Author Topic: Second Language Training ( SLT )  (Read 166547 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline shado_wolf

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 275
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 67
Second Language Training ( SLT )
« on: July 31, 2003, 22:00:00 »
When you are a member of the CF are you able to courses that you want.   Specifically I am interested in learning languages.   Are there courses in place to teach them and can anyone go?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 16:30:56 by Bruce Monkhouse »

Offline OLD SCHOOL

  • Member
  • ****
  • -165
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 199
  • Veteran
Re: courses available to troops
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2003, 23:22:00 »
French in Quebec.
Advanced training in Monterey California at the U.S school.
Only training as required for the duties you will perform in the CF.
They will not train you in 27 languages to be a spy later.
Good question though as languages are in demand.
Good luck.

MG34

  • Guest
Re: courses available to troops
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2003, 23:41:00 »
Most bases now have their own lang. schools so there is no need to go to Que for training.

Offline shado_wolf

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 275
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 67
Re: courses available to troops
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2003, 00:29:00 »
So that people don‘t think I am some kind of wannabe it isn‘t to be a spy later in life.  Although that would be kinda cool.   ;)  

I have always just been in awe of those that speak numerous languages.

Preferably I‘ld like to refresh/improve my german and french, learn an asian language, and something slavic.

Thanks all,
Dylan

Offline Danjanou

  • Reporting from Goat Rodeo Central
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 92,819
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,375
  • Butt Party NCO on the 81mm Mortar Range
Re: courses available to troops
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2003, 09:44:00 »
As Old School pointed out extra languages can be a nice thing to have especially with deployments etc.

If you‘re still in school check out if they offer anything besides French where you attend? Post secondary schools usually offer more choices
(my universtity offered German, Russian and Spanish aside from French)

There are various community agencies, night schools etc that you can grab the basics from in a few months and at a reasonable price. You won‘t be fluent but it‘s a start. Like any skill, some people have the aptitude to pick up languages quickly, others don‘t.

The best way to really learn is to travel but that might not be an option. Nothing really improves your skills better than being in a foreign country and realising that proably no one around for quite some distance speaks English.

BTW, the basic requirements for entry into CSIS are a University degree, and a second language (usually French).
NASA spent $12 Million designing a pen that could write in the zero gravity environment of space. The Russians went with pencils.

Offline Ralph

  • Member
  • ****
  • 3,200
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 173
Second Language Training ( SLT )
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2002, 14:40:00 »
Anyone out there with experience with the Second Language Training program at St. Jean after officer basic training? I know it lasts a max. of 7 months, and you can take the test earlier if you want, but then you’re just waiting around for your MOC to start, right? Do you end up being able to drill in French (or Anglais) and not much else?
Cheers,
Ralph.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 16:00:12 by kratz »

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 26,982
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,366
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2002, 19:08:00 »
Ralph, being someone who was sentenced to the language school for close to 8 months, I can answer any question you have (I hope).
You will only be able to take the tests (plural) once your instructor feels you have a good chance of passing it and obtaining your profile.  You won‘t learn any drill commands in french, that‘s what BOTC is for.  You will learn conversational french as well as formal dialect.  You will go on "field trips" to Quebec city and other cultural facilites, in order to immerse yourself in the french language.

Any other questions, feel free to shout ‘em out.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Jug

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2002, 22:03:00 »
I‘m also curious about this portion.

1. Are you more bilingual than when you started?
2. Do you have to pass a test to get out?
3. Is this all you do for the whole day for eight months? I imagine something else fills in the time.

Thanx

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 26,982
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,366
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2002, 23:03:00 »
Here goes:

1)  More bilingual : certainment (certainly)

2) Test : have to get your french profile (functional ability) if you want to leave early, if not then there is no requirement for Anglos to pass the test at end of 8 months  (need the profile to be promoted to Major though, but that is far in the future.)

3)  Anything else to do?? : Nope, that‘s it... 9am to 4 pm, for 8 months straight.  All in dress uniform too, so you get proficient at ironing, that‘s for sure
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline Ralph

  • Member
  • ****
  • 3,200
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 173
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2002, 10:13:00 »
1. How does leave work while you‘re there? Is there summer block leave (or whatever it‘s called) or do you just get long weekends to try to get home? My wife can handle me being gone and miserable at the bottom of a trench, but going to school less than she works every day? Not quite as much...
2. Do you get e-mail access, both/either on BOTC and 2nd Language? I remember having to hang out by the payphone in Gagetown as my only link to the outside world, years ago.
Cheers,
Ralph.

