JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO LACKLAND-Texas — The 37th Training Wing began a beta test in March for an Air Force version of the Defense Language Institute English Language Center Army Echo Company program which has been in existence since 1975.
In partnership with Air Force Recruiting Service, this beta test is now in the execution phase. The goal is to show that an English language barrier is not a roadblock for eligible recruits interested in joining the United States Air Force. This is all credited to the unique language training capability DLIELC will provide them prior to the start of Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
On March 24, 10 Air Force trainees arrived at JBSA-Lackland eager to refine their English speaking skills and begin their journey as members of the first-ever Air Force Echo Flight.
Despite the beta test starting during the COVID-19 pandemic, DLIELC was able to safely navigate this groundbreaking initiative. Upon arrival, healthcare professionals monitored the trainees alongside their BMT counterparts during a 14-day restriction of movement, or ROM, period used to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
At the completion of ROM, trainees began English language training via distance learning at the 737th Training Support Squadron’s learning laboratory. Although not actually in the 7.5-week Basic Military Training pipeline, Military Training Instructors are providing assistance to prepare and acclimate them into BMT.
Initially, Echo Flight trainees took an English Comprehension Level, or ECL, exam to determine their skill level, which allowed DLIELC staff to tailor the learning environment and curriculum for optimal efficiency. Based on their ECL exam results, the DLIELC staff integrated the trainees into distance learning classrooms “alongside” their Army Echo Company teammates.
Echo Flight trainees recently took their second ECL exam to determine the increase in their English skills and to qualify for the transition to BMT. The trainees will next be taking a second Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test to determine if English comprehension changes correlate to ASVAB score changes. With improvement, these trainees may qualify for additional AFSCs, including critical needs such as linguists.
If adopted permanently, the Air Force Echo Flight program would provide an even more diverse group of U.S. citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to serve their country as Airmen in mission-critical areas. Assessing foreign-born native language speakers with desired skill-sets and backgrounds will introduce innovative and enriching perspectives never before available to the Air Force.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Despite the changes and preventative measures that are part of COVID-19, students from the 637th Training Group, also known as the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC), have innovated and transferred to a digital learning environment during the past two week.
The current COVID-19 pandemic generated rapid growth and innovation at DLIELC, with the team being afforded the opportunity to test the implementation of open source and government technologies to continue their mission of language education, despite geographical separation for faculty and students. Until two weeks ago, all of DLIELC’s academic instruction was conducted in a classroom setting using printed books. Distance learning had never been part of the DLIELC framework, until now.
“DLIELC has the high honor of being deemed mission essential and continues to successfully execute its international and security cooperation missions during this pandemic,” said Col. Kouji Gillis, 637th TRG commander. “While doing so, our number one priority will continue to be protecting the health and safety of our people.”
At this time, nearly all of DLIELC’s instructors are working remotely. Despite the required teleworking, instructors continue to execute the entirety of the instructional mission by using innovation and technology. Distance learning for DLIELC students was at about 10 percent effectiveness March 16 and just four days later, DLIELC recorded about 80 percent effectiveness. The week of March 23, instructors started phasing in teleworking and by March 25, all instructors were fully capable of and encouraged to conduct instruction completely from their homes.
DLIELC distance learning utilizes various technologies and software, such as Zoom, Schoology, Google Classroom, Quizziz, WhatsApp, Facebook and other resources, to keep the schoolhouse operating. The transition for DLIELC was quick and effective.
“The secret to our high level of success is attributed to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the team,” said Lt. Col. Geoffrey Brasse, 332nd Training Squadron commander. “Finding the right mix was about having our classroom, curriculum, and testing leaders feed us the right answer and supporting them with resources. What would have taken us two years in a traditional scenario, we accomplished in two weeks.”
The 332nd Training Squadron’s instructors are responsible for the resident training mission for all U.S. Army students and nearly 2,500 international students from more than 100 countries.
The unit continues to refine and improve the academic instruction with daily feedback sessions from all stakeholders, to include students, foreign partners and members of other squadrons. The long-term goal is to use the lessons learned to drive the unit into a sustainable modern academic environment capable of handling any future mission.
“Challenging times offer the opportunity to nurture development and success,” said Gillis. “The newly implemented DLIELC distance learning program serves as an example of successful teamwork and dedication to the Air Force mission. Flexibility remains the key to air power!”
Lt. Katarzyna (Kate) Tomiak-Siemieniewicz grew up in a small village located in western Poland called Niedźwiedź (which in English means “Bear”) with her mother, father and two older brothers. As a small child, she always liked playing with her brothers and other boys in the village. Although she had dolls and also played with girls, Tomiak spent most of her time playing war games and building tree houses with her brothers and other boys in the village.
Her village was very close to a military range. As a small child, Tomiak knew that U.S. military pilots flew aircraft and conducted military exercises at the range. When the U.S. military helicopters would stop and hover over the range fields, all the village kids would run near the military range fields to watch the soldiers deploy out of the helicopters. Tomiak said, “I remember this was the first time I saw soldiers deploy out of helicopters with equipment and weapons. To me, this was so exciting! That day, I decided I wanted to serve in the military.”
Throughout her primary (U.S. elementary) school, Tomiak told her mother that she wanted to be a soldier. Tomiak’s mother didn’t like this and told her daughter, “Because you are my only girl, you need to find something else to do that is appropriate for girls.”
Even though she knew her mother did not agree, Tomiak was still determined to enroll into a military high school. Her mother figured after a few years, Tomiak would forget about enrolling into a military high school. However, she never lost her motivation to join a military academy.
After Tomiak completed six years of primary school, she attended a Gymnasium (U.S. middle school) 15 kilometers from her village. At the gymnasium, Tomiak told her Polish language teacher that she wanted to enroll into a military high school, but her mother said that there were no military schools for girls. Her teacher told Tomiak that she would help her find a military high school because this was the first time the teacher had ever met a child that knew what he or she wanted to do in the future.
Tomiak said, “Eventually, this teacher found a boarding high school that was 60 kilometers from my village. The high school was a former Air Force High School. However, the school still had a connection with the Air Force academy and they also maintained a room with Air Force memorabilia.”
Tomiak enrolled at the boarding high school and lived there for three years. She remembers during her first lesson at the school, the teacher asked the class, “What do you want to do in the future?” Most of the class had not decided what they wanted to do after high school. However, Tomiak got up from her desk and said, “I want to go to the Polish Air Force Academy.” She continued, “Why? Because I know this is something most people would believe is impossible for me …especially being a poor girl from a small village who has no family military connections and has never flown before.”
After Tomiak told the teacher and class what she wanted to do in the future, her female friend stood up and told the class she would also like to go to the Navy Academy. After the class, Tomiak’s friend thanked her for saying that she wanted to go to the Air Force Academy because her friend was afraid of the class’s reaction if she had revealed her secret first.
The school’s principle was told Tomiak wanted to attend the Poland Air Force Academy. He came to her class and told her that it was a great idea. He ensured Tomiak that she had his full support and he would cross his fingers hoping that she will achieve her goal. Later, Tomiak learned that her high school principle was a former Lt. Colonel and the first instructor pilot for the Polish astronauts who deployed to the International Space Station.
Tomiak knew that high school would be her first step towards becoming an Air Force cadet. She also knew to qualify for the academy, she would need to pass her math and physics classes (which she really hated). However, after a lot of hard work and studying, Tomiak passed all her final exams (including math and physics) and qualified for the Air Force Academy. Before she could fully qualify for the Air Force Academy and pilot training, she needed to pass all the required physical exams. Tomiak shared how her father’s sacrifice to help continue her military dream.
“I had to travel to a military hospital in Warsaw, Poland to complete my Air Force Academy medical exams. This was a very thorough exam for all the cadets, which also included a physical test in the centrifuge. I was scared that I would not pass the examination because I never went through an examination like this before. To complete this examination, I had to stay in Warsaw. Unfortunately, the hospital did not provide me money for food or lodging. To ensure that I had a place to stay and food to eat during my time in Warsaw, my father gave me his entire salary. My father said to me, ‘Go! You have a dream to become an Air Force pilot. I want your dream to come true.’”
“Growing up, my parents did not have the means to give us everything they wanted to give us. Therefore, my father took this opportunity to make a sacrifice for one of his children so that my dream would come true. Of course, I was very scared not to fail him.”
Tomiak entered the Polish Air Force Academy in 2006. During her first year at the academy, she flew the Cessna 150 aircraft. Her second year, she flew the PZL-130 Orlik, which is similar to the USAF T-6. Her third and fourth year, Tomiak flew and learned basic Air Combat tactics in TS-11 Iskra. After completing her fifth and final year at the academy, she graduated in 2011, earned her promotion to Second Lieutenant, and arrived 2012 at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork, Poland. Since her arrival to the Tactical Air Base, she has flown the MIG 29 tactical fighter jet.
