Study of initial entry student attrition from Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

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Authors
Anderson, Robert E
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Larson, Harold
Date of Issue
1997-09
Date
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Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
eng
Abstract
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) trains students in foreign languages for the Department of Defense. The majority of the students in the basic courses of instruction are enlisted personnel with less than one year of military service. This study analyzes attrition from the basic language courses in an attempt to clarify an observed increase in attrition for fiscal years 1994 to 1996. Students who attrit from languages that are difficult for native English speaking students to learn are sometimes enrolled in the easier basic Spanish course. DLIFLC management was interested in evaluating the effect this influx of previously attritted students had on the attrition from the basic Spanish course. The population of DLIFLC students is described by graphically displaying how attrition is related to several variables which describe the students. Analysis of attrition from four specific languages of varying difficulty and the basic Spanish course was performed using binary tree classification. Results show the variation in attrition for fiscal years 1994 to 1996 was consistent with historical data and students who entered the Spanish course after attritting from another language affected attrition for administrative reasons, but not for academic reasons
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Operations Research
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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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