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Click button for click this button to go to the Air Force Culture and Language Center

see also

  • Defense Language Transformation Roadmap
  • Defense Language Transformation - MECC briefing, 12 Oct 05

  • Cultural Awareness and Language,
    at the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center (aka Air University Library)

  • Office of English Language Programs, State Department
    - much of the material is generic language learning

  • SCOLA - "non-profit educational organization that receives and re-transmits
    television programming from around the world in native languages"

  • please see disclaimer about links, and privacy and security notice ... contact us
    page reviewed/updated 11 Oct 2011

    To know another language is to have a second soul.
    --- Charlemagne

    The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world.
    --- Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Need for Language Learning, and Plans ___return to top

    Language Theory & Effects ___return to top

    • Languages of the World, from the National Virtual Translation Center
      • The main purpose of this website is to provide information about the language families of the world and their most important and populous members, including their history, status, their linguistic characteristics, and their writing in as simple and concise a way as possible.

    • Choosing Words Carefully: Language to Help Fight Islamic Terrorism (local copy), by Streusand and Tunnell, NDU, July 2006

    • MIT Psycholinguistics course - free materials online courtesy of the MIT OpenCourseWare project - includes materials on acquistion of language (see lecture notes)

    • War of the Words (Local Copy), by Johnson, page 3 of News & Views, Sandia Labs, Jan 2005
      • Four Principles for Success in the War of Ideas
        • Be clear about whom you are speaking and avoid viewing populations monolithically
        • Be precise in your terms and avoid exaggeration
        • Seek to understand alternative viewpoints and show respect for them
        • Learn your own blind spots
    • Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) (Local Copy), discussed on page 6 of News & Views, Sandia Labs, Jan 2005
      • We believe there is potential to apply techniques such as LSA to identify, early on, ideas which appear to be “transformational.” These are ideas which, because of their emergent nature, are not yet on the “radar screens” of intelligence analysts, but are rapidly gaining a following.

    • Language acquisition theories and related theories, at TIP

    • Carnegie Mellon University, Psychology Department - many papers are full text online

    • overview of Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought, ed. by Gentner and Goldin-Meadow, MIT Press, 2003
      • Although the last two decades have been marked by extreme skepticism concerning the possible effects of language on thought, recent theoretical and methodological advances in cognitive science have given the question new life. Research in linguistics and linguistic anthropology has revealed striking differences in cross-linguistic semantic patterns, and cognitive psychology has developed subtle techniques for studying how people represent and remember experience. It is now possible to test predictions about how a given language influences the thinking of its speakers.
      • Language in Mind includes contributions from both skeptics and believers and from a range of fields. It contains work in cognitive psychology, cognitive development, linguistics, anthropology, and animal cognition. The topics discussed include space, number, motion, gender, theory of mind, thematic roles, and the ontological distinction between objects and substances.

    • The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, by Steven Pinker, 1994

    • LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: An Introduction to Human Communication, Palomar College
      • Language and Thought Processes - includes short discussion of ethnoscience - "Anthropologists have found that learning about how people categorize things in their environment provides important insights into the interests, concerns, and values of their culture. Field workers involved in this type of research refer to it as ethnoscience "

    • The Whorf Hypothesis Examined
      • The argument that language defines the way a person behaves and thinks has existed since the early 1900's when Edward Sapir first identified the concept. He believed that language and the thoughts that we have are somehow interwoven, and that all people are equally being effected by the confines of their language. In short, he made all people out to be mental prisoners; unable to think freely because of the restrictions of their vocabularies.
      • Soon, Sapir had a student, Benjamin Whorf , who picked up on the idea of linguistic determinism and really made it his own. Whorf coined what was once called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is more properly referred to as the Whorf hypothesis. This states that language is not simply a way of voicing ideas, but is the very thing which shapes those ideas. One cannot think outside the confines of their language. The result of this process is many different world views by speakers of different languages.
      • Whorf fully believed in linguistic determinism; that what one thinks is fully determined by their language. He also supported linguistic relativity, which states that the differences in language reflect the different views of different people.

    • The Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis, by Swoyer, Stanford University
      • Interesting versions of the linguistic relativity hypothesis embody two claims:
        • Linguistic Diversity: Languages, especially members of quite different language families, differ in important ways from one another.
        • Linguistic Influence on Thought: The structure and lexicon of one's language influences how one perceives and conceptualizes the world, and they do so in a systematic way.
      • Any serious discussion of the linguistic relativity hypothesis requires us to answer three questions
        1. Which aspects of language influence which aspects of thought in some systematic way?
        2. What form does that influence take?
        3. How strong is that influence?
      • Various aspects of language might affect cognition.
        • Grammar - Languages can differ in their grammar or syntax. To take a simple example, typical word order may vary....
        • Lexicon - Different languages have different lexicons (vocabularies), but the important point here is that the lexicons of different languages may classify things in different ways. For example, the color lexicons of some languages segment the color spectrum at different places.
        • Semantics - Different languages have different semantic features (over and above differences in lexical semantics)
        • Metaphor - Different languages employ different metaphors or employ them in different ways.
        • Pragmatics - It is increasingly clear that context plays a vital role in the use and understanding of language, and it is possible that differences in the way speakers of different languages use their languages in concrete settings affects their mental life.

