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DLI vs FSI

  Tags: Military | DLI | FSI
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
59 messages over 8 pages: 1 24 5 6 7 8 Next >>
Fat-tony
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
jiahubooks.co.uk
Joined 4096 days ago

289 posts - 441 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Russian, Esperanto, Thai, Laotian, Urdu, Swedish, French
Studies: Mandarin, Indonesian, Arabic (Written), Armenian, Pali, Burmese

 
 Message 17 of 59
25 November 2009 at 8:59pm | IP Logged 
maaku wrote:
pmiller wrote:
So if I understand correctly, the DLI material
available to the public
is not what is currently being taught at DLI?

Is there any way to get the current course materials?

*BUMP*

Is anyone able to answer pmiller's question? I'm curious as well.


I don't think they are. I'm part of the British military and I have access to all the
digitised DLI materials (they're all posted on other thread on this forum). I think a
lot of the learning nowadays in computer-based and so the current courses probably
don't exist as textbooks in the traditional sense. I stand to be correct by anyone from
the
US; if there are newer courses I'll talk to the US Liaison Officer and try to get hold
of them.

Edited by Fat-tony on 25 November 2009 at 9:00pm

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maaku
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3530 days ago

359 posts - 561 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 18 of 59
25 November 2009 at 11:30pm | IP Logged 
To my knowledge there are no updated course materials. I am not and have never been a student at DLI. But I work for another agency of the US government, and we are given access to the same resources as Fat-tony. The courses are marketed to us as if they represent what's currently used at DLI, and I assume that to be true.

However the listing is probably not comprehensive as there are a good number of languages taught by DLI that neither have course-ware available from this source, nor other sources that I have access to. I have no idea what is used to teach these languages.
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daristani
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5100 days ago

738 posts - 1635 votes 
Studies: Uzbek

 
 Message 19 of 59
03 December 2009 at 6:14pm | IP Logged 
Regarding the materials currently used at DLI and how they relate to the materials that have been made available to download, I ran across the following article, on the DLI Spanish materials, from a DLI newsletter. (Note that I have no connection to DLI, but found the article in a Google search.) Whether or not the situation described for Spanish also applies to other languages I can't say, but I would assume that there are probably at least some parallels in terms of the evolution of teaching approaches over time.
_______________________________________________

“Captain Blanco was Here”
A brief account of DLI’s Spanish program since the 1960s

By Ben De La Selva, Dean, European and Latin American School

     Were you here in the 1960s or early 70s as a Spanish student? Then you remember Captain Blanco, a character who appeared in the first dialogues of the Old Spanish course; that is, the course taught until 1975. In those days, a lesson (as in almost all DLI languages) was built around a lengthy dialogue and a reading selection, with attendant vocabulary and pattern drills. The course was organized around daily situations from which a grammatical sequence was derived. Yes, you witnessed the last vestiges of the audio-lingual method. Dialogue memorization, mechanical drills, and contrived (non authentic) materials kept you busy during the day and part of the night. When you started the course you were issued a black 40-pound reel-to-reel tape recorder and a dozen or two tape reels containing, again, contrived materials. Authentic materials consisted of newspapers that the Spanish department obtained several months after their publication. Thus, authentic news was old news. As there was a dearth of materials, teachers had to create their own and presented them using one of the latest technologies, the overhead projector. You had to spend about one hour a day in the listening lab, repeating the same dialogue lines and mechanical drills piped in from reel-to-reel tapes through the teacher’s console. In the early 70s, at the urging of the user agencies, the Spanish program was augmented by the Basic Course Enrichment Program (BCEP), which contained what is now known as “performance objectives” (transcription, summarizing, number dictation, translation, etc.) BCEP exercises were mainly used with students going to Goodfellow AFB to become cryptologists.

