After conducting a fora search, this program was only mentioned once in passing in Intros.
Name: SOFTS - Special Operations Forces Teletraining System
SOFTS is a program that allows for the online learning of a language in a small online classroom environment setting. Classes are taught by subject matter experts that are able to instruct language and culture.
Requirements include: computer, microphone, webcam and bandwidth. Bandwidth is key particularly because laggy voice can be detrimental to the learning process. Powerpoint presentations are usually shown during the class with the instructor talking through the slides. Students have the ability to interact with the slides through a variety of tools that are attached to the program.
Classes occur primarily in the evening for 3 days a week and 2 hours a session (there are exceptions) and last about 3 months. They strongly encourage attending every class but they understand that servicemembers are busy characters.
The resource is open to all DOD personnel with priority going to SOF followed by non-SOF.
My experience thusfar: I am currently taking Mandarin for Absolute Beginners. I was assigned Mandarin Chinese out of Selection and after doing about two weeks of the Rosetta Stone I was looking for an additional resource and fortunately came across this program. I am currently in class with a member of the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy and then myself in the Army. All four of us are taking the course for completely separate reasons.
I am extremely pleased with how the course is run. The service desk personnel are extremely helpful in assisting with any computer problems. The language professor is a native speaker and is very personable and effective. I have taken 5 semesters of foreign languages in college (Spanish and Latin) and this is on par with quality with each of those courses. I anticipate to have a solid base of Mandarin before attending the SFQC language module at Bragg next year. The first two weeks of the course have been focused primarily on the pronunciation of chinese syllables (tone is very important in the speech) with some vocabulary.
Feel free to google SOFTS or visit the website https://www.softsonline.org/
for more information.