Defense Arabic...

Swamp Honky

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Has anyone taken the Arabic proficiency test for the Army? I am taking Arabic in college and am curious about the test. I was thinking about taking the test after my third or fourth semester in Arabic. The way the book we use is structured, it does not focus on case endings until much later. This is the only area I am really concerned with at the moment because I am doing well with grammar and I can always beef up vocab on my own.
I think I read on here somewhere the test has changed recently.

I am trying to figure out if I should study for the test in any particular way, or just focus on what they are teaching me in college.
Any advice from some of ya'l that have taken this test would be helpful.
thanks,
 

AssadUSMC

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Find a local (no idea where you are) school and take conversational Arabic classes. That'll advance your listening/speaking greatly. If you can watch some Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya either streaming or on YouTube, that'll help too. I took Arabic at DLI - supposedly the equivalent of 8 years of college Arabic - and I still felt like a babe in the woods after the test.
 

Swamp Honky

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I am finishing my second semester in Egypt. It is not quite the immersion experience I was hoping for, especially because I was learning MSA in class and they speak Armeyya on the streets in Cairo. But, I did get a little better at shooting from the hip with the language and am over the obsession to say everything correctly. I am moving to DC in January so I will take your advice and look for a native speaker to chat with. The listening and comprehension is where I need the most work.
I have heard that DLI is tough and a lot of information at once. I think I would prefer that method because you can only devote so much time to studying Arabic when you are working your degree at the same time.
I will have to do some more research and see if DLI has different entry spots for different levels of knowledge of the language or if it is a start-finish one size fits all program.

thanks for the advice
 

AssadUSMC

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Good luck. DLI has basic, intermediate, and advanced courses. Generally, if you've never been to DLI before they start you in the basic class. I'm sure they'd waive you to intermediate if you could get 2+/2+/2+ on the DLPT coming in...
 

Paddlefoot

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One of the guys in my basic Arabic class had a degree in ME studies and pretty decent skills with the language, but still had to go to the basic course. I don't know if he was even offered the DLPT when he came in.

As for skipping right to intermediate with high DLPT scores, I'm not sure if they can waive that. I'm pretty sure that to study intermediate at DLI you would have to have gone through the basic course as a prerequisite. But I could be wrong.

I bet car would know.
 

car

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One of the guys in my basic Arabic class had a degree in ME studies and pretty decent skills with the language, but still had to go to the basic course. I don't know if he was even offered the DLPT when he came in.

As for skipping right to intermediate with high DLPT scores, I'm not sure if they can waive that. I'm pretty sure that to study intermediate at DLI you would have to have gone through the basic course as a prerequisite. But I could be wrong.

I bet car would know.

Yeah, if you already have the language, you can "DLPT in" to determine your proficiency. Then they'll decide whether you can go into intemediate or advanced. ie. One of my Troopers from when I was a 1SG in the 82nd went out there for intermediate Russian, but after her "in" test they put her straight into Advanced.

Note - the Arabic DLPT is MSA. Although they're working towards going back to the old 46-week MSA plus "howevermanyweeks" of dialect, right now it's still 63 weeks of MSA, followed by said MSA DLPT.

Anytime you're speaking to natives on the street is GOOD time. Being able to study in Cairo is a fantastic opportunity!

I always wanted to study in Havana with a long haired dictionary }:-)
 

Swamp Honky

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thanks for the help fellas...
So it seems I will end up at DLI at some point if I am going to be actively using the language with my career.
I will just keep working on the language while in college. My school requires six semesters of language for my degree. I was thinking about doing an intensive program overseas for a summer, but it seems I may be better off just going to DLI if the opportunity presents itself.
 

sigma

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thanks for the help fellas...
So it seems I will end up at DLI at some point if I am going to be actively using the language with my career.
I will just keep working on the language while in college. My school requires six semesters of language for my degree. I was thinking about doing an intensive program overseas for a summer, but it seems I may be better off just going to DLI if the opportunity presents itself.

My wife said that close to her graduation there was a speaking competition for her language (Mandarin) where DLI students and college students alike were competing. She said that DLI blew the college kids out of the water in terms of speaking ability and language knowledge. This is 60 some wks DLI versus 4 years of language at college. Good luck with everything!
 

JBS

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I don't know if there is any science behind this, but as I was taught a little tip, to listen to television (in that language) while I was sleeping. So I'd have the TV on with that language going on in the background, and the theory was that while I was sleeping, my brain was still benefiting from the stuff going on on TV. I did that, and I learned quicker than most.
 

lockNload

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I don't know if there is any science behind this, but as I was taught a little tip, to listen to television (in that language) while I was sleeping. So I'd have the TV on with that language going on in the background, and the theory was that while I was sleeping, my brain was still benefiting from the stuff going on on TV. I did that, and I learned quicker than most.

That's what you call learning through osmosis :)
 

car

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My wife said that close to her graduation there was a speaking competition for her language (Mandarin) where DLI students and college students alike were competing. She said that DLI blew the college kids out of the water in terms of speaking ability and language knowledge. This is 60 some wks DLI versus 4 years of language at college. Good luck with everything!

True dat! Our Chinese students kicked the shit out of students at UCSF and other local universities on a regular basis.
 

Swamp Honky

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My wife said that close to her graduation there was a speaking competition for her language (Mandarin) where DLI students and college students alike were competing. She said that DLI blew the college kids out of the water in terms of speaking ability and language knowledge. This is 60 some wks DLI versus 4 years of language at college. Good luck with everything!

Yeah that makes sense. I often find myself just having enough time to study the lesson and vocab in the book and prepare for my tests. The rest of my time usually goes into my other studies. I would imagine at DLI the interaction you get with the long hours in class would go along way compared to a college student who is taking a language, plus 4 other courses at the same time. My overall plan is to build a solid foundation of the language in college and then go from there. I am going to try intensive Arabic this next semester...it at least is 5 days a week of Arabic. Its going to suck as a workload, but it will be worth it.
 

car

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Yeah that makes sense. I often find myself just having enough time to study the lesson and vocab in the book and prepare for my tests. The rest of my time usually goes into my other studies. I would imagine at DLI the interaction you get with the long hours in class would go along way compared to a college student who is taking a language, plus 4 other courses at the same time. My overall plan is to build a solid foundation of the language in college and then go from there. I am going to try intensive Arabic this next semester...it at least is 5 days a week of Arabic. Its going to suck as a workload, but it will be worth it.

Yeah, if you get to DLI, you're gonna be in class 6 hours a day, plus study hall - depending on your academic standing.....

Bottom Line........it'll be all about the language.

Well, I tried to make it that way.......
 

Florida173

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My opinion is no amount of college level language study will get you close to a 2+/2+ on the DLPT 5 unless you go spend a few years in an Arabic speaking country. I'd suggest Syrian dialect because of the closer proximity to MSA. I spent two years learning MSA at DLI and would be hard pressed to get a 1+/1+ on the DLPT 5. I'll be taking it in a fwe weeks though.
 
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