    • Exploration of Language, program by Effland et al, Mesa Community College

    • "Language Meaning and Context," by Effland, Mesa Community College
      • Today most linguists and anthropologists would agree that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is too extreme. That is, it places too much importance on language as a determinant of different world views. Nonetheless, most contemporary linguists would agree that the language people acquire is very important to how they view and organize the world around them. The study of how language at once determines and reflects peoples' world views is called ETHNOLINGUISTICS.

    Peacekeeping & Military English ___return to top
    • Peacekeeping English Project (PEP)
      • "The aim of PEP is to reduce, resolve and prevent conflict worldwide through improved English language communication."
      • "English is the language of interoperability. It enables multinational forces taking part in NATO, EU and UN peace support operations to communicative effectively with each other."
    • Learn English - Peacekeepers site

    • Mililtary English
      • "This Military zone is to help military personnel improve their English. Violent conflict continues throughout the world, along with civilian killing and suffering. Consequently the United Nations is conducting an ever-increasing number of peace support operations. These operations involve the armed forces of several different nations working together. This is invariably done using English - the international language. We aim to help you improve your English, so that you will be able to play a full and effective role in future peace support operations should you ever be required to do so."

    Working with Interpreters ___return to top Translation Resources ___return to top Acquiring Language Skills ___return to top

    • Check also with your local universities, often offering evening classes on the military base/post -- civilian universities near Air University offer following languages and more - Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, Persian or Farsi, Russian, and Spanish

    • Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Language Courses
      • These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain.

    • DLI FLC Field Support Modules, from Defense Language Institute (DLI) -- includes
      • DLI Cultural Awareness Assessment (CAA)
        • "reflects the Military Planning Guide to Regional Expertise Levels, as directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) from 23 January 2006. "
        • "Topics include geographic facts, major religions, social customs and basic survival phrases of the dominant language of the region. Other key aspects of the CAA incorporate detailed information on the security situation, military, government, history and economy of the region."
      • Culture Familiarization Modules and "in Perspective" Culture Modules
        • on more than 20 countries, from Afghanistan to Uzbek
      • Head Start Language Modules
        • Dari
        • Iraqi
        • Pashto
      • Language Basic Familiarization
        • iPod-based language sets

    • Joint Language University (JLU)
      • "The JLU is a language learning and support portal where we have brought together resources and materials from across the Federal Government, Department of Defense and Academia."
      • "The JLU provides access to thousands of hours of language instruction based on authentic source texts and audio recordings as well as tools and resources compiled by cooperating organizations."
      • "Learning materials and resources are organized by language and rated and grouped according to the ILR scale and the subject material of the source materials."

    • Tactical Language & Culture Training System
      • Tactical IraqiTM - interactive language learning and application of cultural protocols - free to U.S. military members
        • Tactical IraqiTM is a computer-based, self-paced, learning program that in about 80 hours teaches English-speaking people totally unfamiliar with Iraqi Arabic how to speak enough to accomplish tasks and missions in Arabic. - To "win" the interactive simulation, you must properly apply the language as well as cultural protocols.
      • Tactical Pashto
      • Tactical French
      • Tactical Dari

    • "Free On-Line Foreign Language Training Materials Now Available" - press release from Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs, 3 Jul 08
      • "Chief of Naval Personnel announced free on-line foreign language training materials are available for active duty Sailors, Reservists and Navy civilians in NAVADMIN 178/08, June 27."
      • "The beginning and advanced language skills software, called Critical Language-150 (CL-150) by Transparent Language, Inc., has been purchased by the Navy and is available for download via Navy Knowledge On-line (NKO)."
      • "To access free training materials, the user must log in to NKO and click on the "Transparent Language" link located in the "Personal Development" section on the opening page. This will redirect the user to the software download center at Transparent Language Inc.'s Web site."
      • "Languages offered include Spanish, modern standard Arabic, Iraqi Arabic, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Dari, Chinese-Mandarin and many others. The software supports both individual and team learning and contains cultural overviews as well."

    • CL-150 Technology Matrix for Critical Languages, from Transparent Language government solutions -- includes free downloads for US Government organizations of funtional sets of terms/phrases in multiple languages

    • BBC Languages - many languages - starting up or brushing up

    • MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures courses - free materials online courtesy of the MIT OpenCourseWare project

    • National Security Language Initiative (NSLI)
      • The National Security Language Initiative is an interagency initiative of the Departments of State, Education, and Defense, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The initiative is designed to dramatically increase the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Farsi, and others through new and expanded programs from kindergarten through university and into the workforce.