Ian

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2002, 11:10:00 »
Not sure about the leave during second language training (I get to attend that next summer), but you will get computer access during your entire stay at St-Jean.

You won‘t get much chance to use a computer (if at all) during the first four weeks there, but after that there is a computer lab avaliable for free. The only e-mail site that wasn‘t locked out that I could find was www.canada.com, you cannot use hotmail from there. Great computers though, you will be using them for assignments during BOTC (the new army?). There are pay internet machines at the Subway and in the Green sector, but they‘re dial-up and slow, but you can access anything you want.

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 26,982
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,366
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2002, 11:13:00 »
You can take leave whenever you like, so long as your instructor approves it conditionally.  There is a block leave period during the summer, and periodically throughout the year.
Don‘t count on internet access during BOTC, but anything goes while on 2nd Language trng.  You get your own private room at St-Jean.  I put in a phone line and used my personal computer to access the net via dial-up.  The 8 months of language school can be best described as going back to University.  All the freedoms of civi-life, you just have to wear a uniform.  Every other weekend, I drove back to see my fiance in Toronto. Not too bad of a drive, especially when you can get a carload of people to split gas and driving time with.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Jug

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2002, 14:33:00 »
So Zoomie...you definatly are more functional in french then. Can you give me some kind of quatifier of how much you improoved over the course. I want to be able to speak french, but the last thing I want to look forward to is conjegating(sp) verbs for 8 hours a day over 8 months.

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 26,982
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,366
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2002, 15:12:00 »
It all depends on your Basic level of french.  If it is already at a speaking ability, you‘ll be jabbering in french more than conjugating verbes.  If you can‘t speak a word, then you have to start with the basics.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Jug

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2002, 22:48:00 »
Je suis, tu es, Il est, elle est....ohhhh boy...getting flashbacks of gradeschool. Escuse me while I go into a corner to rock myself and suck my thumb.

Offline ProPatria05

  • Member
  • ****
  • 340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 115
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2003, 21:30:00 »
I‘m trying to get a sense of how difficult it is to get an exemption from Second Language Training following BOTP at St. Jean.

I am especially interested in hearing from anglophone-types, who have a functional knowledge of French (but aren‘t really fully bilingual). However, any knowledgable comments will be appreciated.

For those that have gone through this, were you able to pass the test without having take 2nd language training? If you didn‘t, how difficult is the test, and how much 2nd language training did you have to take?

stivic923

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2003, 05:24:00 »
Why are u wanting to try to get out of the second language training anyways?

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 26,982
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,366
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2003, 10:11:00 »
Murph, the test is not easy...
If you are going into thinking, well I took my OAC in french and I can ask for directions, it isn‘t enough.  In order to pass the oral interaction portion of the test you must be able to effectively communicate over a telephone with the testor.  He/she will start the interview with basic questions about yourself (ie name, rank, etc).  The he will ask you to describe in full detail whatever he thinks is interesting about your past.  In my case, I had to describe (in detail) the role and tasks that an armoured recce squadron would be assigned in the field.  If you don‘t have a military background, they will ask you about your last job or your time at school.  During this interview, you will be expected to use advanced speech (ie not all past-tense or present-tense)  You cannot stumble over your words, cannot use fr-english, and cannot limit yourself to short 4 word answers.  Use of subjunctive conjugation is well sought after, if you can throw in some advanced conjugations, it will only empower your final product.

The point I am trying to leave you with, unless you have grown up speaking french in your household, or are currently speaking french to someone right now as you read this post, the chances of passing the test first time, might be low.  If you dream in french, which you will after 30 weeks of school, you know you are ready.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline ProPatria05

  • Member
  • ****
  • 340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 115
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2003, 10:53:00 »
Mike78 - I am going in as a DEO. If I can bring myself up to the required level of bilingualism prior to going to BOTP, it means that I will be able to get to MOC training faster, and begin doing the job faster. It also means a 6 months less up-front time that I‘m away from my wife and 2 kids. I‘m not trying to avoid being proficient in French, I‘m simply hoping that through self-study I can achieve on my own what I will otherwise have to do in St. Jean.

