THE UTILIZATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES IN NAVAL PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS
HUMAN SCIENCES RESEARCH INC MCLEAN VA
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A study of foreign languages in Naval psychological operations was performed with the purpose of beginning to define research problems in the areas of training and operational utilization. Currently, about 1,000 officers and enlisted personnel are annually receiving at least some foreign language training. An analysis of the decisions made in the administration of this training revealed that information about the use of languages in missions was not being systematically employed because such knowledge does not generally exist. An obstacle to the development of this information is the view that skill in a foreign language is a tool in mission performance. The basic approach used to begin to develop an understanding of the relation of languages to missions was through an examination of the function which language usage serves for the foreign national. These functions help identify criteria for planning and evaluating missions and suggest new missions. Analysis of the functions which language training serve for the user, together with other mission analyses, help define criteria for training which prepares him for more effective performance in foreign cultures. Foreign languages need to be defined more broadly as an aspect of cross-cultural communication in which verbal skills are but one subset of a variety of interaction skills which involve attitude change and social influence processes, status attribution and motivation.
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