      If you came in the mid 1970s, you experienced a new Spanish course, developed in the now defunct “DLI Systems Development Agency”, created by Commandant Horne in the early 1970’s to develop learning systems. There you met Doctor Buendia, Captain Perez, Major Vega and Major Anderson. This course broke away from the audio-lingual method in several ways. First it discontinued the memorization of long dialogues. Instead, each lesson was broken up into three or four parts called frames, or conversational exchanges. From each frame grammar and vocabulary were extracted. Although not a strict situational/grammatical syllabus like the previous course, this new course still observed a certain grammatical sequence but was more oriented on themes.   The course writers claimed that in this modular approach they would be able to remove one module and replace it with another without impacting on the rest of the course. The course writers still used typewriters in its development. The advent of the cassette tapes allowed students for the first time to carry their recorders from the barracks to the school and do some of the listening exercises on an individual basis.   Second, the course replaced pattern drills with exercises called manipulations. Although repetition drills were removed, some substitution drills were still found in the books. The majority of these manipulations were open questions that made students think and come up with creative answers. This course was definitely the beginnings of the communicative approach to the teaching of Spanish at DLI, and became a model for other DLI courses. Besides the cassette recorder, there were no technological breakthroughs in the 1970s and 80s. The cassette lab replaced the reel-to-reel lab, with a recorder installed in each student station. At this time, being able to play tapes at their own pace, students could do transcription and gisting (summarizing) exercises in the lab. Later on came the stand-alone computer lab, which used some commercial software and DLI developed programs. Unfortunately, many of these programs contained countless fill-in, multiple choice, and mechanical exercises. At the beginning these labs were not networked, providing only materials contained in each computer’s hard drive or from CD’s, many of them developed in house. Early on and again, at the urging of the users, this course was supplemented with Military Activities Modules (MAM), comparable to the BCEP exercises of the older course. However, all students, regardless of assignment, were exposed to MAM.

     If you came in the late 1990s, you were exposed to the present Spanish course. Developed with the use of computers and in close proximity and coordination with the Spanish teachers and administrators, this course is a success story in its development and implementation. It was a contrast to the previous course, which was developed quite in isolation from the users. This new course is based heavily on “authentic materials” (printed, audio and video) with the appropriate copyright permissions. The course is indeed communicative, in that it uses authentic input to engage the student in real life communication. It is proficiency oriented in that it prepares the students according to the hierarchy of tasks expressed in the ILR proficiency descriptions. And it is in accord with the move toward the development of “performance objectives”. Proficiency and performance skills are integrated throughout the course so that students progressively attain the desired level or skill. In the last several years three technological advances have modernized the teaching of Spanish. The first one was the introduction of the Multi-Media labs. The European and Latin American School (ELA) was the first DLI School to be assigned two of those labs. The second was the introduction of MP3 players, thus putting an end to the use of cassette tapes. The third was the installation of smart boards in each classroom. Every ELA classroom is now equipped with a Smart Board, through which all the text, audio, and video materials are delivered. A Smart Board is an interactive whiteboard that transforms the classroom into an interactive working and learning environment. With the combined power of a projector, computer and whiteboard, teachers can do everything they do on their computer – and more. Simply, they use their index finger as the mouse to touch the interactive whiteboard and highlight key points, access applications, web sites, TV cable programs, and are able to write (and erase) notes in electronic ink. Then, they save their work to files that that can be later reused, printed, e-mailed, or posted to a Web site.

     These last three technological innovations emerged after the development of the current Spanish course. However, because the course is well organized, it was simple to convert all analog (text, audio, and video) materials into digital format, and fit them into a new system.

      Since the 1960s the methodology has evolved and the technology has advanced. Thus, from audio-lingual to communicative, from overhead projectors to smart boards, from analog tape recorders to digital MP3 players, and from Reel-to-Reel labs to Multi-Media labs, the teaching of Spanish at DLI has indeed come a long way.
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E}{pugnator
Newbie
Brazil
Joined 3122 days ago

9 posts - 9 votes
Speaks: Portuguese*

 
 Message 20 of 59
16 November 2010 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
While we're at it, I've visited DLI site and noticed they're releasing Headstart, 2nd edition. What happened to the materials for previous edition and other courses, including some in old typwrite format? Where can I find them?
For example, I ran into a resource for Georgian that is claimed to be DLI and is much more extensive than the survival guides that can currently be found at DLI site.
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ronp
Heptaglot
Newbie
Australia
ronpeek.blogspo
Joined 4050 days ago

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Speaks: English, Dutch*, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, French
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Studies: Turkish, Swahili

 
 Message 21 of 59
05 January 2011 at 10:39pm | IP Logged 
A short clip on FSI and DLI courses and their use at the FSI and DLI:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhzYrbJExE4
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hrhenry
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
languagehopper.blogs
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 Message 22 of 59
06 January 2011 at 5:28am | IP Logged 
ronp wrote:
A short clip on FSI and DLI courses and their use at the FSI and DLI:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhzYrbJExE4

I personally can't speak to the differences between DLI and FSI, but what he says certainly makes a lot of sense, even if that video was frustrating to watch. He rambles on.