Zoomie - thanks for the info. It was exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I‘m not going in with any illusions that the test won‘t be difficult. My French was good when I finished high school, but had gotten rusty. I have been doing a lot of work on it lately, particularly through a home-study book (with exercises), by listening to French radio, and by speaking it every opportunity I get. We‘ll see how it goes - if I have to take the training, so be it, since the end goal is proficiency. One other question - do you have to go the full 30 or 33 weeks, even if you "get it" after 10 or 15 weeks?

griffon

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2003, 20:53:00 »
Murph
Prior to commencing the slt course, you will be tested (oral, written, comprehension) and if you are not deemed exempt, you will be placed into a class that is working at your current level.    You can certainly request to take your testing once you feel comfortable that you can pass the test.  In order for your request to approved, your teacher and their superior must agree.  From what I recall, those who put in such a request often met with pessimism and discouragement.(mind you there was a contract dispute when I was there, so they tried to keep as many students as possible).   However, some requests were approved and the students passed.   And they did leave early.
So, after my small trek down memory lane.....the answer is `yes`, I have seen it happen.
Best of luck to you!!

Illucigen

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2003, 09:30:00 »
The Military uses (for Officers, and other positions deemed bilingual required) the Public Service of Canada‘s Bilingual tests.

You must score a BBB/BBB on the tests To be considered "Functionally Bilingual" and exempt from second language training. Keep in mind that the lower your exemption rating, the sooner you must retake the test, and if you fail it then, you will still have to do SLT again. Each letter represents a part of the test (oral, written, reading).

An / = not taken
An X = Unilingual - (Ie you show no or very little comprehension.
An A = Partially Bilingual - you are not able to carry on conversations or construct well-defined sentences on a constant basis.
A "B" = Functional. All you need in the forces.
A "C" = Fluent.
A "E" = Exempt from career testing (you never will be tested again by the government)
A "P" = Translator/SME (subject matter expert)

You will not be tested for your maternal language, unless you are in a trade which requires "P". Very unlikely, dont think it happens in the forces.

Anyway, the oral is done over the telephone with an evaluator in Ottawa. Basic 10 minute conversation where you are assessed in your way to improvise a conversaton in the second language.

The written and reading are the famous "fill in the circle" government multiple-choice tests.. which can be quite hard.

GIve it a shot.. I know some people who passed who dont speak nearly at all well, and some people who are quite good who failed...

Offline Marauder

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 14,240
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 834
  • Dirty Infidel
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2003, 20:55:00 »
Out of curiosity, are there any other NATO armies that require their officers be fluent in two languages to be considered basically trained? I know American SF officer candidates must become fluent in a 2d language associated with the regional affiliation of the group they are headed to, but that‘s another ballgame.
Again, just curious.
"Lions mustn't concern themselves with the opinions of lambs."

Illucigen

  • Guest
Re: Second Language Training / Profile [MERGED]
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2003, 21:29:00 »
Dunno, Britain doesnt even require a university degree for its officers...

I do know USSF do require AT LEAST one other language... and I believe many eastern bloc forces are trying for this.. but as a requirement? I dont htink so..

Offline Another Recce Guy

  • Just a guy that wanted to serve Canada.
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 1,255
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 453
  • Armour Forum Moderator
Military performs poorly in bilingualism
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2003, 06:44:00 »
http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030611.wbiling0611/BNStory/National/  

