Approximately one-third of all international military members from around the globe who come to the U.S. for training begin here at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland at the Defense Lan-guage Institute English Learning Center, known as the "Gateway to America.”
Since 1954 the DLIELC has provided English language train-ing and services in support of security cooperation objectives. They also provide English language training to U.S. military service members whose primary language is not English. As part of that mission they annually train students from more than 100 countries.
In addition to the resident training, they also provide in-country training.
“The non-residents flight is responsible for sending English instructors overseas to train foreign military personnel before they come to the U.S. for additional training,” said Katie Carra-way, DLIELC overseas program manager. “Many of our stu-dents have not had any exposure to English. So, when we send teams of instructors overseas to teach, often times it is to stu-dents who have little to no English proficiency.”
Instructors, either individual or in teams of up to seven per-sonnel, are sent to approximately 40 countries annually. De-pending on the training program, the instructors are in-country from a couple of weeks up to six months. After the in-country training, students may then attend DLIELC’s Specialized Eng-lish program here to familiarize them with the technical termi-nology and specific language skills they will need before going to their follow-on training in pro-fessional military education pro-grams at U.S. War Colleges or Naval Postgraduate School.
However, there is much coordi-nation that happens prior to any of this training occurring, which Car-raway is responsible for. “As the overseas program manager, I work closely with the security coopera-tion officers at our U.S. embassies abroad, … coordinating training, and offering program and curricu-lum advice,” Carraway said. “If (our foreign mission) partners re-quest assistance, … whether they are asking for help for putting a book order in … or developing a training program or getting a team into country, she is the point of contact,” said Bernard Rauch, DLIELC Non-Residents Flight chief of operations and Carra-way’s supervisor. “One of the pro-jects she is working on right now is briefing general officers who are responsible for these major training programs.”
“Part of my responsibilities is to (also) visit those countries and conduct site surveys so we see the training facilities and get an initial assessment before we send our DLI instructors,” Carra-way added.
To complete these duties, Carraway has gone to about 30 different countries during the course of her nine years with the military to include Mali, Pakistan, Japan, Vietnam, Brazil, Ku-wait, Khalistan and Columbia.
“I have deployed almost a dozen times now,” she said. “Each (country) is unique, interesting and special for different reasons, but I love the opportunities to travel frequently and engage with our partner nations. It is always rewarding to interact with our partner nations’ instructors and students because they really need a lot of support with curriculum, testing and instruction. The ability I have at that initial level and provide recommenda-tions before our DLI instructors go in, I find to be the most re-warding.” Her passion for her job is reflected in her work and hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Katie is an invaluable part of the unit,” Rauch said. “I have come to trust her on many subjects. She quickly develops sub-ject matter expertise in things like policies, deployment regula-tions, defense travel – whatever is related to the job.”
Rauch has come to rely on her and her expertise. Carraway’s motivation and ability to grasp topics related to the job and mas-ter them is what helps make her stand out as a star performer, he said. “She’s outstanding in almost every area” he admired. “She’s an extremely hard worker and dedicated to the job. She is tenacious and gets problems solved."
* This story was retrieved from AETC Public Affairs Summary (Top AETC Headlines and Priorities) September 27, 2017
Catherine Grinda and Donna May are currently detailed to the Curriculum Flight. Under the guidance of Senior Curriculum Developer, Danielle Archinal, Grinda and May are putting their mark on the current American Language Course (ALC) 2nd Edition by creating an Audio Supplement to enhance listening opportunities for nonresident students. The goal of the project is to provide students studying the ALC in their home countries exposure to a wide range of authentic American accents and support for listening practice. Select portions of the ALC are captured in a digital audio format in DLIELC’s professional recording studio—expertly managed and executed by Ernesto Martinez.
The Audio Project allows for cross-department collaboration and highlights little-known talents of our staff. For example, Donna May is a Screen Actors Guild performer with multiple credits for voice and video work. Curriculum Flight Chief Mike Bender and acting Senior Curriculum Developer Jean Brown are both professionally trained voice actors. And both SET Instructor John Sotrop and Curriculum Developer John Shelton have worked as professional radio personalities. Maximizing the talents of our different departments not only showcases the versatility of DLIELC’s incredible faculty and staff, but also enhances morale and opens lines of communication within the organization.
But you don’t have to have professional experience to contribute. Several wonderful readers have volunteered through the TIP to be part of this exciting project. Overseas Program Manager Katie Breedlove says, “I felt comfortable after the first couple of takes. It’s nice to work with the other people.” Over the next few months, the Audio Project team will continue to collaborate with chiefs, supervisors, and staff from across the organization to produce the best ALC Audio Supplement for overseas students and instructors.
If you’re interested in lending your voice to the ALC Audio Project, submit your name in the TIP. See you in the studio!