I also completely agree with him WRT the use of the word "linguist" and its casual misuse.

R.
==
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palfrey
Senior Member
Canada
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Speaks: English*
Studies: German, French

 
 Message 23 of 59
07 January 2011 at 2:34am | IP Logged 
hrhenry wrote:
I also completely agree with him WRT the use of the word "linguist" and its casual misuse.

This claim of "misuse" has always puzzled me. The OED lists several meanings of "linguist", with the oldest being the popular one: "One who is skilled in the use of languages; one who is master of other tongues besides his own". Its first example of this usage dates back to Shakespeare.

As for the other principal meaning, "a student of language; a philologist", the OED says that it is almost as old, and that the two meanings have co-existed for a long time, centuries in fact. Still, if we must give the edge to one, I think history would slightly favour the popular meaning.

But the point is that there is no reason to regard one meaning as better or more correct than the other, or that the other is uneducated or ignorant. It may be inconvenient to have two correct meanings of the word "linguist", especially for students of linguistics. But that's the way language is. (And they, of all people, should understand this). A lot of these claims of "misuse" do strike me as attempts by some modern academic linguists ("linguisticians", perhaps?) to appropriate the word solely for their own discipline. They should really know better.

If you prefer to use the word "polyglot" to avoid ambiguity, fine. But don't let anyone tell you that "linguist" is incorrect. Both history and popular usage (this latter being the real test of meaning in modern linguistics, ironically enough) are on your side.
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Chung
Diglot
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 Message 24 of 59
07 January 2011 at 3:48am | IP Logged 
palfrey wrote:
hrhenry wrote:
I also completely agree with him WRT the use of the word "linguist" and its casual misuse.

This claim of "misuse" has always puzzled me. The OED lists several meanings of "linguist", with the oldest being the popular one: "One who is skilled in the use of languages; one who is master of other tongues besides his own". Its first example of this usage dates back to Shakespeare.

As for the other principal meaning, "a student of language; a philologist", the OED says that it is almost as old, and that the two meanings have co-existed for a long time, centuries in fact. Still, if we must give the edge to one, I think history would slightly favour the popular meaning.

But the point is that there is no reason to regard one meaning as better or more correct than the other, or that the other is uneducated or ignorant. It may be inconvenient to have two correct meanings of the word "linguist", especially for students of linguistics. But that's the way language is. (And they, of all people, should understand this). A lot of these claims of "misuse" do strike me as attempts by some modern academic linguists ("linguisticians", perhaps?) to appropriate the word solely for their own discipline. They should really know better.

If you prefer to use the word "polyglot" to avoid ambiguity, fine. But don't let anyone tell you that "linguist" is incorrect. Both history and popular usage (this latter being the real test of meaning in modern linguistics, ironically enough) are on your side.


On this forum I remember reading a post some time ago about how multilingual people are indeed linguists and some of the support came from the usage per the dictionary as shown above. To add further strength to the belief, someone likened the use of "linguist" to being a musician. Just as a "linguist" can be someone fluent in several languages, a musician is someone skilled in using a musical instrument or his/her voice, and not necessarily someone who is a scholar on music (e.g. ethnomusicologist).

The problem with this "logic" is that someone who is competent at cooking in several ways/cuisines is not called a cook on that fact alone. Someone who is competent in mathematics isn't necessarily a mathematician (would you refer to a nuclear chemist as a mathematician?), nor is someone well-versed in economic theory automatically an economist. Do we (or should we?) call people who have an undergraduate degree in economics or even in finance, economists?

I also find the use of "linguist" in the non-academic sense to be rather troublesome, and for my part eschew using "linguist" to refer to anyone other than someone who has earned at least a graduate degree in linguistics. If you're multilingual, then you're a polyglot and there's no shame in that nor is there a need to refer to.yourself as a "linguist".

It's not a matter of academic snobbery at all and I say this as someone who did not study linguistics (although I have read some books about linguistics in my free time). Descriptive linguists also know that the meaning of words can change for one reason or another. "Linguist" as someone known for fluency in several languages may be pushed out of English either spontaneously or as a reflection of some specific usage or line of thinking within the speech community.

An example in how the "correctness" of a meaning can change is the development of the meaning of the word "gay". In Middle English, "gay" as a noun meant "excellent person", "noble lady", "gallant knight" or even "ornament". It's quite a contrast to the Modern English meaning of this noun which gives virtually no traces of its meaning of a few centuries ago.


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