    • SCOLA - "non-profit educational organization that receives and re-transmits television programming from around the world in native languages"

    • Defense Language Institute
      • Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) "the world's largest foreign language institute"
        • Iraqi Basic - Language Survival Guide
          • The Foreign Language Center of the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Presidio of Monterey, California, has available Iraqi Language Survival Guide (April 2003). This pocket-sized booklet has important words and phrases in Iraqi Arabic such as greetings, emergency terms, medical terms, lodging, occupations, etc. There is also a section on general military terms and on mine warfare. Each English word or phrase is associated with the Arabic word or phrase in a phonetic, pronouncing English spelling and with Arabic script. An audio CD with pronunciation accompanies the printed booklet.

      • spiffy LingNet "is a service provided by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. LingNet hosts materials developed at DLI by the Curriculum Development Division. These include both the "Countries in Perspective" series and the Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS). The LingNet web site also hosts materials developed by other government and Department of Defense agencies."
        • GLOSS online language lessons are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills. Reading and listening lessons are based on authentic materials (articles, TV reports, radio broadcasts, etc.) and consist of 4 to 6 activities. The motivating tasks are accompanied with in-depth feedback that provide learners with thorough explanations and tutoring just like an attentive and experienced teacher would do. With more than 5,600 instructional hours of materials, GLOSS is a valuable resource in maintaining and improving language ability of the learners.
        • GLOSS has language materials for more than 25 languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Swahili, Azeri, Chinese, Korean, and Hindi.

      • Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) "the world's largest foreign language institute"

    • Ongoing Language Manual (local copy, 700 Kb) - Peace Corps tips, strategies, and techniques for learning a language

    • National Language Service Corps (NLSC)
      • In 2003, Congress tasked NSEP to explore the feasibility of establishing an organization comprised of Americans with skills in critical languages who would serve the Federal Government during times of emergency or national need. At this time, the initiative was titled the Civilian Linguist Reserve Corps (CLRC). This feasibility study has led to the initiation of a pilot implementation of the Nationl Language Service Corps (NLSC) from 2007 to 2010. NLSC will represent a major opportunity for many Americans with language skills to serve the nation.

    • Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland
      • "The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) is the national laboratory for advanced research and development on language and national security. Founded in 2003 under Department of Defense funding as a University Affiliated Resarch Center, CASL represents a unique partnership between the university and the Intelligence Community (IC) and the U. S. Department of Defense. CASL’s mission is to serve the nation by improving the language performance of the IC and DoD workforce. CASL is now the largest language research center in the United States."
      • "Because the United States has a critical need for individuals who can communicate effectively with others around the globe, the Center exists to enhance the ability of federal employees across all agencies and branches to speak and understand other languages at high levels of proficiency."
      • "... CASL convened an interdisciplinary workshop June 14-25, 2004, focused on what is known currently and what can be discovered through research in the next four or five years about detecting deception, particularly from a cross-cultural perspective."

    • Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)

    • Carnegie Mellon University, Psychology Department - many papers are full text online

    • International pronunciations of names, with audio, from Voice of America

    • The LINGUIST List - "The world's largest online linguistic resource"

    • Foreign languages - Cultural awareness - at Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)

    • University of Military Intelligence
      • - includes cultural awareness section on Iraq, Afghanistan, and more
      • - also includes Military Intelligence Foreign Language Training Center

    • Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A Basis for Language Learning, by Love, in The Journal of the Imagination in Language Learning and Teaching
        Some NLP Presuppositions
        1. The map is not the territory. [Our senses filter everything we experience.]
        2. What you believe either is true or becomes true.[Perceptions are individual and influence behavior.]
        3. The mind and the body affect each other.[Thought, emotions and behavior are interconnected.]
        4. Knowing what you want helps you to get it.[Identify your goals and break them down into manageable tasks.]
        5. The meaning of your communication is the response you get.[Communication is not your intention; it is an experiential process.]
        6. There is no failure, only feedback.[Stop blaming yourself if something isn't working. Try something else!]
        7. Communication is verbal and non-verbal.[You are always sending and receiving messages.]
        8. Modeling excellent behavior leads to excellence. [Find the model and follow the pattern.]
        9. There is a positive intention behind every behavior.[People respond in the only way they know how at the time.]

    English as Second Language ___return to top Military & Security Journals & Resources in non-English Languages ___return to top Multi-language Starting Points ___return to top Global News Sources ___return to top Other Language Links ___return to top
    • Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR)
      • "The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) is an unfunded Federal interagency organization established for the coordination and sharing of information about language-related activities at the Federal level. It serves as the premier way for departments and agencies of the Federal government to keep abreast of the progress and implementation of techniques and technology for language learning, language use, language testing and other language-related activities."

    • Becker's language/culture links broken out by language/culture of interest

    • Language Links site - "... dedictaed to teachers and learners of world languages"

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