Ottawa — The Canadian Forces have fallen well short in efforts to promote bilingualism but that‘s going to change, Defence Minister John McCallum said Tuesday.
He said attitudes are going to have to change or people will lose out on promotions and pay raises.
Only 43 per cent of military positions that are supposed to be bilingual are actually filled by bilingual personnel, the minister told the Commons official languages committee.
Only 40 per cent of senior military officers can handle both English and French, Mr. McCallum added.
"This is clearly not acceptable," he said.
A decade after the government trumpeted plans to make bilingualism a watchword in public service, the military remains a bastion of unilingual anglophones.
In contrast, 100 of the 111 senior civilian executives in Defence are fully bilingual and the others are in language training.
And 85 per cent of civilian bilingual positions are filled by bilingual personnel.
Mr. McCallum said a bilingualism level of 40 per cent among uniformed personnel is unacceptable and admitted that overall, the military has had "a rather poor level of performance," on bilingualism.
Benoit Sauvageu of the Bloc Quebecois said he‘s disappointed with "the utter failure of official languages in the armed forces."
Mr. McCallum said steps are being taken to remedy the problem.
A new strategic plan, signed by Gen. Ray Henault, the chief of the defence staff, just hours before the minister‘s appearance at the committee, sets out new goals for the military and includes penalties for those who miss the mark.
Officers who fail to meet bilingual standards will lose promotions and raises, the minister said.
The new plan says the number of bilingual people in designated bilingual positions will be increased by five per cent each year.
Now, only 45 per cent of those promoted to the rank of colonel are bilingual, but Mr. McCallum said that will rise to 50 per cent next year, 60 per cent the year after and to 70 per cent the following year.
Mr. McCallum said after the committee meeting that the military failed on bilingualism for a number of reasons.
"The Canadian Forces are subject to a number of challenges, resource constraints, operational deployments," he said.
"I‘m not sure certain people may have an attitude that doesn‘t put this at the top of the agenda. That‘s possible."
He said the new language policy, approved by the top brass, will demonstrate that the institution understands the problem.
"Ministers come and ministers go," he said. "But a long-term policy such as official languages in the Canadian Forces has to be institutionalized and that has happened."
Mr. McCallum said he can‘t impose a 100 per cent bilingualism requirement on a military that is already overworked and overstressed from repeated overseas deployments.
"There are other factors at work in the Canadian Forces," he said. "You cannot immediately shift from 40 per cent to 100 per cent, or even over three years, without causing great stresses and strains on the system.
"People need time to learn languages."
I guess it won’t matter that the person is a great leader, if he or she isn’t bilingual, they passed up for promotion.
--------------------------------------------------
Personally, I would rather have a great leader than a language expert calling the shots.
How will you answer your grandchildren when they what you did in the war?

Also, be careful of those that mistake authority for leadership.

RKC73

  • Guest
Re: Military performs poorly in bilingualism
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2003, 08:18:00 »
In a word, PATHETIC.  I am glad to see that the leadership of the Army has it‘s priorities in order.  Clearly the ability to speak French is the benchmark for leadership.  If the civil service has a high precentage then the Army should too - this is the type of logic that has kept the Army circling the toilet for the last 10yrs.  For them to then have the gall to blame it on lack of "motivation" is even more sickening - I want to puke!  The number of mates I know who have requested language trg and have been told - "there‘s no time"; "we need you here right now"; "maybe next year", or my favourite - "we‘ll give you a month long course", could fill a company - and that‘s just people I know.  Last time I checked it took more than a month to comprehensively learn a language.  How can you hold back someone from promotion when they have had minimal training for the requirement you are judging them on?  Not to mention that NATO works in English - that‘s right folks, the same language every Army in the world operates in during joint or coalition operations.  Ofcourse the fact that we have one French-Canadian Brigade - where not everyone speaks English either (for the same reasons that many don‘t speak French - they are busy soldiering) doesn‘t dawn on the marble-heads in charge.  I‘m not anti-French, I‘m anti- stupidity and there many in the government and NDHQ who couldn‘t coordinate their own sleep.  Certainly at the top brass level, there is a need for bilingual ability - full stop.  My fear, however, is that good leaders, will be passed over because they never got the training they should have because they were on operations, teaching courses, in Battalions and not polishing a seat with their ***  in an office somewhere reading Proust.  God forbid if this affects the NCO corps as well.  I‘ll end this rant with an anecdote of the efficient way the Army spends its money:  When I went through BOTC - a fat lazy jack c*&% who failed that pathetic course, not once, but twice, finally passed on his third attempt.  This future leader of men, who was destined for the Infantry School as a candidate, wasn‘t sent straight to the school for the next Phase 2, no - the brainiacs in charge obviously saw the potential in our little Rommel and loaded him on a year long French course!! The same course that people who actually passed all their training were refused.  Fast forward a year, I‘m at the school on Adv Recce, and this 270lb blob is now on Phase 2.  He lasted two weeks  - gee, I didn‘t see that coming!!!.  Instead of releasing this prize, they offered him another trade - because as we all know the soldiers in other trades don‘t deserve the same quality of leadership that infanteers do.  He‘s probably off somewhere standing in front of some poor group of tradesmen embarrassing their corp as I write this.  But hey, at least he‘s got French.

Duty First!