The United States military maintains the most advanced language institute training facility in the world in California. The military services of the United States are the most advanced and accomplished in the World, and the same is true of the language training. With the advent of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom the need for the advanced language training was very evident. The United States Army has a specialized language training facility called the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. It is a teaching and training center devoted to different languages; the need for expert translators and foreign language ability among our military Servicemembers has never been as evident. Located in the Presidio the school teaches various languages, and it is devoted to training both language and cultural education.
There are twenty-two languages that are taught by the DFI institute and they vary in the length of the course and the difficulty of the languages. The school is located south of San Francisco about sixty miles, and it teaches Servicemembers both how to speak, comprehend, read and write in a foreign language. It is located in the Presidio at Monterey and the languages are taught for the most part by native-born language speakers. The Institute trains foreign linguists for the military, for other organizations, for Federal Agencies. It trains a few students for allied other governments and for state and other government agencies. The length of the classes for each of the different languages varies. The Category One Languages are the beginning level, and they last an average of 25 weeks in length. The most advanced classes are the Category Six Languages, and they take an average of sixty to sixty three weeks in length. The school is a large one; it has an overall staffing level of 1,300 people with 1,000 of the staff serving as instructors. There are about three hundred military support people that work to provide administration and duties backing up the educational process. For every thirty students there are five or six instructors that work in sections of ten students each.
The classes are small and the instructors use all the latest technology, satellite TV, smart boards, the Internet, and other electronic means of delivery. Each of the Defense Language Students has an MP3 play that is issued to them to record and play back important key lessons and learning topics.