Defense Language Proficiency Test

A test given by the US Government to Linguists in its employ to determine their alleged proficiency in a target language. The dubiousness of the test is measured by the number of 'Korean Linguists' produced by the Defense Language Institute who are subsequently stationed in Korea where they learn that they know, in fact, nothing of the language they spent 64 weeks learning.

The test results are given on a scale of 0 to 5. 0 being absolutely no understanding of the language, whereas 5 indicates the same language proficiency as a college graduate who knows some extremely specialized vocabulary. A Plus (+) is added if the testee is nearly at the next level of knowledge, but not quite. Hence scores of 0+ for someone who can say hello and goodbye, or a 1+ someone who can manage to buy a nice red shirt at a discount, but not quite manage to make it something that resembles a normal conversation between a salesperson and customer.

There are three tests in any given language that rate three seperate areas of language: Listening, Reading, and Speaking. However, because certified speaking examiners are only available at the Defense Language Institute, Linguists who are stationed elsewhere will take their yearly recertification in only Listening and Reading.

When one Linguist is sharing their score with others, the format of Listening then Reading is commonly used. For example, "I got a Two, Two Plus" means the Linguist scored a 2 in Listening, and a 2+ in Reading. For your common military Linguist, a 2/2 is usually the minimum acceptable score, but this can vary with one's branch of military and specific MOS. Receiving a 1+ in the post-September 11th world, however, does not mean that any said Linguist will have their job stripped from them. Instead, they are either retrained or have their scores ignored while the military uses them. The situation for Linguists still studying at the Defense Language Institute is, however, differant and fluid, varying from Commander to Commander. In short, an AIT Recruit can either find themselves "rolled" back to a class just beginning, have their job stripped of them and either ejected from the military or given one of those jobs that the military can never fill up such as Supply or Cooks.

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