United States Air Force - DLIELC Fact Sheet

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas 78256-5259
Office of the Commandant
(210) 671-3540

The Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) traces its formal beginning to May 1954, when the 3746th Pre-Flight Training Squadron (language) was activated and assumed responsibility for all English language training. In 1960, the Language School, USAF, activated and assumed the mission. In 1966, the DoD established the Defense Language Institute English Language School (DLIELS) and placed it under U.S. Army control although the school remained at Lackland AFB.

In 1976, the DoD appointed the U.S. Air Force as the executive agent for the school and redesignated it the Defense Language Institute English Language Center. The school’s commandant is an Air Force colonel; the deputy commandant is an Army lieutenant colonel; other military members consist of Army, Air Force and Navy personnel. The over 470 civilian members of the staff include the instructors who are qualified in the area of English as a second language. DLIELC is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation which is certified by the U.S. Department of Education.

DLIELC is divided into three resident academic training sections: General English, Specialized English and Advanced English. Depending on the needs of the students, training can range from nine weeks (in Specialized English, for example) to 52 weeks in General English. Some students arrive with only minimum English capabilities, then train to a predetermined English comprehension level (ECL) in General English.

Some who have been programmed for follow-on training (FOT) within the continental United States attend Specialized English Training after achieving their required ECL either in country or in the DLIELC resident General English program. In the Specialized English program, students are given a course to familiarize them with the technical terminology and specific language skills they will need at their FOT. In the Advanced English Section, some students are trained to become English language instructors or program managers in their respective countries while others take advanced English courses before attending professional military education programs at U.S. War Colleges or at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Annually, students from over 100 countries enroll in DLIELC resident training programs. Training is paid by the host country (Foreign Military Sales) or through U.S. grant assistance such as International Military Education and Training programs.

In addition to DLIELC’s mission to train international students, DLIELC is responsible for providing English language training to U.S. military service members whose primary language is not English.

The DLIELC campus, located on the southwest quadrant of JBSA Lackland, provides facilities and equipment that are conducive to effective learning. Students reside in comfortable, modern lodging, which is within walking distance of their state-of-the-art classrooms. A typical class day consists of six hours of instruction, some of which may be spent in a computer- based language laboratory. All students have access to a Learning Center, which has a variety of multimedia software and includes a library.

With ample time for extracurricular activities, students can bridge cultural barriers by participating in sports events with each other and with U.S. students. They can also take advantage of local tours offered by DLIELC’s Field Studies Program. In addition, the DLIELC international student sponsor program, called AMIGO, which stands for American Members of International Goodwill to Others, provides interaction with volunteer sponsors from both the U.S. military and the local community. Since attendance at DLIELC is frequently the international students’ first contact with Americans, the AMIGO program often provides the international students with a much needed opportunity to better understand the American way of life and enables the students to learn about the diversity of American culture and customs.

DLIELC serves as a vital element of U.S. foreign policy.



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