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Old 03-04-2017, 01:09 AM   #1
ConsideringNavy
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Default A few questions for current and past DLI attendees.

Hey Everyone! I have a few questions about life at the DLI. I read through the other threads here but I have some questions that I didn't see covered.

Is homework specifically vocabulary or is it more than that?

Do you really have to learn 50-80 words a day? How do you retain all that?

Can you use the internet once you get in when you're in the barracks? Is there a certain amount of freetime daily to keep in touch with family or do things outside of study?

Any idea how study/post class life differs between branches? Is it generally a more or less demanding environment in the Navy vs the Air Force?

If anyone is currently going to the DLI, is it possible that you know what classes are taking place now or when the next ones will start? That way I could maximize my chances of getting the language I want. I know it's up to the Navy but I'm a language guy and I want to make it my career.

Is it a standard to be allowed to pick three languages as your top choices? It seems like it is from what I've read here and elsewhere online.

Does anyone teach mnemonics there? I've used them for language learning and it seems like the best way to learn that many words and retain them decently.

What do you wish you had known before going in, taking your DLAB, etc?

Is there a certain way that works better to study and focus? I know it's kind of a unique way to learn a language.

Besides language use, what parts of the CTI job are commonplace?

For those who already spoke some of the language they were assigned, did you find it easier to progress than your peers who were less used to the language or did you have to basically do all the same stuff anyway?

If you got a language you didn't really like that much, did you grow to like it more because of culture and friends you shared the language with?

Thank you so much for reading.
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ConsideringNavy View Post
Hey Everyone! I have a few questions about life at the DLI. I read through the other threads here but I have some questions that I didn't see covered.
Let me start by saying that all of this is from the perspective of a Chiling. There are huge differences between schoolhouses, one of which being attitudes toward homework. The Arabic schoolhouses tend to much more lenient about it and the Chinese and especially Korean schoolhouses tend to be tougher.

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Is homework specifically vocabulary or is it more than that?
Homework is usually vocab/previewing for tomorrow's lesson, some listening, some reading, the occasional writing etc etc. You have a half dozen books and generally you have assignments in most of them.

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Do you really have to learn 50-80 words a day? How do you retain all that?
That's typical for cat IV languages but cat I/III tend to be even more. The Spanlings used to complain about 200 words/night, which is part of the reason their school got lengthened from six month to nine. The people who can't learn at that pace drop from the course. It's a kind of sink or swim thing.

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Can you use the internet once you get in when you're in the barracks? Is there a certain amount of freetime daily to keep in touch with family or do things outside of study?
If you pay for it you can have wifi in your room. Otherwise go to the library. DLI doesn't have mandated study hours or anything like that. Usually you're in class 7-3ish and have PT either before or after, the rest of your time is yours but you better get your homework done and chow is only open certain hours.

Quote:
Any idea how study/post class life differs between branches? Is it generally a more or less demanding environment in the Navy vs the Air Force?
I left 2+ years ago so take this with a grain of salt, but the Navy was hands down the best branch to be in when I went through. We had more responsibilities (most other branches don't make AITers stand watch, but we did) but also more privileges (only branch that didn't have curfews past the first month, least restrictive barracks rules etc etc).

Quote:
If anyone is currently going to the DLI, is it possible that you know what classes are taking place now or when the next ones will start? That way I could maximize my chances of getting the language I want. I know it's up to the Navy but I'm a language guy and I want to make it my career.
There's been no one active on here recently still in DLI. Most people could only tell you for their language anyway + most DEP waits tend to push it out of easy predictability range. Sometimes it's the CTI in the div before yours, graduating the same week, that takes the last seat in the class you wanted.

Quote:
Is it a standard to be allowed to pick three languages as your top choices? It seems like it is from what I've read here and elsewhere online.
Yeah, you'll rank your top 3 in bootcamp when you go to meet with the CTI detailer. They'll do their best (based on availability) to give it to you. It's statistics that people given their top choice are more motivated to pass.

Quote:
Does anyone teach mnemonics there? I've used them for language learning and it seems like the best way to learn that many words and retain them decently.
There's some study skills and English parts of speech class that you'll take before you start your language, but nothing specifically mnemonics. It wouldn't have helped me much for Chinese, too many words sound the same.

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What do you wish you had known before going in, taking your DLAB, etc?
Honestly, I did my research and nothing surprised me.

Quote:
Is there a certain way that works better to study and focus? I know it's kind of a unique way to learn a language.
Everyone has their own methods, there's no guaranteed thing that works for everyone. I liked to work ahead a few days so I never got caught off guard if I didn't have time to study one night.

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Besides language use, what parts of the CTI job are commonplace?
Not sure what you're asking here. We're secret squirrels that work in air conditioned spaces. Shore duty is mostly joint service, the deploying billets are all Navy.

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For those who already spoke some of the language they were assigned, did you find it easier to progress than your peers who were less used to the language or did you have to basically do all the same stuff anyway?
There was someone in our class who had taken a year or two of Chinese in college, and it helped for the first couple months but then the rest of us caught up. I familiarized myself with the big 6 just enough to know which languages I wanted going in and that was enough for me.

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If you got a language you didn't really like that much, did you grow to like it more because of culture and friends you shared the language with?
Can't answer that one, I got my first choice.

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Thank you so much for reading.
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:20 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for this! I really appreciate it.
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