According to the recent “State of the Union” address, there will be Government cuts, however DOD and Homeland Defense will not be affected as the intent is to create more jobs. That has the potential to translate into more contracts. Though more contracts do not necessarily mean more growth. A company must be responsive to build the relationships necessary to succeed and grow.
Learning a language as an adult provides unique challenges to every learner. While many methods exist, from Rosetta Stone® to Defense Language Institute courses, each one offers its own advantages and disadvantages. As children, we naturally pick up language at a rapid pace, but this ability begins to fade around age six, and decreases dramatically after adolescence. Due to this change in learning abilities, we need to acknowledge the importance of tailoring language study specifically for adults.
During my seven years of language study as a linguist in the United States Air Force, I realized there are three important aspects of not only learning, but of maintaining a language. They are: (1) structure, (2) learning style, and (3) dedication. Forming the foundation of each of these areas is efficiency. As adults, we are rarely able to dedicate large amounts of time to any one activity, therefore every moment of language study must be as effective as possible.
The Defense Language Institute has researched the structure of language classes to maximize success and minimize the stress of language study. Fifty minutes of study has been shown to be the tipping point at which the quality of learning fades, therefore a 10-minute break is provided so that students can rebound and continue learning. Additionally, having a consistent lesson format, i.e. vocabulary first, followed by listening, then speaking, can reduce some of the thought that is required to study, thereby making the learning more effective.
Each individual has his/her own learning style and it needs to be discovered before studying language. Many online tests are available at no cost to identify different learning styles, but these should be viewed as loose guides, rather than as the basis of a learning methodology. Instructors who are overly influenced by learning style and neglectful of best teaching practices typically produce poor results. Therefore, it is important to focus on known methodologies, while taking into consideration the individual’s learning style. This ensures that students stay interested, and creates a more efficient learning environment.
Finally, the dedication of the learner is paramount to the success of any language study because learning foreign languages is very challenging for most adults. Dedication does not have to exist at the onset of learning, but needs to develop and improve over time. Once it exists, this dedication often develops into enthusiasm, which greatly enhances long-term language development. Perseverance is necessary because language ability fades over time if it is not regularly utilized. Remaining proficient in simple language concepts is far more efficient than relearning the concepts altogether.
It is important to recognize the challenges of learning a new language as an adult, and to adhere to the teaching methodologies that have proved successful. Consistent lesson structure helps keep the focus of the students on the new language versus the method of learning. Keeping a balance between individual learning styles and methods also helps keep students engaged. Lastly, dedication to the language, and the development of a sense of pride in one’s abilities, is what leads to long-term success in learning any language.
The Analyst Capability Working Group (ACWG) was formed in late 2013 as part of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance’s (HAF/A2) initiative to revolutionize intelligence analysis. The Intellekt Group was selected to provide mentorship, expertise, and support to the ACWG in January, 2014. Originally managed by HAF/A2D, the ACWG transitioned from Air Staff to Major Command sponsorship in October 2014, and Air Combat Command (ACC/A2A) assumed responsibility for ACWG direction.
The Intellekt Group spearheaded the draft ACWG charter in 2014, which was slightly modified and adopted by ACC/A2 in 2015. Based on this charter, the team identified strengths and deficiencies in Policy, Technology and Tools, Analyst Development, and Analyst Tradecraft, and initiated actions to improve intelligence analysis throughout the US Air Force and Department of Defense. Extensive research was conducted by HAF/A2I, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), 25 Air Force (then the Air Force ISR Agency), and the Naval Postgraduate School, and a 507 page FY 2014 Technical Report was completed and delivered to HAF/A2D and HAF/A2I by The Intellekt Group.
As ACC assumed responsibility for the ACWG, the charter identified key roles and responsibilities for team members. Armed with the findings from the Analyst Tools and Training Roadmap (ATTR), HAF/A2 White Paper, and the executed charter, the ACWG met at Joint Base Langley Eustis in July 2015 to develop a formal Program of Actions and Milestones (POA&M). During this period, over 280 formal actions were identified and tasked for the forthcoming 18 – 24 month period.
ACC hosted an ACWG POA&M progress review in September 2016 which revealed solid progress with USAF policies and analyst development. The Intellekt Group represented 25 AF/A2O during this review, which validated completed actions and re-established suspenses for the last phase of this POA&M. As FY 2017 approaches, the POA&M provides a living document for all MAJCOMs and specified organizations actively pursuing improvements across all four critical areas. The ACWG anticipates continued progress and currently plans to transition the enhanced capabilities and practices from this POA&M to more long-term efforts prior to FY 2018.
As an organization dedicated to our Green Initiative, The Intellekt Group eliminates cumbersome paper usage throughout our Human Resource (HR) processes. We choose vendors and software that allow us to handle data exchange electronically, thereby eliminating paper waste in even the most paper heavy department, Human Resources:
- Recruitment – Our recruitment process is handled entirely online. We advertise through online job boards, LinkedIn, via email and word of mouth. All of our recruitment tools and marketing products are digital, creating an eco-friendly environment from the onset of the HR process.
- Applicant Tracking – We use an online applicant tracking system to ensure we keep resumes, emails and interested parties available in a fully electronic capacity. This also allows applicants to apply to multiple jobs without having to resubmit an application multiple times.
- Onboarding – Our onboarding process is completed electronically through our HR application. A welcome e-mail is provided with all necessary forms and documents, sent and signed electronically not just for efficiency and convenience, but for the good of the environment.
- Benefits Enrollment – Continuing with our Green Initiative, we use benefit providers that allows for enrollment through electronic forms and online accounts. Our open enrollment meetings are all held via teleconference, reducing carbon emissions associated with travel.
- Company Documents – All of our business information and compliance documents can be found electronically via our HR application or our employee portal, eliminating the need for paper output. All of our company forms, checklists and QC documents are electronic as well.
- Payroll/Expense Reimbursements – We use an online application for time and attendance and employee expense reimbursements, eliminating the need for paper timecards, receipts, etc. All payroll and expense reimbursements are processed electronically and we encourage our employees to accept direct deposit rather than receiving a paper check to help reduce paper waste.
- Training – All our training of company software and processes is done electronically through e-Learning. Whether information is provided in an interactive video, via PDF, or verbally on the phone, we reduce waste any chance we can.
Many other business processes are done electronically as well at Intellekt to ensure we operate in an eco-friendly manner. In a survey done by TheLadders, 72% of job candidates would choose a more eco-conscious company. This is just another reason to work for a company like The Intellekt Group.
Intellekt is doing its part to protect the environment, by making Green a part of the way we operate.
We present technology enhanced training systems as a viable technology for adult learners. With the implementation of technology enhanced classrooms, SmartBoards, computers, internet, teleconferencing and other resources, an organization can increase student engagement, appeal to different types of learners, and increase overall student retention and effectiveness in the field.
In December 2014, Trofholz Technologies, Inc. (Trofholz) announced its decision to separate into two independent, privately owned companies. The final separation resulted on 1 September 2015. As a result of this separation, a portion of Trofholz business has evolved to form a new independent, privately held language and intelligence services company, named The Intellekt Group, LLC (Intellekt). The Intellekt Group, LLC is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.