The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - 24

LANGUAGE FOR THE GOOD OF ALL: ATA MEMBERS MAKE
A DIFFERENCE IN THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE SERVICE CORPS continued
initiatives, which required her to
understand and apply the terminology of
mission concepts in Japanese and English.
Lili enjoyed the intensity of the mission, in
which everyone worked on their ability to
train effectively together and communicate
across linguistic and cultural boundaries.
Lili recommends that individuals
considering volunteering for NLSC
have " a sense of adventure and humor. "
She says that NLSC assignments can be
viewed as unusual opportunities that
could well lead to memories of a lifetime.

GROWING PROFESSIONALLY
WHILE SERVING THE COUNTRY
Susan, Barbara, and Lili say that
membership in NLSC is intrinsically
satisfying because it allows them to apply
their skills and experiences on a temporary
basis to help U.S. government agencies
accomplish conventional tasks and manage
emergencies and unforeseen circumstances.
Tangible benefits that may enhance
the career profile of ATA members also
typically accrue from active participation
in NLSC, including:
■	

Enhancing one's language industry
credentials through temporary
employment within the framework of
the U.S. government, national security,
and foreign-language communities,
including W-2 employee status,
proficiency assessments through the
Defense Language Proficiency Test/
Oral Proficiency Interview process, and
security clearances.

■	

Broadening one's linguistic and cultural
skills and experiences, often through
active engagement in extraordinary
missions and operational environments.

■	

Expanding one's professional network
by working with federal government
organizations that value language,
diversity, and culture.

■	

Having the freedom and flexibility
to accept or decline NLSC mission
work, including assignments requiring
national or international travel.

OKAY, HOW DO I SIGN UP?
If you think NLSC seems like a good fit
for you, just follow these steps to become
a member:
24

The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2020

If you enjoy new and unusual
assignments, volunteering for
NLSC could be for you!

■	

Submit the prescreen application.

■	

Complete the application and global
skills self-assessment.

■	

Submit all completed forms.

■	

Qualified applicants will receive an
acceptance letter.

■	

Sign and return the commitment letter
and commit to NLSC's Values and
Member Code of Conduct statement.

To learn more about NLSC membership
and start your application, please visit
www.nlscorps.org/membership.
NLSC program managers seek
candidates with proven skills,
competencies, and experiences in
interpreting and translation, especially if
these skills have been endorsed through
credentialing or certification. To this end,
ATA members should consider if and
how voluntary membership in NLSC
might align with their language services
endeavors and professional development
ambitions. If you enjoy new and unusual
assignments, volunteering for NLSC could
be for you!
Special thanks to our ATA colleagues
Susan, Barbara, and Lili for participating
in the interviews, and to Elsbeth Clay and
Hyejin Hickey at NLSC for supporting
ATA's Government Division's initiative to
develop this article. For more information
on the National Language Service Corps,
please visit www.nlscorps.org.
NOTES
1.	
Federal Interagency Language Roundtable,
https://govtilr.org/Skills/ILRscale1.htm.

Rusty Shughart is a retiree of the U.S. federal
government and the U.S. Air Force. He is a
member of the leadership council of ATA's
Government Division and currently chairs the
Government Linguist Outreach Task Force.
Contact: russ4ata@yahoo.com.

REASONS TO JOIN NLSC
Opportunities to Network: With over 10,000
members, you can meet others who speak
your language or who may work in a field
that you have been considering.
Language Sustainment and Enhancement
Opportunities: Hone your existing language
skills or work to pick up a new language
using NLSC's free online learning tools
and trainings.
Connect with the Language Community:
Meet others who are as passionate about
language as you are.
Gain Professional Experience: You may
be invited to support a federal agency as
an interpreter, translator, instructor, or
cultural advisor.
Interesting Speakers and Events: From
language sustainment to emergency
preparedness training, there's always
something new to learn and discuss.
Serve Your Country: Use your language
skills, regional expertise, and cultural
capabilities to help your community
and country.
Government-Credentialed Language Score:
Validate your language skills with the
Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT)
or the Oral Proficiency Interview, two of the
most widely recognized language proficiency
tests offered by the U.S. government.
Enhance Your Résumé: Boost your language
credentials by adding your membership,
service experiences, and DLPT score; learn
valuable techniques for marketing your
language and cultural skills.
Free Membership: Becoming a member of
NLSC is free!
For complete details, check
out www.nlscorps.org.

www.atanet.org


http://www.nlscorps.org/membership http://www.nlscorps.org https://www.govtilr.org/Skills/ILRscale1.htm http://www.nlscorps.org http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020

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