Marines graduate from DLI Foreign Language Center Acquisition Course

Marines graduate from DLI Foreign Language Center Acquisition Course

Four Marines from Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group (MCSCG) graduated from an initial language acquisition course at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) Foreign Language Center (FLC), Virginia Beach Training Detachment, June 7. From left to right: SSgt Timothy Lynch, Capt Bryant Kruse, GySgt Crystal Hannan and GySgt Kevin Kearns. Photo by Sgt Alexis R. Mulero.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 18, 2013) - Four Marines from Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group (MCSCG) graduated from an initial language acquisition course at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) Foreign Language Center (FLC), Virginia Beach Training Detachment, June 7.

Capt Bryant Kruse, communications officer, GySgt Crystal Hannan, intelligence chief and SSgt Timothy Lynch, an explosive ordnance and disposal team leader at the unit completed the Basic Spanish curriculum of the course and SSgt Kevin Kearns, logistics chief, completed the Basic French curriculum of the course.

"The ability to communicate and show respect for the partner nations we work with is key," said Hannan, who works for the unit's Coordination, Liaison and Assessment Training team that supports U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South. "Not only is it appreciated by those we work with in our respective AORs (areas of responsibilities), it opens doors that might otherwise be shut if we could not function within a language and culture successfully. Understanding and investing in this skill set is an important key to operational success in foreign climes and places."

During the 12-week course, Marines received more than six formal hours focused on speaking, but also included reading and listening activities with an additional 30 minutes to an hour of one-on-one time speaking practice with their professors.

"Getting comfortable with interaction in Spanish was an exciting but a daunting task," added Hannan. "Thankfully, our professor was extremely accommodating and worked very hard to prepare us. I would like to commend the instructors for their enduring patience and outstanding expertise."

Furthermore, the Marines were assigned one to two hours of homework on a nightly basis to solidify daily lessons learned and also to prepare students for the next day's objectives. Toward the end of the course, the Marines produced and performed a cultural presentation and introduced it to the faculty, other students and to the MCSCG staff. The course culminated with a Defense Language Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), which is a test that evaluates the student's speaking ability in the language acquired.

"Foreign language capability is extremely difficult and intensive to develop and maintain," said Hannan. "This opportunity made the acquisition part of learning much more manageable than self-study. I look forward to using my newly acquired skills both in the local community and abroad."

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Centers provide culturally-based foreign language education, training, evaluation, and sustainment for DoD personnel in order to ensure the success of the Defense Language Program and enhance the security of the nation.

"The DLI Virginia Beach Language Training Detachment (LTD) is one of 34 LTD locations where DLI provides full-spectrum, short-notice foreign language support, to meet the culturally-based language education and training requirements for both current and emerging U.S. military missions worldwide," said Marnie Geist, acting site director, Virginia Beach LTD.

The Virginia Beach LTD was established in October 2010 and is located aboard Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex. It provides support to military elements stationed in the Tidewater Virginia area. During FY12, more than 10,000 military members graduated from a language program or course at a DLIFLC LTD.

"DLI has approximately 2,000 talented full-time foreign language teaching faculty who can provide instruction (98% are native speakers of the language they instruct), as well as responsive contracted instructors," added Geist. "DLI prides itself on delivering the world's best culturally-based foreign language training and education --- at the point of need for the U.S. military."

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