DLAB Failure.

EverSoLost

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Let me begin by saying hello.

As well asking you all to please excuse my ignorance. I did use the search function here on this site as well as Google. Which provided limited information in this regard.

Just to give some background, I am attempting to get into a local linguist unit in whatever MOS they'll take me in.

Initially it was required by said Unit that I pass DLAB. I do believe that minimum score is 90 for passing.

I've now taken it twice. First time with a 71 the next with a 75.

Here's the kicker. They say they'll let me transfer in as an SPC when I get advanced without DLAB passing score. (Again I haven't asked which MOS I'm just happy they'd work with me in the slightest. My age and background would define me "beggar" not "chooser".) Of course providing my Unit will release me.

But my research shows it would benefit me to take it again regardless if I have the opportunity.

So here's the short question to the long story.

Is there any studying "method" (I think I've gathered the material) that would benefit me?

Thanks in advance for your patience with my ignorance.
 

car

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Do you have any previous foreign language training? High school Latin, etc?

I took the DLAB in '86 - it hasn't changed, to my knowledge. I graduated from DLI in 1987. I was cadre there '02-'05. I speak English, Spanish, some Turkish, some Russian, and a little Arabic (MSA). I'm not bragging, just trying to give you my bona fides before I give you advice.

The DLAB is about your ability to learn basic language skills. It's about grammar and syntax (sentence structure) - and a little vocabulary. In a very short time, they give you rules and vocab and then see how well you picked up the rules - but you know how the test is structured :D

The best way you can prepare for the DLAB is to review basic English grammar skills. Basic grammar skills. Basic grammar skills......have I made my point? The whole point of the test is to see if you have the aptitude to learn quickly and turn it around.

I say this because 1) I know, 2) becasue, when possible, at DLI, each student goes through a headstart class before actually starting class - guess what? Basic English grammar. 3) the method of instruction there is "stick a fire hose in your mouth...."
 

RetPara

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In your worst nightmare.....
Gotta echo what young Car said.

As for my bonafides.... I have been able to get food, a bathroom, a hotel room, beer, and laid in Hebrew, German, Arabic, Tagalog, Thai, Japanese and Korean. I used to know some really great insults in Russian too.... I took the DLAB in 1981. I held the record for low score on Fort Bragg till the 90's. Basically it indicated that I could learn to speak with enough Special Education.

I would recommend to have a good nights sleep and prepare yourself mentally. Since you have taken it twice you have an edge in that regard.

Doesnt' the Army now give you access to the Rossetta Stone language self learning stuff?
 

x SF med

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I did very well on the DLAB back in '82 - I was offered any tier 3 or higher language (Think Russian, Aabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, Japanese, etc.) I passed because I already had languages that were needed in the 'preferred geographic activities areas' for the Group I was joining.

I saw guys fail the test 3 times, then come back the 4th time and do well.

Learn a language on your own - get proficient with it, and then test out at a 2+/2+ or better and you might get offered a chance to take that language to raise your proficiency.
 

EverSoLost

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Thanks All.

I truly appreciate your time. I will definitely going forward split my efforts, learning a language while brushing up on my Basic Grammar.

Thanks Again.
 

tinker_52

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One who speaks DLAB

Still recall when I first became aware of the DLAB, late '70's. Mind you, I had, earlier, studied a couple foreign languages, as far back as 5th grade, and so on through High School. It's my opinion that there's no substitute for immersion, whether it's in a language or differential calculus. An old Russian teacher once said to me, "Povtorenie mats ucheniye" or, repetition (is) mother of learning. Same thing, in a way, as immersing yourself. You could goto some foreign country, and in time, you'd be communicating, because it's partly intuitive. It also helps to review/study good old English grammar, and develop a sense of that system which is any language. One ol' prepodavatel (instructor) summarized, saying, "It is patterns!" You must remember, they say the DLAB is based on a synthetic language; therefore, what you're focussed on is parts of speech, which "person" you're hearing, what could be a verb, a noun, subject, predicate, what is the direct object. Remember, with the DLAB language, it's not to say exactly what, verbatim is said, as to identify and answer the more, generic aspects of what was being communicated. It's more than luck, or I'd wish you luck. Then, when you get into that language, never stop studying; it's a life endeavor, and you just can't afford to be shy about your shortfalls. I know some "linguists'" who just read their books, and they have a real big passive vocabulary, but put 'em in a room with 'speakers, and they're just mute. They're afraid of making a mistake! Just remediate them, think/sleep in the target language and practice, non-stop. That's what makes a good linguist.
Tinker_52

Let me begin by saying hello.
As well asking you all to please excuse my ignorance. I did use the search function here on this site as well as Google. Which provided limited information in this regard.

