Top 11 Online Language Learning Resources (Or: How To Make Yourself More Attractive For US Government Intelligence Positions)
In fiscal year 2011, the National Intelligence Program (NIP) made payments to 7,507 government employees within the CIA, DIA, FBI, NGA and NSA for foreign language proficiency (See the Washington Post’s breakdown of the so-called “Black Budget”). This is not surprising given the Director of National Intelligence’s emphasis on foreign language capability within the US national security intelligence community.
Among the top foreign languages are all the usual suspects – Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese -whereas less common languages populate the “special interest languages” list – Tagalog, Punjabi, Somali and Urdu.
Similarly, the scores on the Department of Defense’s DLPTs (Defense Language Proficiency Tests) can earn you pay incentives within government positions and the US Army for each of three language lists – A, B and C – ranked by importance
What does this mean for entry-level intelligence analysts?
It means that being bi- or multi-lingual is practically a pre-requisite for an intelligence analyst position.
Can’t afford Rosetta Stone or other expensive programs? No time in a busy class schedule (or even busier work schedule) for a foreign language course?
Don’t worry – You don’t have to have a BA in Balkan Studies to pass a Serbo-Croatian language exam. There are plenty of (free!) online resources to help you achieve language proficiency levels all on your own.
Below are the top language learning resources on the web according to the blogosphere: