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Language and National Security

Globalization and the world-wide web have led to new national security challenges, as small, previously unknown groups speaking uncommon languages can suddenly burst onto the political stage.  This necessitates the ability to quickly train analysts, leaders and military personnel in new languages.  It requires that security personnel be able to distinguish between dialects of nonnative languages, and to be able to translate documents quickly and accurately.  Yet we have no means of predicting which individuals will be most successful at these tasks, and there is no consensus on how it is best to teach new languages.

Researchers at the Center for Advanced Study of Language and the National Foreign Language Center have been developing tools for identifying language aptitude, assessment devices for measuring proficiency, and tools for improving foreign language education.