• Oct 03, 2018

Alelo Awarded Multi-Year Contract to Develop Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainers

VCAT is the preferred method of the U.S. Combatant Commands to provide all assigned or attached personnel the proper training to meet the growing culture and language training requirements

The Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) has awarded Alelo Inc. a multi-year contract to expand and enhance DLNSEO’s suite of Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainers (VCATs). VCATs are simulation-based learning environments that help military personnel quickly develop the cultural skills that they will need when working overseas. The total value of the contract when fully funded will be over $8 million.

U.S. Combatant Commands (COCOMs) deploy US personnel around the world who require culture and language skills to do their jobs. According to DLNSEO, “the VCAT is the preferred method of the COCOMs to provide all assigned or attached personnel the proper training to meet the growing culture and language training requirements.”

Alelo’s mission is to help learners around the world communicate more effectively. Our training products have made a difference for learners and saved lives.

Alelo has developed VCAT courses for over 90 countries, and over 200,000 learners have trained with them. This new contract engages Alelo to create VCATs for additional countries; incorporate interactive games and learning resources; and update cultural content to reflect evolving cultural dynamics due to conflicts, refugee migrations, urbanization, and environmental change.

Cathleen Moran, a former government project manager for the VCAT program, said of this announcement: “I am very pleased that Alelo will continue to support the development of VCATs. VCATs provide highly effective customized culture training that is used across the Department of Defense. I believe Alelo’s work on the VCATs has always been of the highest quality.”

To develop VCATs, Alelo conducts original cultural research, interviewing individuals with first-hand knowledge of the local culture and the tasks and missions that US personnel typically undertake in that region. Alelo uses these findings to construct immersive simulations in which learners role-play meetings and encounters with counterparts in other countries, and mentally prepare for when they will engage in such encounters overseas.

Alelo has developed advanced artificial intelligence technologies for learning cross-cultural communication skills, such as avatars that speak and understand the local language and interact with learners in culturally appropriate ways. Students in two-dozen countries are using this technology to improve their spoken English skills.

Alelo is partnering with virtual-reality companies to create virtual-reality environments that immerse learners in culturally realistic situations.

Alelo CEO Dr. Lewis Johnson notes: “Alelo’s mission is to help learners around the world communicate more effectively. Our training products have made a difference for learners and saved lives. Our partnership with DLNSEO will continue to make our learning products available to learners throughout the Department of Defense.”