DLIELC Festival Showcases International Flair, Goodwill
By Annette D. Janetzke, DLIELC
/ Published February 22, 2012
2/18/12 -- Showcasing cultural displays from 23 countries, the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) held its first International Fest Feb. 1 at the Gateway Club.
Students attending DLIELC's Advanced English Studies here created the displays, each showcasing their cultural customs and traditions.
Each display included facts about the country with printed photos, computer slides, and videos with personal narration. Sudents conducted presentations featuring origami, music and dance instructions.
More than 1,000 people from the base and nearby local communities attended the event, which included 4th and 6th graders from Lackland Elementary School, as well as volunteers from the American Members of International Goodwill to Others programs, commonly referred to as the AMIGO program.
Event Coordinator, Milissa Stewart from the DLIELC's Field Studies Program Division, coordinated the effort, recruiting students and support for the Fest over the course of four months.
"Students were eager to participate and went above and beyond expectations for the event," said Steward. "We held this first-time DLIELC event to showcase our school to the base and local community. I feel we successfully achieved our objective."
One of the primary reasons for the event was to attract more sponsors to the AMIGO program, which pairs volunteers with students during their English language training, and to acquaint students with American society, customs and way of life.
"This first-time endeavor successfully provided a new awareness of DLIELC for those who did not know of the school's existence on base, and also served as a perfect recruiting tool for our American Members of the AMIGO volunteer sponsorship program," she added.
One presented, Paraguayan Army Lt. Col. Miguel Escurra, said, "This was a great opportunity to show and tell people about my country, its location, our national dress, especially about my national tea, 'mato', which I'm asked about every day."
"I'm thrilled with the interest and turnout the Lackland community showed for our first international fest," said Col. James Garrett, DLIELC Commandant. "This was a fantastic opportunity for our international students to showcase their nations and culture to our local community."