Tomiak knows she could not have become an Air Force pilot without a lot of help and encouragement from her teachers and family. There were also some people, like her mother, who tried to persuade her that the military was not an appropriate career for girls. As fate would have it, she would have an opportunity to prove one of these naysayers wrong.
She said, “When I was 13 year old, I remember my oldest brother had to complete mandatory military service for at least one year. I went with my mother and brother to the military processing center so he could receive his military ID card. While my brother was being issued his military ID card, I walked up to a counter and asked the officer behind the counter, “What about girls? Can you tell me about military high schools for girls and how I can join one?” I remember the officer laughing at me and replying, ‘No! No! You are too young for the military. You should think about doing something more appropriate for girls.’ My mother told me after his response, I gave the officer the meanest look she had ever seen. I cannot remember whether I said it out-loud, but I do remember my immediate response to the officer was, ‘You will see. YOU WILL SEE!’”
She continued, “A few years ago, I had to get a new military ID card at this same military processing center. When I entered the facility, I saw that same officer that laughed at me when I was a little girl determined to join the military. He immediately recognized me as I walked towards his counter and he shouted, ‘UNBELIVABLE!’ Next, the officer walked from behind the counter to the aisle and said to some male soldiers who were waiting for their ID cards, ‘Look. This is the little girl who said years ago that she wanted to join the military…AND HERE SHE IS!’”
Tomiak admits being Poland’s first female fighter pilot was somewhat difficult in the beginning because there was always someone watching her very closely. However, she also had people encouraging her throughout training who said, “Everything will be okay. Keep believing that you will become the country’s first female fighter pilot.” On the other hand, those people who believed women should never be Polish Air Force fighter pilots motivated her twice as much as the people who believed in her. Thankfully, Tomiak also had leaders that treated her equally as the male cadets. Her commanders would say, “The aircraft does not discriminate. It will perform for anyone who does or does not make mistakes. Everyone gets the same treatment because this team need to be on the same page when flying together. Therefore, we have no room for special treatment for any pilot trainees.”
Tomiak humbly admits she has become an inspiration to other females in her country. “After becoming Poland’s first female fighter pilot, I received a lot of messages from females in my country saying that they always wanted to serve in the military as a fighter pilot, but they didn’t think it was possible. However, after I became the first female fighter pilot in the Polish Air Force, now they know it is possible. When a younger female colleague arrived at my squadron, she thought I would treat her harshly because of my status. To her surprise, I warmly welcomed her and helped her get settled into the squadron. We are now very close friends.”
Tomiak arrival at DLIELC was her first time in the U.S. She is happy that her government and commanders gave her the opportunity to come the U.S. to practice English. She applied for aircraft retraining which would require English language training at DLIELC. Although she took and passed the ECL exam at the U.S. Embassy in Poland, she had to wait until an Instructor Pilot training slot was available. One day, she received a call stating that they had a training slot for her in the U.S. as a T-6 instructor pilot. Although the T-6 is not her primary aircraft, she could not pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to the U.S. to improve her English and study at an U.S. Air Force base.
Tomiak’s husband is a former DLIELC student. He gave her a little information about the school and the San Antonio area. Nevertheless, she still found some unexpected surprises upon her arrival in the U.S.
She said, “I was told people in the U.S., especially in Texas, are very friendly. Although I didn’t believe this, when I arrived at the San Antonio airport, everyone was so friendly and helpful beyond my expectations. I was also surprised at the size of Texas…it is SO HUGE. What I find funny is people in Texas describe traveling from place to place by hours and minutes, whereas in Poland, we always use kilometers. And like the state of Texas, everything around here is HUGE: Huge cars, houses, buildings, and FOOD. I still remember my first time going to a local grocery store and seeing a HUGE box of Corn Flakes. I had never seen a box of Corn Flakes that BIG. The box was just a big as a large package of Dog Food. All I can say is that everything is HUGE in Texas.”
She added, “The U.S. also has very large military bases…and the organizations are awesome. Everyone and everything thing is so well organized. That is why I am very happy to be here. I also want to learn as much as I can. After I graduate from DLIELC, I will attend instructor pilot training at JBSA-Randolph for four months. Before I leave DLIELC, I want to travel and explore as much as I can. I have signed up for all the available Field Studies Program tours. I believe once I arrive at follow-on training, I may not have as much free time as I have now. I also don’t want to sit in my room bored. I want to be as active as possible with the friends I have made here at DLIELC from all over the world.”
