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DLI’s Language Day Is an Explosion of Food, Learning & Culture

By Katie Lange,
Defense Media Activity

It’s not very often that you get to see a dozen or more cultures mixing together, showing off colorful garb, instruments and artifacts, all to get people interested in learning the language. But at the Defense Language Institute‘s annual Language Day, that’s exactly the plan. It’s a 60-year-old tradition that keeps growing in size because of its popularity.

Students perform a Chinese dragon dance during the Defense Language Institute’s Language Day 2018. DoD photo by Katie Lange

The DLI is the DoD’s premier language school, teaching military students how to become fluent in 17 languages, including Chinese, Russian, Urdu, Pashto and four forms of Arabic. The classes are intense, but they’re vital to training service members to do their jobs. Learn more about how it works here.

One day a year, the institute opens its doors to the public so they, too, can learn about the school’s training methods, the many languages and cultures offered, and of course, try out some tasty treats from each country. This year, more than 6,000 students from across 20 states and various countries attended.

A Chinese language instructor poses with students who have…

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