Language Program Resources

These U.S. government-affiliated programs and online language resources assist professional linguists who want to maintain or enhance their global language skills as well as other individuals who are interested in increasing their foreign language proficiency or learning a new language (click the title to access each hyperlink). 

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC)

DLIFLC is DoD's premier school for culturally based foreign language education and training, with classroom instruction, mobile training teams, and online materials tailored for students at all levels of required proficiency or performance. The institute is a military-only school attended by all four branches of the military services and select individuals sponsored by their agencies. DLIFLC provides a comprehensive collection of language learning tools focused on improving individual language proficiency. The DLIFLC website should be a primary Command Language Program (CLP) online resource. The DLIFLC website not only includes important information on the institute but also provides key language support links through the Resources dropdown window on the homepage. These links include Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) Relevant Information and Guides, Journals and Publications, the Aiso Library, and more. DLIFLC eLearning tools can be found under the eLearning tab and include tools for Basic Skills, Deployment, Cultural and Regional Studies, Advanced Skills, and Assessment.

  • DLIFLC eLearning Resources Browse free eLearning products by category or search by language or topic for materials within each of the following products:
    • Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS) offers thousands of lessons in dozens of languages for independent learners to improve their foreign language skills. Lessons are available for intermediate and advanced learners, with the ability to focus on specific topic areas, tailored for building listening and reading proficiency.
    • Advanced North Korean (ANK) Dialect Materials offers a supplement for Korean language learning that can be incorporated into basic, intermediate, or advanced courses to provide students with cultural and regional information about North Korea
    • Arabic Grammar Search (AGS) – Have you forgotten a fine point of Arabic grammar? The AGS takes you inside the language with complete “A-Z Search” and help functions
    • Accents Library (AL) is available for Spanish and Arabic. The AL offers a collection of audio files read in both standard language as well as in several regional accents to illustrate speech variations that occur in everyday speech.
    • Phone Conversations (PC) – Familiarity with regional dialects and realistic dialogues is key to achieving advanced listening proficiency. PC contains more than 300 casual phone conversations in non-standard dialects of Spanish and Arabic. Arabic materials also include lesson plans for classroom use!
    • Online Diagnostic Assessment (ODA) is a dynamic online platform to estimate language proficiency in reading or listening. ODA helps learners determine the subject areas and language specifics to improve, with customized suggestions for GLOSS lessons to help reach proficiency goals. There are approximately 22 languages represented (including English!). In addition to assessments in listening and reading comprehension, several languages also offer a grammar assessment.
    • Cultural Orientation (CO) introduces a given cultural group, combining brief language exchanges with an objective and practical look at daily life in different contexts. Topics include religion, traditions, family life, and differences in the lifestyles of urban and rural populations.
    • Countries in Perspective (CiP) begins with a country profile containing basic facts, followed by a more detailed discussion of geography, history, economy, society, and security.
    • Legends & Folktales (L&F) offers short animated pieces introducing famous myths, legends, and folktales from cultures across the globe to enhance cross-cultural literacy and provide insight into societies.
    • Cultural Awareness Assessment (CAA) gauges your familiarity with a particular society, including geographic facts, major religions, history, security situation, social customs, and basic survival phrases in the dominant language of the region.
    • Headstart2 (HS2) is a self-study introduction to your target foreign language. The course consists of two units containing ten modules each. Unit 1 (Sound & Script) teaches the basics of the target language in 20 interactive tasks. Unit 2 (Military) consists of a total of 50 mission-specific tasks. These tasks are designed according to military training format and include scenarios covering public safety, medical situations, basic commands, cordon and search, and even gathering intelligence. HS2 also features over 100 PDFs with writing drills that provide the user with the opportunity to practice writing the target script. Other features include animated capstone military scenarios, culture notes, grammar notes, a writing tool, a sound recorder, a glossary, and a cultural resources section. HS2 exposes users to more than 1,000 key terms and phrases and provides users with important communication tools that they need in preparation for deployment. HS2 is available in some 50 languages and dialects and counting.
    • Rapport consists of six to eight hours of language and culture pre-deployment training. It is mandatory training for all civilian and military personnel deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan. Rapport is available in almost 50 languages, including Dari, Pashto, Iraqi, Swahili, Hausa, Portuguese, French, Modern Standard Arabic, and Korean.
    • Language Survival Kits (LSK) include text, audio recordings, and translations for up to 3,000 mission-related phrases. Modules include Air Crew, Basic Phrases, Civil Affairs, Cordon/Search, Force Protection, Medical, Military Police, Naval Commands, Public Affairs, and Weapons. Some LSKs contain CUI and are only accessible by accessing the LSK link via NIPRNET.
    • Aiso Library offers both physical and online resources. You can find physical items to check out by browsing the library shelves or by searching the library catalog. If you are searching the catalog remotely, you can reserve items found in the catalog and pick them up later in the Library (you will receive an email letting you know that they are available for pick up).  Access to online resources is made possible either by your IP address or your library account number, depending on the resource. 

