Weaknesses in the Resident Language Training System of Defense Language Institute Affect the Quality of Trained Linguists

FPCD-82-22: Published: May 6, 1982. Publicly Released: May 6, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the management operations of the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Foreign Language Center. The Foreign Language Center is responsible for providing foreign language training to military personnel who are being prepared for intelligence activities. The DLI mission is to conduct and supervise language training for such personnel and to provide technical support for all other foreign language training conducted for the services, except for military academies and overseas schools.

GAO reviewed the management and training at DLI and concluded that changes are necessary to improve the quality of language instruction. Specifically, DLI needs to: (1) replace outdated materials in basic courses; (2) upgrade the management of classroom instruction; and (3) better assess the effectiveness of its training mission.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to establish controls over course development projects which provide the means to assess progress against specified target dates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to establish controls over course development projects which provide the means to assess progress against specified target dates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to establish procedures to carry out the reinstated policy for supervisory classroom visits and hold supervisors accountable for routinely observing instructor classroom behavior.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to establish procedures to carry out the reinstated policy for supervisory classroom visits and hold supervisors accountable for routinely observing instructor classroom behavior.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to develop a Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) that will measure student proficiency of the objectives and standards established by DLI.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to develop a Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) that will measure student proficiency of the objectives and standards established by DLI.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to require all newly hired instructors to complete both phases of the basic instructor-training course. Instructors should be encouraged to seek out additional training to improve their instructional abilities as part of the individual development programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to require all newly hired instructors to complete both phases of the basic instructor-training course. Instructors should be encouraged to seek out additional training to improve their instructional abilities as part of the individual development programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to develop resident basic courses using commercially available materials whenever these can be adapted at less cost and in less time than in-house development.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to develop resident basic courses using commercially available materials whenever these can be adapted at less cost and in less time than in-house development.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to develop and distribute a standard schoolwide training methodology for use in all DLI language departments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Commandant of DLI to develop and distribute a standard schoolwide training methodology for use in all DLI language departments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to establish realistic training objectives based on mission requirements and use the DLPT to measure graduate students' performance in satisfaction of these objectives and require that students pass the DLPT as a condition for graduation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commandant of DLI to establish realistic training objectives based on mission requirements and use the DLPT to measure graduate students' performance in satisfaction of these objectives and require that students pass the DLPT as a condition for graduation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA

 

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