Interview with Clay Pell

    The nation’s new language czar speaks with Language Magazine

    Last month, the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education announced the appointment of a new Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education — Clay Pell, the grandson of former senator Claiborne Pell, after whom the Pell Grant program is named.

    Pell comes from the White House, where he served as director for strategic planning on the National Security Staff and helped advance President Obama’s key national security priorities.

    For the complete story, click here.


    1. Clay Pell mentioned about “leveraging advances in technology to connect students with cutting-edge language-learning materials.”
      I think the cutting-edge language-learning technology should make a leap from the conventional methods which have very low success rate. Nobody learns to drive by reading the car’s manual, yet that is precisely the way most people try to learn foreign languages. This old method is called the traditional way of learning a foreign language; it could not be improved or modernized. It should be replaced by innovative learning, which is designed according to the new learning habits of Digital Learners.

      Technology cycles have tended to last ten years! Mobile Internet computing is the current cycle. I hope that our Foreign Language Czar will become a believer and supporter of mobile learning of foreign languages, which is interactive and adaptive to learners’ needs.
      The new type of mobile learning resolves the main barrier that most adults are facing in learning a foreign language – it silences the tyranny of mother tongue and allows forming a foreign language speech center in the brain.

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