Just to give some background, I am attempting to get into a local linguist unit in whatever MOS they'll take me in.

Initially it was required by said Unit that I pass DLAB. I do believe that minimum score is 90 for passing.

I've now taken it twice. First time with a 71 the next with a 75.

Here's the kicker. They say they'll let me transfer in as an SPC when I get advanced without DLAB passing score. (Again I haven't asked which MOS I'm just happy they'd work with me in the slightest. My age and background would define me "beggar" not "chooser".) Of course providing my Unit will release me.

But my research shows it would benefit me to take it again regardless if I have the opportunity.

So here's the short question to the long story.

Is there any studying "method" (I think I've gathered the material) that would benefit me?

Thanks in advance for your patience with my ignorance.[/QUOTE]
 

tinker_52

earsnlips
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My advice is in the above post.
$$$!!!$$$!!!
Just to give some background, I am attempting to get into a local linguist unit in whatever MOS they'll take me in.

Initially it was required by said Unit that I pass DLAB. I do believe that minimum score is 90 for passing.

I've now taken it twice. First time with a 71 the next with a 75.

Here's the kicker. They say they'll let me transfer in as an SPC when I get advanced without DLAB passing score. (Again I haven't asked which MOS I'm just happy they'd work with me in the slightest. My age and background would define me "beggar" not "chooser".) Of course providing my Unit will release me.

But my research shows it would benefit me to take it again regardless if I have the opportunity.

So here's the short question to the long story.

Is there any studying "method" (I think I've gathered the material) that would benefit me?

Thanks in advance for your patience with my ignorance.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 

car

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There is no real method to study for the DLAB. As everyone else has already said, you must have a firm grasp on English grammar, but remain flexible enough to see the patterns in the new language and adapt to them.

Invisible J is absoluely correct.

Ya can't think about it like you think about speaking English. Language is a living, breathing animal. It develops with the folks who use it.

So there are gonna be times when you think, "Why?" Put those questiions out of your head. Accept it. It's language, it's cultural, it's regional, it's dynamic. Get to know the culture - how the culture thinks...

Enough BS. Get through the DLAB with the adivce given here, then you'll really start learning. But ya gotta get there..

Basic grammar and syntax - language is like music. There are only so many stories, so many songs, so many rhythms - all BS aside, if you have a musical "knack" then you have an advantage when trying to learn a language.

Rant over :2c:
 

RadioSpook

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I don't have a lot of "bona fides" other than that I am probably the person on this site who has taken the DLAB most recently. The DLAB is designed to measure your ability as opposed to your knowledge. Therefore, it is not something you can really study for. I agree with car that studying English grammar will help some but only if you understand how to apply those concepts beyond English. In other words, knowing what a noun IS won't do you any good on the DLAB. Knowing what a noun DOES, what purpose it serves in a sentence will do you a LOT of good on the DLAB. At it's very core, language learning is about vast amounts of memorization combined with problem solving.

Also, let me reiterate what someone else here already said. The "passing" score is 90. However, each language is assigned a category based on how hard it is for an English speaker to learn. The categories are I - IV, the lower tiers being more like English and the upper tiers being less like English. For example, Spanish and French are Cat. I. Mandarin Chinese and Arabic are Cat. IV. The minimum scores are higher for each category. These ARE waiverable but I would caution you to think seriously about pursuing waivers for a higher category language. DLI is no joke.
 

RadioSpook

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if you have a musical "knack" then you have an advantage when trying to learn a language.

Rant over :2c:
That explains it, Chinese people have no rythym. I just got too much soul for them. Apparently, I've had WAY too much soul for them lately. Chinese sucks.
 

