DLI German Gateway
It is likely that some members of the forum are already familiar with the first edition of the “DLI German Headstart” course, published in September 1977, that is available via the FSI-Yojik website. Subsequent to the publication of the former, as a continuation of their introduction to the German language for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, the Defense Language Institute published the “DLI German Gateway” course in May 1978.
As for the course that preceded it, the “DLI German Gateway” course was designed for self-instruction. It was published in 17 modules and included some 34 audio cassettes for which the average duration was 50 minutes, yielding a total of some 28 hours, including a "generous" amount of blank spaces for responses by the user. The first twelve modules, numbered from 0 through 11, were destined for a general audience, whereas the focus of the final modules was on communications amongst members of the military. Most of the vocabulary is quite generic in nature and is still quite current; it is introduced through the presentation of a series of predicable situational dialogues and narratives and totals approximately 1,000 items. Self-evaluation tests are provided at each level of the course and a Final Test is included upon completion of the materials. Although the course includes a large quantity of practice sets for working with the newly-introduced grammatical structures and vocabulary, I would not describe this as an audio-lingual course. Despite the large quantity of materials included in this course, it remains part of “an introduction” to the German language. I would estimate that, upon successful completion, an independent learner would have achieved a level “just short of” CEFR A1. I found the course to be very well-conceived and, in my opinion, it represents an interesting and viable follow-up to any other A0-A1 method such as Michel Thomas German, Pimsleur German I-II, Teach Yourself German, and the like. However, students having completed content-rich courses such as Assimil, Cortina, Linguaphone, et cetera, should give this course a pass.
Course Materials To Be Made Available on the FSI-Yojik.eu website
Ericounet has kindly agreed to host the “DLI German Gateway” course on the FSI-Yojik.eu website. However, he is presently occupied with other matters and will attend to the details as time becomes available. I purchased all of the modules of this course a couple of years ago via Amazon.com and, over time, prepared PDF versions of the course manuals and, through the use of a rather simple device that does not offer the option of conversion to audio file formats other than MP3, prepared audio files from the cassettes. Through the use of the freely-available “MP3 Knife” file splitter, I spent a great deal of time splitting the MP3 files into smaller segments. Regrettably, this software has “issues” and about half of the segmented files are troublesome. So then, I will be sending ericounet the “long version” of the converted audio cassette recordings. If some kind soul, blessed of good will and much free time, were to download the mp3 files, split them and send them to ericounet for hosting on his website, I am confident that users would appreciate the gesture.
The “DLI Gateway xxx” Series
During the period that I was searching the Internet for the DLI German Gateway materials, if my memory serves me well, I believe that I came across a few modules of the DLI Arabic Gateway course; however, some months later, I could no longer find any trace of this course. I have not come across any other “DLI Gateway” course materials beyond the two just mentioned and my inquiries to the Defense Language Institute concerning the DLI Gateway Program have gone unanswered. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised to learn that similar self-instruction courses had been produced in this series as had been done for the “Headstart” series … wer weiss?
EDITED: typos, of course!
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