HeadStart2 Program

Friday November 4, 2011

What is it?

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center's HeadStart2 programs are learning tools that expose troops of all services to 1,000 key terms and phrases they'll need in foreign countries. This 80-100 hour computer-based program uses human-to-avatar interaction, games, word scrambles, and other interactive exercises to draw the user into the learning program.

After completing the course, service members should be able to operate in a new country with enough survival language skills to communicate with the locals on everyday topics.

The program can be accessed via Army Knowledge Online and Army Training Resources and Requirements System, Defense Knowledge Online, Joint Knowledge Online, Joint Language University, MarineNet, Navy Knowledge Online and on the Institute's website at Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

The program consists of two primary sections: "sound and script," and a "military" section. The first section provides basic instruction on topics such as numbers, colors, grammar and pronunciation. The "military" section focuses learning on critical topics like emergency medical situations, cordon and search, and basic commands. More than 100 PDFs with writing drills provide users with writing practice in the target language. Other features include animated military scenarios, culture notes, grammar notes, an Arabic script writing tool, a sound recorder and a glossary.

Why is this important to the Army?

Culturally-based foreign language training is important in conducting operations overseas. Because of this, the Army has made it mandatory that one leader per platoon complete HeadStart2 when a Language Training Detachment is unavailable. Additionally, Soldiers benefit because they can earn promotion points for completing language training programs. The Army gains efficiency because DLIFLC harnesses the current language capabilities of instructors at DLI and contracted instructors in the DLI-Washington campuses.

What has the Army done?

The DLIFLC operates under the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command and is the Department of Defense's premier language instruction facility. DLIFLC trains an average of 3,500 military linguists each year in 23 different languages, making it the largest language institute in the world. Department of Defense personnel are already benefitting from the 16 languages currently available on DLIFLC's website, which include Iraqi Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Farsi, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese (Brazilian and European), Russian, French, German, Spanish, Uzbek, Kurmanji and Swahili.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

DLIFLC plans to continue developing programs. An additional 11 languages are scheduled to be added in fiscal 2012, including Baluchi, Cebuano, Chavacano, Egyptian, Hindi, Levantine, Moroccan, Punjabi, Somali, Turkmen and Tausug.

References:

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
The HeadStart2 program
HeadStart2 ALARACT
TRADOC

Social Media:
Photos of Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center on Facebook

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