Joint Language University

The Joint Language University (JLU) is a U.S. government-sponsored language training portal that allows students to acquire, maintain, enhance and/or refresh language skills. The portal offers thousands of hours of training and familiarization in both language and culture for over 50 languages and regions. This resource is free for anyone using a valid .mil or .gov email address. Many of the materials are focused on less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and provide maintenance and sustainment exercises in the ILR 2+ to 3+ ranges. JLU is a great place to find language materials and resources for the maintenance and enhancement of reading and listening skills and DLPT practice objects. 

Foreign Service Institute (FSI)

FSI offers full- and part-time classroom-based instruction to U.S. government personnel in over 70 languages. FSI also offers mentor-led online distance learning courses. 

Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR)

The ILR is an unfunded federal interagency organization established to coordinate and share 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 up to date on the progress and implementation of techniques and technology for language learning, language use, language testing, and other language related activities.

  • Webliography of Language and Area Studies Resource
    The Webliography of Language and Area Studies represents a comprehensive compendium of online Internet materials. Depending on the language, available resources can include socio-historic language sketches, introductions to writing systems and phonologies, beginning and intermediate online tutorials and exercises, online dictionaries, media sites, area studies links to international agency and government sites, cultural and target country materials, etc. Links to webliographies for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian languages are provided with the permission of the Slavic and Eurasian Language Resource Center (SEELRC) at Duke University and are listed on the right-hand side when you select the above link.
  • ILR Language Roadmaps
    The goal of the ILR Language Roadmaps is to select and map for language learners and professionals “the best” online language materials and resources for independent and directed study and for instruction and course development. The Roadmaps are produced by USG language instructors and subject matter experts. All entries are annotated and arranged in accordance with the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale. Also included are advanced and professional-level online resources: media sites, dictionaries, as well as listings of major language resource gateways, academic and professional organizations, libraries, and the like. 

Special Operations Forces Tele-training System (SOFTS)

SOFTS is a foreign language and culture training program that allows students to participate in real-time class sessions online from anywhere in the world. Students and instructors meet in a virtual classroom, utilizing live streaming audio and video along with sharing tools to provide all of the same resources as a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. The program is designed to support operators in the Special Forces community, but classes are available to any active duty, reserve, or civilian personnel on a space-available basis. Special Forces operators from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force are eligible to request new courses that are not on the schedule. Any active duty, reserve, or civilian personnel from the Department of Defense or other government agencies are eligible to participate on a space-available basis. Note, retired personnel and contract employees are not eligible. 

English Language Enhancement (course designator ENGL-XXXX)

The National Cryptologic University (NCU) offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as well as English grammar and writing courses for native speakers. CLPMs should search school code 820 for classes in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS) catalog at https://www.atrrs.army.mil. Units can also forecast English enhancement MTTs during the annual budget and quota forecast. 

Defense Language Institute English Language Center

The Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) is the DOD Center of Excellence for English language training. It offers a wide variety of resident and non-resident English training packages, tailored to a linguist’s specific needs, whether it is English grammar, reading, writing, speaking, listening, or comprehension skills. DLIELC conducts resident programs at the DLIELC Lackland AFB, TX campus. Instruction is provided in small groups, using modern language teaching technologies. Non-resident instruction consists of correspondence courses or MTTs. The DLIELC will also help units establish a local Language Training Detachment (LTD) to serve a unit’s specific needs. 

