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316th TRS hosts inaugural language fair at Goodfellow AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Robyn Hunsinger
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 316th Training Squadron hosted the first Goodfellow Language Fair Feb. 28 at the event center here.

The event highlighted different cultures through informational booths, a variety of foods, a film showing and a language competition for students. Many students from the Defense Language Institute at Presidio of Monterey, Ca., also attended the fair.


To kick off the event, Col. Thomas Coakley, 17th Training Group commander, spoke to the attendees about how language is the key to success and the importance of honing those skills.


“Learning and maintaining a language is an incredibly difficult thing to do,” said Coakley. “Although it is difficult, the key to those skills is remembering that language is ultimately social. It’s fairly abstract but it feels concrete because it is a social skill. It may be difficult but it is the key to human success.”


Students created in-depth posters about their target language’s culture and heritage. They also answered attendees’ questions and provided information throughout the event. Staff and students also provided snack foods and desserts from around the globe to give people tastes of different countries. During the event, there was a showing of the Academy Award-winning film “Parasite,” a Korean film detailing greed and class discrimination amongst a wealthy family and an impoverished family. 


The 316th staff later held a language competition for students in which they used their target languages to complete tasks and solve a mystery. Before the competition began, the students were put into teams of two based on their target language. One student would describe what had to be drawn while the other, without viewing the original, did their best to recreate the image just by what the speaker said. The secondary portion of this competition was set up in ‘escape room’ style. The pairs of students were given documents to decipher from their target language to receive the next clue until the mystery was solved. In the end, the Arabic linguists took first place, receiving a certificate of achievement and bragging rights.


“This is an incredible event set up by our staff and students,” said Coakley. “We have linguist students, we have Airmen, Marines and sister service permanent party who will be participating.”


Events such as these allow students to teach others about what they are learning and learn from their peers in a social environment.