Language Learning Software Now Free to All Military, Government Personnel
The Department of Defense recently made language learning software previously used only by specialists available to all government and military personnel.
The Joint Language University web portal’s CL-150 language learning software was originally designed for linguists, or those needing to learn a foreign language. It is now free to anyone with a .gov or .mil email address, said Michael Quinlan, CEO of Transparent Language, the software’s creator.
Known as the Technology Matrix for Critical Languages, the CL-150 is a combination of language technology and content that supports language learning, sustainment, assessment, reporting, and program management for government personnel and programs.
Quinlan said the program provides a blended learning of computer exercises for lexical training and classroom lessons for skills training. Computers are best at creating lexical approaches to language because the software creates a combination of efficient learning tools that work best for learners. This allows for more than 120 languages to be taught through the software.
“People need a way to train more reliably and train faster. Our tools can be used for any learning methodology,” said Quinlan.
The CL-150 is also available as a mobile app. Users connect to their account through their phone and synchronize their data, allowing them to learn the same material at any time in any place.
Previously, if other personnel wanted to have access to the software online, they would have to pay an annual fee of $300. The Defense Department’s Joint Language University agreed to cover the cost of software access to increase language capability for all government employees.
“We are making this a featured resource, so if you are part of the U.S. government, we will pick up the cost of that license for you,” said Quinlan.
The United States is weak in language skills, and this increases risk for government personnel and organizations when dealing with friends or foes, he said. The goal is to reduce the time and expense of learning a language, and to ultimately boost U.S. government and military personnel’s ability to engage with others overseas, Quinlan said.
“Deficiency in language hurts us and decreases our opportunities with all sorts of international interactions. Having this available to all government personnel and programs makes it easier for employees to be more efficient at building language capacity … and that’s really important,” said Quinlan.
The problem so far, has been getting the word out, Quinlan said. Most government employees do not know that access to the portal is now free, he said.
“There are about 4.3 million people in the U.S. government, and 4 million have no idea that this capability is available,” said Quinlan.
The portal is at:https://jlu.wbtrain.com/sumtotal/jlu2.0/HOME/index.asp