There are a lot of different educational opportunities that you can select when you enlist in the Armed Forces, some of the best training in the world can be found in the military. One type of training you can receive is to choose to attend the Defense Language school that is located in Monterey, California. The Defense Language School is home to over 30 different languages, and dialects. Students come to Monterey to study and become proficient in a foreign language, either because of their specific job specialty, or because they seek to be involved in translation to complement their military job. The language that is the most sought by the Armed Forces is also the one that is the hardest to learn, Arabic.
“It takes a superior student to choose to study Arabic, the course work itself is over sixty three weeks long,” said Dr. Payne. Dr. Payne works at the Defense Language School as an instructor and Vice chancellor. “Only the brightest and the best students are chosen to study Arabic, and even then there is a high level of fallout, it is a very difficult language to master,” said Dr. Payne.
The key in teaching language skills is having enough instructors that are native speakers. Only with instruction in the language by instructors fluent in that language as their native tongue can a program truly instruct students in the finer points of each language. The instructors at the Defense Language school in California have been teaching some of them for decades, and each language has several instructors who speak that language as their native tongue. There are six levels of languages that are taught at the Defense language school. Category One, Two and Three, are more elemental and easier to learn, and the levels correspond with the difficulty that each language presents in learning. Categories four to six are the most difficult, and Arabic is a category six language.
Students are taught using different phases, or steps. They use a “Sound and Script” approach in addition to the alphabet and spoken sounds. Recordings are provided for students to use as study aids, and they have access to newscasts in native television for each language, and also access to other media sources for each language. The Defense Language School instructs members from all five Armed Forces services, as required, in addition they also host members of various federal agencies that are seeking to learn a foreign language for their job.