MONTEREY, Calif. -- “As we draw down, language should be a core skill across the DoD workforce,” said Dr. Michael Nugent, director of the Defense Language Office/National Security Education Program ((DLO/NSEP), during a day-long tour of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Jan. 18.
According to Nugent, who now heads the DLO, an organization that guides doctrine and policy governing the entire language community, DLIFLC is providing amazing support for the Department of Defense and will play an even more important role in the years to come.
Nugent’s visit included an overview briefing on the scope and breadth of DLIFLC's resident and non-resident mission.
“The DLI program is very impressive. I think there is a lot here that is going on that deserves recognition. The challenge of getting young people up to the proficiency standards in such a short amount of time is amazing,” said Nugent.
The main part of the day was more of a hands-on approach to learning about DLIFLC, including a demonstration in a Farsi classroom that showed how language curriculum and technology have been intertwined with the use of iPads, tablet PCs, SmartBoards, and various online tools for learning.
“Everything we do in the classroom with technology allows our students to reach the high expectations that are placed on them. You have to create expectations and opportunities to reach those expectations and DLI is doing a good job in that area,” Nugent said.
Nugent also interacted with students from a classroom of Pashto linguists, toured the Student Learning Center to see how servicemembers are prepped for language learning and took part in a Chinese immersion at DLIFLC’s Isolation Immersion Facility.
“The staff at DLI has done amazing things to get up to this level and it shows that the staff is very committed to their mission here,” said Nugent.
Nugent was also briefed about the collaboration of DLIFLC expertise in programs like the Joint FAO program, AFPAK Hands, and the General Purpose Force Language Enabled Soldier program.
At the conclusion of his day-long visit, Nugent gave an assessment of the importance of DLIFLC's mission during conflict or peacetime.
“As we draw down forces, it is important to maintain a readiness capacity in language. We need to put our investments where our priorities are and one of those priorities should be language learning,” Nugent explained.
Story and Photos Brian Lamar, DLIFLC Strategic Communications Caption 1: Dr. Michael Nugent interacts with students during a Chinese immersion training exercise. Caption 2: Col. Danial Pick explains applications of technology-based curriculum in a language classroom.