DLI Foundation visits Institute

SurvivalKits_D3X_2889MONTEREY, Calif – Members of the board of directors of the newly-founded non-profit DLI Foundation visited the campus for the first time on Sept. 25, taking the opportunity to observe foreign language students in class and learn about the new technology used across the institute.

Founded in 2011, the DLI Foundation aims to create programs and services in support of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and its training mission by promoting foreign language education for industry, government, and public education.

“As a DLI graduate myself, I know how profoundly this School contributed to the path I eventually took in life. An important goal of the Foundation is to enhance awareness among Americans of the need for foreign language study generally, and especially in our schools. Young people with language skills are better equipped to lead, contribute and benefit in today’s society, whether in military or civilian life.” said DLI Foundation chairman and president, Mr. Kenneth Nilsson.

The visitors received a command brief from the Institute’s Assistant Commandant Col. Laura Ryan, learning about all aspects of the DLIFLC mission, including the expansion of DLIFLC’s reach throughout the force for predeployment training through its Language Training Detachments, as well as online materials available to the general public via the website.

Eleven members of the DLI Foundation visited students studying Dari and Urdu, languages spoken in Afghanistan and deemed the some of the hardest to learn for native English speakers.

Nilsson_Shannon_D3X_29222“It is nice to be able to show what we do at DLI,” said one Air Force class leader, who is studying Urdu as a third language in her professional linguist career. “We have the most amazing teaching team. They are the ones who really motivate us,” she said, adding that she had similar experiences with faculty when she was a Spanish and Korean student at DLIFLC.

“It was an extraordinary experience to see how motivated students are in the classroom and to hear their fluency in languages that are so hard to learn, but are vital to our national security,” stated David Armanasco, vice chairman of the DLI Foundation, after visiting the Dari language class.

Speaking about the challenges the United States faces today regarding foreign policy, international investment, and the global economic downturn, Armanasco said “America needs to further prepare itself for the globalization we are facing and language is the key to our understanding and participating withÿdiverse cultures with which we’ll interact.”

Classroom_D3X_28412“Critical to DLI’s ability to achieve this mission is the availability of a pipeline of motivated students with appropriate aptitudes. We hope that the Foundation will be able to raise public awareness not only about the need to improve language skills nation-wide, but about DLI’s role in contributing to solving this need,” explained Nilsson.

In conjunction with the DLI Alumni Association, the Foundation will be sponsoring the DLIFLC 71st Anniversary Ball on Nov. 3, 2012 at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

For more information about the DLI Foundation go to www.dli-foundation.org and www.dli-alumni.org for the DLI Alumni Association.

Story and Photo Credits:

Story by Natela Cutter, Strategic Communications

Photo1: DLI Foundation members look at Institute online products and listen to briefings about the specific aspects of each program on Sept 25, 2012, during their visit to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. (U.S. Army photo by Natela Cutter)

Photo2: DLI Foundation Chairman Ken Nilsson receives a demonstration on an iPad on Sept 25, 2012 from Senior Research Scientist Dr. Shannon Salyer, on the benefits of Brain Fitness research that is to help students retain more information in learning a foreign language. (U.S. Army photo by Natela Cutter)

Photo3: DLI Foundation members Ken Nilsson, David Armanasco, Patrick Scheufler, retired General Robert Guard, and DLI Alumni Association President Ben De La Selva, observe students studying Urdu at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center on Sept. 25, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Natela Cutter)

Posted Date: 4 October 2012