Defense Language Institute
The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) traces its roots to the eve of America's entry into World War II, when the U.S. Army established a secret school at the Presidio of San Francisco to teach the Japanese language. Classes began November 1, 1941, with four instructors and sixty students. Fifty-eight of the students were second-generation Japanese-Americans (Nisei) from the West Coast who went on to serve their country with honor. Since then, DLIFLC has moved to its permanent home at the Presidio of Monterey in California, and expanded the range of languages it teaches to meet US military linguist requirements. DLIFLC graduates continue a long tradition of using their linguistic expertise to carry out US military missions. DLIFLC's mission statement is to "provide culturally-based foreign language education, training, evaluation, research and sustainment for DoD personnel in order to ensure the success of the Defense Language Program and enhance the security of the nation". Its Vision statement is simply "delivering the world's best culturally-based foreign language training and education - at the point of need". For 33 years DLIFLC has maintained regional accreditation with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In October 2001 the US House of Representatives approved DLIFLC's request for federal degree-granting authority. DLIFLC has awarded over 7,000 graduates their Associate of Arts degrees. DLIFLC courses prepare students for their linguist careers through rigorous study, instilling listening, reading and speaking skills in their target language through exploiting authentic native materials. The DLIFLC student population is made up primarily of enlisted and officer service members from the four military services and other entities. After graduation, these students will attend further technical instruction and then continue to their next assignments as military linguists. In addition to DLIFLC courses, DLIFLC develops and administers the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). The DLPT program was started in the 1950s. There have been five generations of the DLPT, beginning with the DLPT I. At this time, ACE Credit Recommendations exist for languages tested in the DLPT III, DLPT IV, and DLPT 5 versions.
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