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A Statistical Analysis of Individual Success after Successful Completion of Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Training

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Master's thesis

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The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center DLIFLC trains students in various foreign languages and dialects for the Department of Defense DoD. The majority of students are first-term enlistees in the basic program. This study uses classification trees and logistic regression to understand the military, academic, and personal characteristics that influenced the success of first-term enlistees from the basic course of instruction who entered DLIFLC during fiscal years 1997 to 2000 and graduated. Success was defined as completing a first-term enlistment contract and maintaining language proficiency. DLIFLC management also was interested in the difference in success for individuals that graduated DLIFLC via the different training pipelines. Students graduate by completing the program as originally assigned, recycle into the same language in a later class, change to a different language, drop out of the program, or require Defense Language Proficiency Test DLPT enhancement training multiple times and in multiple combinations due to various academic, administrative, or other reasons. Results showed that 63 percent of students graduated, but only 45 percent of those who graduated were successful post-DLIFLC. Results identified several factors influential in predicting success. These factors were service affiliation, contract length, and gender. Training pipelines were slightly influential. Individuals in the Army had the worst odds of success. Contract lengths greater than 4 years had lower odds of success than contract lengths less than 4 years, and males had higher odds of success than females.

Subject Categories:

  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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