AssadUSMC

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Another thing is that language learning is not for everyone. As a DLI Arabic grad, I can tell you that just passing the DLAB is no guarantee of success. I am on the other end of the spectrum (languages come very easy to me), but there is no chance of me ever learning to play a musical instrument. Different brains, different abilities...

That said, I wish you the best of luck. There is no substitute for hard work. An Army specialist in my class was failing in the first few weeks, but he persevered, worked his ASS off, and ended up graduating in the top 1/3 of our class. He later went on to become a Chinook pilot...
 

Rabid Badger

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ESL: (English as a Second Language?)

A simple google brings this up from here:


brings this up:

GIUJOE, a member of our Message Forum, took the DLAB and scored a 146. He offers the following advice:

Contrary to popular belief, you can study for the DLAB. I took the information that About.com gave me, some books from the library, and one good night of studying and I pulled off a 146. The problem is that most native English speakers don't know and don't care much about English grammar. If you have a strong understanding of english grammar, how verbs work, how objects work, how adjectives and possessives work, you'll do fine.

You also need to be open to manipulating those rules. If I tell you that from now on, adjectives follow nouns, then it's not a 'blue dog' no matter how many times I say it, it's a 'dog blue.'

Another hard part for English speakers if finding stress in words. English usually has multiple stresses. Here's an easy tip to find stress. Remember in elementary school when you were studying syllables and the teacher had you knock on a desk for every syllable? Do that!

'DLAB studying' was the word sequence. The information is out there, not trying to be a prick, but if you want in you gotta earn it, want it, and look harder for it.

Looks like with a simple word search I, too, could get a 146.

eta: AND THEN THERE'S THIS:

>DLAB Study Guide<

http://www.deltagear.us/Kit&Tools/Kit/DLABsample.pdf

ETA again: This SG should get you a higher score.....there are quite a few forums out there by googling what I did that will help you with your 'study methods'.

}:-)}:-);):2c:
 

EverSoLost

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Very fair. I do appreciate all your help. My apologies for being a "Tool".
I did look at the about.com reference before I had taken the test.

But it's obvious I wasn't thorough.

again my thanks,
but if you want in you gotta earn it, want it, and look harder for it.
This resonates quite a bit. I really appreciate this comment.
 

Rabid Badger

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I'll add that I can only wish that I had the tools you have at your fingertips to further your career, BEFORE YOU EVEN DECIDE ON A CAREER.

That would have been most beneficial to most of the folks on the board.

You have recources available that can help you decide what you want by a few left clicks. Most of us never had that.

Use those tools to your advantage and don't be afraid to ask questions. I sincerely hope I didn't present that message. We're here and will answer, but we do expect a bit of research beforehand.

ask wonderrod.

}:-);)

:2c:
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I have never taken the DLAB, however I took a language test for the Border patrol. It was not in Spanish, but in jibberish. Basically told you the rules, gave you some examples of nouns and verbs, and then you had to piece the jibberish together and make out what was being talked about...

I am not sure how bad I failed by, but the BP recruiter recommended some English classes.


My experience with foreign languages is that everyone speaks English when an M4 is in their face ;):eek:}:-)
 

DoctorDoom

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That explains it, Chinese people have no rythym. I just got too much soul for them. Apparently, I've had WAY too much soul for them lately. Chinese sucks.

Well with that attitude I'm not gonna give you the secret decoder ring...
 

moobob

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I got a 109 the first time I took it and I am a rock head. I think I got most of my points from the pictures.
 

Royal

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I can only reiterate what Car wrote. Learn your grammar.

I failed both French and Spanish at school - partly teengage lack of application, but mostly the fashion at the time in British schools of not teaching English grammar.

Since then I've picked up level 4 in French and Serbian, 3 in Gheg Albanian, and 2 in MSA. Mostly due to an understanding teacher who coached me while learning Serbo Croat (as it was then).

I was lucky that MLAT (DLAB on the other side of the pond) wasn't a requirement (except for SigInters) when I started up. That changed a few years ago. 4 of us old and bold went to try out - all of us failed (with 13 level 4s between us). It's not the be all and end all, but it will get you on the course. After that its how well you can drink from that firehose.
 
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