18th Medical Command (DS) - Defense Language Institute Instructor Comes To Fort Shafter
Fort Shafter, Hawaii (January 15, 2010) - 18th Medical Deployment Support Command Soldiers participated in a four-day Korean language training class instructed by staff from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language School and Presidio of Monterey, California at the religious activities center here on Fort Shafter 11-14 Jan. Mr. Kenny Lee, assistant professor DLI Korean language program, reviewed four basic principles with the group that will help the Soldiers function if ever in a joint environment with Korean military or civilian personnel.
The class allowed the Soldiers to learn Korean words, practice on saying complete sentences individually, and to roll play different situations which made the training a more realistic experience. “During these four-days there was not enough time to teach the phonetic alphabet, so the group went over the four likely situations in which the Korean language would be most relevant,” said Lee. “The likely situations were: at a social gathering, at the market, at the doctor’s office or with medics, and at the restaurant.”
“The phonetic alphabet takes about two weeks to teach and that’s normally what is taught at the beginning of this class,” Lee added. “At DLI we normally instruct a 63 week course. There are some 12 week courses that are similar to this four-day training, but normally the courses are 63 weeks.”
Just knowing the phrases of the language was not all the class needed to know, according to Lee. The group watched a couple of movies with the intent of learning the culture of the Korean people. The movies allowed the class to see some similarities and dissimilarities between the Korean and American cultures. The training was significant to one Soldier just arriving to the.
“It was a very good class,” said Cpt. Torrance Beck, operations officer. “I have learned a few Hangul words that I didn’t know and have a better understanding of the language and the culture. The movies dispelled some of the myths and beliefs.” “The training worksheets and study material enhanced some of the phrases and terms that we learned, so if we go to Korea or interact with someone from there we can actually have a conversation,” said Beck.
“Just knowing how to express the language doesn’t allow, one to speak with the natives, they have to know how the people think,” said Lee. “The intent of the movies were to show parts of the Korean culture that could mess with what they learned, so they would have more knowledge about the Korean people.”
The Defense Language Institute is responsible for the Defense Language Program, and the bulk of the Defense Language Institute's activities involve educating Department of Defense members in assigned languages. “We teach many different languages ranging from Dari Pashtu, Iraqi and Japanese to name a few,” said Fred Holt,
DLI language familiarization and area studies team program manager. “If we don’t have an instructor, we can find one for just about any language a unit needs.” Personnel interested in scheduling language training can contact Linda Villarreal at Fort Huachuca DLI, 520-533-8663 or Fred Holt, California DLI, at 831-242-6224.