International Friendship Partner Program at Communion Chapel

Communion Chapel is partnering with the AMIGO (American Members of International Goodwill to Others) Program at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) at Lackland AFB Texas.  The students come from over 100 countries from around the world to learn English.

Our goal for our church is to bless the students by extending friendship and hospitality.  It can be done by inviting them into our homes for backyard barbeques, birthday parties, and visits to shopping malls and sporting events. Just by inviting them to join in our daily activities allows them to experience our American Culture, practice their English Speaking skills and see the lives of Christians.

The students can be sponsored by meeting them at a DLI social or choosing from a current list of students who want to have amigos.

If someone does not want to be an official AMIGO they can also connect with international students.  Please consider investing your time with a DLI student.

For more information call Stan Philbrook +1 (210) 523-5800

Culture training enhances language skills effectiveness

by Karen Harrison Language, Region and Culture Program Office

5/18/2012 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — On any given day, the Defense Language Institute English Language
Center hosts international military students from more than 100 countries to participate in general and
specialized English language training.

These students, invited by the Department of Defense’s Military Department Secretaries, come to DLIELC to learn English through cultural and language immersion.

The majority of international military students that study at the center participate in one of 19 English
language courses. These classes prepare them for follow-on training at American military bases throughout the U.S or train them to teach English in their country of origin.

For many of these international students, the journey begins with learning English; however, these students also leave DLIELC with an in-depth understanding of American culture and society.

“Although language often marks the starting point for these students, cultural education is intentionally
integrated as soon as possible,” said Rene Martinez, the DLIELC Curriculum Branch chief. “Most scholars
agree that language and culture are closely connected and must be systematically incorporated into the
instructional design in order for language learning to be effective.”

For example, the American Language Course, a 30-book series used at the center and throughout the world for general English language training, incorporates these cultural components in order to begin the cultural awareness process.

Accordingly, the center is updating this process with two new culture modules as part of specialized English language training designed to provide students cultural adaptation tools to help them successfully navigate, interpret and learn from their experiences in the U.S.

To develop these modules, a comprehensive needs analysis was conducted and identified the following
cultural issues that international students should understand to ensure the effectiveness of their language skills: American views on punctuality, self-reliance and problem-solving; the positional authority of lower-ranking service members; paralleled classroom conversations; women’s role in American society; and the U.S. military.

“This curriculum enhancement is recognition of the importance of including culture in language instruction in order for students to completely understand American society,” said Martinez.

The international military students, equipped with English language training and culture awareness and skills, help build partnerships and enhance security cooperation.

The DLIELC is located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.