When asked what are her plans after her Air Force career, Tomiak has not entertained the thought. She said, “It has always been my dream to serve in the military. My dream came true and I never think about life after the military. So far I have completed 14 years in the Polish Air Force. I want to serve as long as I can and as long as my health allows me to serve.”
“In the meantime, my first goal is to qualify as an instructor pilot. After I complete the instructor pilot training course at JBSA-Randolph, I will need to travel back to my country and complete more exams before I am fully qualified. Once I am a qualified instructor pilot, my first challenge will be training my first cadets to become qualified pilots. I had never flow before attending the Polish Air Force Academy and my family was not wealthy. I want to do as much as I can to help people achieve their goals because I did not have an easy journey achieving mine.”
Tomiak hope that in the future that more female pilots will have the opportunities to qualify on various JET aircrafts. As for herself, if she does not get the privilege to fly other fighter jets, but future female pilot are given that opportunity, she will be very happy.
She concluded, “I am very simple. All I wish for is a successful career, spending time with my husband, and maybe one day, having children. In the distant future, I can imagine living in a small wooden home in the country. After spending time in Texas, I now want a horse. I have already purchased Cowboy Boots and will soon buy a Cowboy hat. Therefore, I will probably be prepared for a very simple life after my military career.”
“Last, I would like to give a HUGE thanks my biggest fans, my mother and husband, and also my father and brothers. Without their love and support throughout my journey, I would not be where I am today.”
Texan culture experienced at the San Antonio Stock Show for a bus full of DLI’s Advanced and Specialized English students on a Field Studies Program Weekday trip? On Tuesday, February 11, a cold drizzly day, the Weekday Program Manager designed a tour for international students from 20 countries to walk the Stock Show grounds.The tour began with the International Committee organizer, Robert Allen’s 21 year old daughter, Jaidyn Allen. She walked the grounds backwards with the group explaining what they were passing by.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - Col. Jason Janaros, Commander, 37th Training Wing (left), passed the 637th Training Group guidon to Col. Kouji P. Gillis (right), who assumed command of the 637th TRG & DLIELC effective 10 July 2019. Prior to assuming command, Colonel Gillis was the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Fifth Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - Col. Sean Raesemann, Commander and DLIELC Commandant, passes the 332 Training Squadron guidon to the new 332 Training Squadron Commander and Dean of Academics for the Defense Language Institute English Language Center, Lt Col Geoffrey R. Brasse during a change of command ceremony at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, May 10, 2019.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - The Defense Language Institute English Language Center, or DLIELC, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is focused on providing English training relating directly to military content for students from around the world.
DLIELC is preparing future fighters to work alongside each other with a common thread; a critical connection of understanding each defense-related term in a universal language.
The center, established in 1964, initially started as the U.S. Force Language School with a primary mission to teach English to Allied pilot candidates. The mission expanded in 1966 to include other career fields and the school moved under the 37th Training Wing.
Not only do students become proficient English language speakers, foreign nationals are also exposed to American customs and culture, according to DLIELC’s website, http://www.dlielc.edu.
“Sometimes people may have a pre-conceived idea of Americans, but then they come here and interact with us,” said Veronica Marco, DLIELC administrative assistant.
About 3,000 students from more than 100 countries enroll in DLIELC resident training programs annually. The center instructs students annually with a 98 percent graduation rate. DLIELC instructors also travel to partner countries to host courses while its JBSA-Lackland campus sees a steady flow.
“When I come to work and sit at my desk, I get exposed to that,” Marco said. “I get to meet so many different people from so many different countries from all over the world right here.”
So why is the demand for English instruction so strong?
“English is the language of international business, international travel, sea-faring nations and research and development,” said Col. Sean Raesemann, DLIELC commandant and 637th Training Group commander. “Chinese, Spanish and English are the most widely used languages and English trumps them all as the international language.”
Many countries are incorporating English into their educational curriculum and they’re even looking at alternatives such as language education software.
What separates DLIELC from education software and makes it more effective is that it focuses on vocabulary in a military content, Raesemann added.
Countries that utilize software may still have to send their student to follow-on training to learn how to fix a jet or maintain an aircraft system. He cautions that word meanings could get lost in translation. Being accurate is key.
