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This short publication is about how language instruction in the Peace Corps evolved from 1961 through to 1968. According to the document, "language instruction in the first few Peace Corps training programs was limited to about one hundred hours. The average achievement was low and inability to speak the host countries' languages well was a major problem.

"Volunteers today receive a minimum of three hundred hours of language training in the standard twelve-week training program. The language training component in some programs has gone as high as five hundred and fifty hours. The quality of this intensive audio-lingual language instruction is indicated by some of its more publicized results." [p.3]

And so through this aspect of the Peace Corps programs, "one basic characteristic of the "ugly American" is being erased by the Volunteer: he is no longer tongue-tied. Peace Corps Volunteers are trained to speak as equals with people throughout the world who remember too well the disdain and deprecation expressed in the linguistic ethno-centrism of the old colonial powers. The relative success of Peace Corps language programs does not mean that the Peace Corps is satisfied or that all Volunteers arrive overseas truly fluent in the required languages. On the contrary, the majority of PCVs still go overseas with less than a comfortable working knowledge of the language." -- [p.3]


S 19.18:1


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