Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) Pipeline

Back in January, 2006 then-President George W. Bush announced the launch of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) with the Secretaries of State, Education and Defense along with the Director of National Intelligence coordinating this national effort to dramatically increase the learning, speaking and teaching skills of U.S. citizens in foreign languages deemed critical to U.S. national security. 

The NSLI is a “long-term investment in the nation’s critical foreign language learning capabilities and competencies” working to accomplish the following three goals[1]:

1.      Increase the number of U.S. residents studying critical-need languages and starting them at an earlier age;
2.      Increase the number of advanced-level speakers of foreign languages, with an emphasis on mastery of critical-need languages; and
3.      Increase the number of teachers of critical-need languages and providing resources for them.

The following figure provides a great visual of the National Security Language Initiative Pipeline and the various programs that are available for critical language learners.[2]
Those of you who are interested in learning more about NSLI and the preliminary results of the program will want to download the following report:

Related IHEC Blog posts:

[1] U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Enhancing Foreign Language Proficiency in the United States: Preliminary Results of the National Security Language Initiative, Washington, D.C., 2008, 1.
[2] Diagram of the “National Security Language Initiative Pipeline” obtained from Ibid., 2.

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