There are differences in words like “battery” and “apron” when having a regular conversation versus using them in military context.
“The [word] ‘battery’ is a military formation and an ‘apron’ is somewhere you park jets,” Raesemann said.
Because DLIELC is geared towards military instruction, they’ll continue to adjust their approach so understanding, cooperation and success can be achieved.
Not only is a command of English important, it is vital that in times of war, Raesemann added. Students need to operate in a military environment with allies with perfectly matched language skills because every word counts.
DLI ensures there is “no mission failure,” he said.
It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a helicopter! Actually, when you google “osprey,” it’s all three. In the world of Aviation, the Ospreys are a combination of a fixed wing plane and a rotary wing helicopter, which is why it is named after this bird of prey that has the ability to hover as well as fly straight. Osprey aircraft have a reputation of being rather dangerous, which earned them the nickname the “Widow Maker.” Over the years, however, their safety record has improved significantly.
At DLIELC, there are four students from Japan (SFC Uemura, Master Sgt. Beppo, SFC Nagatomo and SFC Suzawa) who will be among the first Japanese maintainers to be crew chiefs for the Osprey in their country. They are very excited for the challenge and feel very humbled by this honor. They understand that this honor also comes with great responsibility. Nagatomo says, “Most Japanese think Osprey is a very dangerous aircraft. So we have to change their thinking. That’s why our responsibility is very big. Here [at DLIELC] we have to study English very hard, and after that, we have to study about Osprey very very VERY hard!”.
Suzawa explained that Japan is one of the first countries to join the U.S. in incorporating Osprey into their forces. He adds, “If we can fly successfully, other countries [will] follow suit. So, as [Nagatomo] said, we have [a] huge responsibility. We have to prove the safety of it, the Osprey.”
As a crew chief for the Osprey, each student is required to obtain an 85% on the ECL and a 2/2 on the OPI. It is unusual for maintainers to have the same requirements for English that the pilots are asked to obtain. Admirably, all four of these amazing students have met the ECL and OPI requirements.
How do these students feel about Osprey in general? Uemura says, “I think Osprey is [the] next generation aircraft because it can be transformed- fixed wing and rotary wing.” However, he acknowledges that some believe the “Osprey is very dangerous.”
Beppo explained, “This is a very new aircraft and every airplane that is new is a little bit dangerous because there are unknown problems.” He believes it is not any more dangerous than any other aircraft.
There was a bit of disagreement on this notion from Suzawa. In his opinion, “The Osprey is more dangerous than conventional helicopters because it converts from fixed wing or fixed mode, into helicopter mode. It’s not stable.” He believes this will cause more issues making the aircraft more dangerous than traditional ones. Despite any dangers, these students are not nervous, but enthusiastic to get started working with the Osprey.
As the four maintainers discussed the Osprey, they debated the human factor versus technology. Suzawa believes mechanics must have technique (skills) because it is complicated. They all agreed with this statement. Suzawa mentioned, “[The] Osprey is designed with new technology. When we have some problems we can just connect and check the computer. We can find out the errors [easily].”
Beppo disagreed and feels that a lot of computers can cause serious problems and not always work properly. He went on to share his experience of working with other choppers that have a lot of avionics. He explained, “This technology actually caused a lot of headaches for the maintainers. The systems would show a problem and then it would disappear, leaving the maintainers scratching their heads.” He concluded, “A simple airplane is the best. A sophisticated airplane is really difficult to maintain. Especially [when figuring] out the malfunctions.”
Another human factor was pointed out about Crew Resource Management (CRM) by Uemura. His main concern was about the dynamics of teamwork between crew chiefs, pilots, and others on the flight crew. He explained, “We have to work with each other without rank. No matter someone’s rank or position they are still human and can make mistakes. On the ground, I have to obey the rules [of rank], but when flying, sometimes I have to interrupt.” He concluded, “We have to build up CRM.” In his OPSAV courses, for the first time, he enjoyed being able to interact with pilots and study together where everyone was simply a student.
After they graduate from DLIELC, they will spend seven months in North Carolina at the Marine Corp Air Station New River, learning the responsibilities of an Osprey crew chief. However, the Marines require them to take a 2-week Basic Survival Course in Pensacola, Florida before their training at New River. Oorah! These students are well prepared and understand not only the challenges they face, but also the responsibility they have taken on themselves.
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!