4. The GLOSS is unparalleled anywhere else.So at this point, you may be thinking, “What does all this have to do with me? I’m not a member of the Armed Forces, so I’ll never be in that program anyway.”
Well, you stand to benefit more than you think.
The DLIFLC has an online component which can be freely accessed by you and me.
This is where the “GLOSS” of “DLIFLC GLOSS” comes in. The Global Language Online Support System was especially designed for independent online learning.
Since not everyone can go on campus and attend the classes, DLIFLC has developed online lessons for its students.
And like I said, that material is open to anyone. Which means we can participate in the intensive learning program intended for the select language learners of the armed forces of the United States.
If that doesn’t make you rejoice, I don’t know what will.
5. There are 7,000 lessons in GLOSS.There are lessons for 40 different languages, including lesser-known tongues like Balochi, Pashto, Hausa and Dari. The lessons are divided into two modalities (Reading and Listening) and seven learner levels.
Each lesson contains 4-6 tasks. So for example, in a listening lesson, one of the tasks would be to match an image with its correct audio. Another task might be to type in an answer to an audio question.
GLOSS lessons cover a rich variety of topics that include: culture, economics, environment, geography, military, politics, science, security, society and technology.
6. The lessons are interactive (and come with certificates too).GLOSS’s lessons are interactive. Meaning, you’re very much involved in your learning process and you’ll probably be busy doing something at any point in time.
So let me tell you beforehand, the lessons are not for the faint of heart. The tasks in GLOSS might just be some of the most challenging ones you can have online. The “beginner” modules here are considered “advanced” in other websites. (You’ve been warned.)
Other sites mark the learners’ progress through a “points” system. More points means the further you are in the lessons. The lessons in GLOSS come with “certificates,” which are given to you after every lesson. Certificates are proof of the hard work you put into learning your target language. You can print them out and collect as many as you can. It will be a nice pat on the back.
7. The audio recordings and conversation examples will set your ears ablaze.DLIFLC is one of the few language learning sites that gives a fitting nod to the importance of listening in language acquisition. A testament to this are the GLOSS’s listening lessons themselves.
As mentioned previously, GLOSS lessons can either be about listening comprehension or reading comprehension. (DLIFLC focuses on these two because they are the most important skills on the field.)
GLOSS is one of the most comprehensive resources of language audio recordings online. Where can you find, for example, 140 audio recordings of Albanian conversations, 69 for Uzbek and 111 for Hindi?
In addition, DLIFLC has an accent library for Arabic and Spanish languages. I ask you again, where can you find the same text read in 11 different Spanish accents (eg. Argentinean, Chilean, Columbian, Honduran, Mexican, Peruvian, Venezuelan) or 10 different Arabic accents (eg. Egyptian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Saudi, Tunisian, Sudanese)? Only at GLOSS.
8. Their Online Diagnostic Assessment can take around 1-2 hours.Think GLOSS lessons aren’t challenging enough? Or do you simply want to know what areas need more work for you? DLIFLC developed the Online Diagnostic Assessment for that very purpose. It will identify your strengths and give you feedback on sticking points.
Create an account and you can take the assessment. There will be two kinds of tests. One is for reading comprehension, and another for listening ability. You will read/listen to sets of passages followed by 4-6 questions. The questions will not only test your comprehension of the passages / recordings, they will also test you on vocabulary, sentence structure and text structure.
Sometimes you will be asked to give your answer in a multiple-choice format, but most of the time you will be asked to type in your answer.
The tests take 1-2 hours per skill and are available for 13 major languages. So if you’re itching to know where you stand on the issue of comprehension, I challenge you to take the assessment.
9. GLOSS actually teaches both language and culture.If you take a look at DLIFLC’s other programs, you’ll quickly notice that the center is as serious in teaching culture as it is in teaching language. One can quickly sense this in programs like “Cultural Orientations,” “Familiarization Modules,” “Countries in Perspective” and “Cultural Awareness Assessment.”
GLOSS, in its listening and reading lessons, espouses the philosophy that you can never divorce a language from its culture. You can never distill language from the people who speak it–their history, experiences and aspiration as a group.
You don’t sense this from the other language learning sites. This is one of the biggest advantages of learning in DLIFLC. You don’t get cultural lessons as interesting asides, instead you get heavy doses of it. Because of this, you acquire not only a new set of vocabulary or grammar rules, but an enduring appreciation for the culture that produced the language that captured your imagination.
10. GLOSS champions the concept of “language maintenance.”DLIFLC believes in the importance of maintaining competency in a language. Just because you have already acquired French, for example, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you. Nope, you need to continually review, practice and pile on to your skills. Otherwise you’d slowly backslide and lose those language gains.
You need to go back in order to move forward. That’s why for 4 hours a week, DLIFLC allows its analysts and linguists to go into independent study.
In line with that belief, the DLIFLC created GLOSS not only as a teaching tool for first time learners, but as a refresher course. It was made available online so that former students, assigned and dispersed in the far reaches of earth, won’t have return to campus to get the highly needed language refresher and reviews.
DLIFLC GLOSS is quite unique in that it emphasizes the importance of “language maintenance,” regardless of skill level.
So, you now know 10 things about the DLIFLC and GLOSS. I’m sure you can’t wait to give those listening and reading lessons a shot. Enjoy!
--- Once you complete the activities on one of the selected sessions (start with Level 1) be sure to print you completion certificate and bring it to me. I'd love to ask you about the session. I just completed the Level 1 session on Berlin Travel Guide: Museum Island. I learned a lot! (I also really enjoyed the Pergamon Museum during one of my most recent visits to Berlin. I look forward to returning to Museum Island, especially after it's complete.)--rsb