Language Learning Center starts online learning in response to COVID-19

  • Published
  • By D.P. Heard
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

The Language Learning Center here, which is a detachment of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, began providing online classes in response to COVID-19 March 27, 2020.

The center's mission is to maintain language skills for linguists, who are on flying status while also assisting them in their annual testing requirements.

To make the virtual move, LLC instructors are using an online education platform that has audio, video and chat capabilities. While similar to other applications and programs, this software provides a secure platform for the school.

The LLC is not unique to Offutt, it is one of only a handful of such schools across the Air Force. Its students here are primarily from the 97th Intelligence Squadron, 338th Combat Training Squadron and the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron.

“I feel that the ability to remain flexible and innovative in this uncertain environment is impressive,” said Chris Bigham, LLC director. “The DLI has what they call Language Training Detachments. These LTDs are their presence in the field, and we are lucky to have one here because of our mission.”

In addition to online classes for their students, the LLC's faculty and staff have also transitioned to teleworking. Both moves are part of DLIFLC’s goal to slow the spread of COVID-19 based on guidelines from the Department of Defense and Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The LLC has done a fantastic job finding innovative ways to continue training despite COVID-19," said Lt Col. Richard Schermer, 55th Operations Group deputy commander. "Rapid implementation of virtual classrooms ensured language training continued without missing a beat.”

Hundreds of students attend the LLC each year. The overall total depends on the linguist population at each facility.

“Trained linguists are critical for the 55th Operations Group because it ensures our Airmen maintain core skills for executing global RC-135 missions,” Schermer said.