets a positive precedent for our activities as a school and supports our efforts to promote a Korean-only learning environment for our students.” The hour-long presentation was conducted entirely in Korean, with an opportunity for several questions from students attending the Korean Basic Course and Continuing Education programs. The visit served dual functions of strengthening ties between DLIFLC’s Korean program and an important community stakeholder, as well as offering students the opportunity to engage directly with a high-ranking member of the South Korean government. In preparation for the consul general’s visit, instructors worked with their students on vocabulary specific to the topics that were to be presented, allowing them to fully follow and participate in a question and answer period that produced a lot of verbal interaction. Han has been serving as consul general of the Republic of Korea since May 2013. He received his Bachelor’s at Yonsei University in Korea and his Master’s in International Organization Law at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in...
Army Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere welcomes the Army’s new Soldier-Statesmen

Army Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere welcomes the Army’s new Soldier-Statesmen

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence , Lt. Gen. Mary A. Legere, told the newly assigned class of Foreign Area Officers that they are “ambassadors of the U.S. Army at all times,” especially while on assignment abroad during their FAO careers. Lt. Gen Legere, participating by video teleconference, opened the week-long Joint Foreign Area Officers’ Course being held at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center with insights into the strategic operating environment and the imperative for students to begin the mastery of their assigned region. “You must understand the history, politics, geography, economy, religion, and social structure of the region…  you must have the ability to sort all that out and communicate it to policy makers,” said Legere, describing what is expected of a FAO assigned to a U.S. embassy abroad as a defense attach‚, security assistance officer, or political-military planner. The Army G2 spoke to over 65 Army FAOs, who arrived recently at DLIFLC to begin training and academic studies at the Institute or Naval Postgraduate School.  Each FAO must learn a foreign language, earn a Master’s degree relevant to their assigned region of the world, and gain in-country experience prior to starting a career in the field as an Army FAO. “You will be engaging foreign military leaders and helping build partnership capacity for our Army  by facilitating foreign military cooperation and exercises,” among other assignments, said Legere, explaining that at times a FAO may be the only U.S. military officer in an embassy abroad. “In some cases you will be it – the...
Board of Visitors convene at DLIFLC

Board of Visitors convene at DLIFLC

Members of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s (DLIFLC) Board of Visitors (BoV) convened at the Institute Dec. 11 and 12 to examine the Institute’s initiatives on life-long learning that maintains continuity of instruction throughout a linguist’s career and beyond. “The life-long learning model is a cycle that essentially provides support to linguists throughout their professional careers and beyond. From the moment a linguist steps over DLI’s threshold, they are linked to this Institute via continuing education, in-person and online instruction, and an alumni outreach program. And even after they leave the military, they can still access online materials,” said DLIFLC Commandant, Col. Danial Pick. Members of the board were briefed on DLIFLC’s accreditation status to include two recommendations provided by the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ (ACCJC). The ACCJC is responsible for quality assurance to the public that institutions are meeting specific standards, and that institutions achieve their stated educational mission. Members were also updated on DLIFLC’s restructuring efforts, Command Language Program initiatives, and Continuing Education Programs. “We were pleased to host the Board of Visitors and to have the opportunity to show the Board how flexible and agile we have become given the current climate of fiscal uncertainty and execution of Department of Defense-directed cuts to our budget. We have actually been lucky in the sense that we have been able to restructure and cause minimal impact to the quality of linguists we produce,” said Pick. The BoV is comprised of distinguished individuals from academic, business, military, and other professional fields. The BoV provides DLIFLC leadership with recommendations on matters related to the Institute’s...
Russian delegation visits DLIFLC

Russian delegation visits DLIFLC

Russian Federation Maj. Gen. Elena Knyazeva, the deputy chief of Science and Training of the Military University Ministry of Defense, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Nov. 21, with a group of Russian military educators who wanted to learn more about how their U.S. counterpart teaches foreign languages. “It is a great honor to be here,” said Knyazeva, recounting that she knew, while she was a military language student in Moscow, that a U.S. counterpart existed in Monterey. “We were always curious to know what our colleagues were doing in the field and what types of achievements they had made,” she said with a smile. “Coming here is like a dream come true.” Army Lt. Col. Jason Weece, the director of the Institute’s Foreign Area Officer Program, briefed the Russian visitors about the DLIFLC mission and responded to the many questions about the length of courses, linguist attrition rates, and the use of technology in the classroom. The visitors had an opportunity to visit a basic and advanced Russian course, speak with experts in the fields of faculty and curriculum development, and view a demonstration of the last foreign language materials used for distance online learning by linguists around the world. The visit to Monterey came a day after the Russian delegation spend a day touring the Defense Language Institute English Language Center in San Antonio, Texas, where U.S. and foreign service members are trained to improve their English language proficiency skills. Story and Photo Credits Story and photos by Natela Cutter, Mission PAO Photo: Col. Vladimir Dekhtyarev, Col. Grigory Yakovlev, Maj. Gen. Elena Knyazeva, and Lt....
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