National Language Service Corps

The National Language Service Corps (NLSC) identifies and recruits on-call, volunteer civilian language specialists. The NLSC has expanded its capabilities to support over 529 languages and dialects and has more than 10,000 members. To meet the increasing need for professionals with language skills, in 2018 the NLSC extended its support beyond DOD organizations to all Federal Government agencies. Administered by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD P&R), the NLSC enables Federal agencies to leverage a full range of language capabilities, including interpretation, translation, instruction, and cultural support. For more information, visit the program website by clicking the NLSC title above. 

Language Training Centers

Established in 2011, The Language Training Center (LTC) Program provides language and culture training for Department of Defense (DoD) personnel by leveraging existing university programs to meet the needs of DoD organizations and units. The LTC Program is administered by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). Currently, eight institutions host LTC programs across the United States. All institutions create a formal partnership with a DoD unit, office, or agency to provide flexible and innovative training.  Each LTC institution customizes their program to meet the specific training and operational needs of their partner, taking into account particular language and cultural training requests, time constraints, delivery of course material, and military specific content. The LTC program has supported the language and cultural training needs of a wide range of DoD personnel, including military linguists, intelligence analysts, special operations forces, foreign area officers, and the general purpose forces. Please see the complete listing of Language Training Centers on the homepage. 

CultureReady

The mission of CultureReady is to expand cultural awareness and language expertise among members of the Armed Forces and U.S. Government employees to ensure defense readiness and create a workforce ready to serve 21st-century national security interests. Through training and resources that nurture culture learning, CultureReady empowers people to engage with other cultures in ways that foster mutual respect and understanding. Culture encompasses the way of life, arts, beliefs, values, and traditions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Cultural learning and awareness are lifelong endeavors. CultureReady’s resources and training can help you explore, expand your knowledge about, and meaningfully engage with the cultures of the world. 

Lectia Language App from the National Foreign Language Center

Lectia is a free app brought to you by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland.  Lectia has lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners. At the end of each level, you’ll assess your progress with a proficiency test. Each lesson includes effective strategies for increasing comprehension, building vocabulary, and using language accurately.  Lectia includes a variety of support features to help you learn and retain your targeted language:  Multimedia Lessons to supplement in-class learning; Transcript and translation; Highlighted text-tracking to follow along with the audio; Content and background notes; Extensive glossary list; and challenging comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar activities that increase in difficulty as you progress. Lectia is only available for Apple systems at this time.

CLREC Navy Global Deployer on the App Store

The Center for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (CLREC) Navy Global Deployer app is a Ready Relevant Learning tool to help meet requirements for cultural awareness and language familiarization. It offers Sailors and their families detailed information on language, history, geography, people, ethnic groups, religious institutions, and social norms for 84 countries and territories.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • Every Deployment a Global Engagement (EDGE) courses – basic and advanced cross-cultural learning to prepare for overseas deployments.
  • Cultural Orientation Training (COT) courses– video-based cultural orientation and operational cultural awareness training.
  • Culture Cards – Quick reference guides for each country’s history, language, and culture
  • Professional Etiquette Guides – Brief summaries for navigating common situations
  • Language Guides – Links to free online foreign language instruction
  • Language Phrases – Frequently used phrases with audio to reinforce correct pronunciation
  • Language Jumpstart Guides – Basic information on each specific language and its grammar

The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center

The primary purpose of the Tech Center is to conceive, design, adapt or improve, deliver and test effective means to blend technology into existing Language Flagship Programs. The Tech Center uses design-thinking processes to identify efforts that leverage existing initiatives and resources from the public and private sectors.

This initiative will develop the means to capture best practices and assess which technologies are most effective to support the development of language skills. The initial goal is to identify and develop technology-based practices for effective instruction and learning within a select group of Flagship institutions. The ultimate goal is to create a strategic and comprehensive plan for the integration of technology and effective practices across The Language Flagship. The Center encourages the use of cutting-edge, interactive language learning technologies such as simulations, augmented reality games, intelligent tutoring, online role-playing, group and individual video-conferencing, and targeted conversation practice through virtual platforms.

Service-Specific Command Language Program Policy

Each Service has Service-specific guidance to manage their Command Language Program.  Please refer to the following links:

Army

Marines

Air Force

Navy

Coast Guard

USSOCOM

 

DoD-level Command Language Program Policy

The most current versions of the following DoD Directive and Instructions are available on the DoD Issuances website at: click here, or click the direct links below: