Language101.com is a team effort.
First I’ll introduce some of the team members. Then I’ll tell you how Language101.com got started.
The picture on the left is me. My name is Brent Van Arsdell, and I am the founder of Language101.com.
I’m a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering.
I’m a wild enthusiast for learning foreign languages and for using technology in the right way to make language learning easier.
My approach to developing language-learning software is simple. “If we can test something and prove that it works, we do it!”
I’m Available for Interviews
If you would like to interview me or have me on as a guest for your podcast or webinar, please e-mail me.
Programmer Emeritus — Christopher Morrison
Chris is an honors graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with two degrees, one in computer science and the other in aerospace engineering.
Chris has programmed for Language 101.com for six years and has written concise, elegant, well-commended code on three different continents.
He currently is currently getting his Ph.D in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he is designing safer nuclear reactor fuels!
Programmer — James Adler
James is a talented programmer who has what we like to call “rapture of the bits.”
He absolutely loves programming, and he’s good!
James is a 2016 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in computer science. Congratulations James!
Language Lesson developer — David Shoup
David is working on Danish language lessons for Language101.com. He is a retired US Army language specialist and a Wycliffe Bible Translator. He lives in the American South, where English dialect variations abound.
Spanish Teacher — Edgar Mencos
Edgar recorded most of the Spanish lessons you’ll hear on this site. He’s one of the people who give Mexicans their reputation for friendliness.
Web editor — Tim Lale
Tim has been a book and magazine editor for three decades, along with writing for and editing Web sites. He cares very much that the English words you read on Language101.com make perfect sense. He lives in the region of the US called the Mid-Atlantic.
And too many more to mention
The team is really quite big, especially if I were to count everyone who has contributed substantially. All of our language lessons have been recorded by educated native speakers with lovely voices.
How Language101.com got started
Back in 2005, I was studying Russian using the Pimsleur language course, and it was working. What fun! I could actually communicate (a little) with these strange new sounds.
Unfortunately, every time I got done with a Pimsleur lesson, I ended up saying, “Man, that was boring!” There had to be a better way to learn a language.
Next, I tried Rosetta Stone, but it didn’t work at all. Then I tried a lot of programs that you have probably never heard of, and they didn’t work either. Pimsleur worked, but it was slow and boring.
It was a good thing that I learned how to solve problems at UIUC, because now I had a big problem. I was having so much fun learning Russian that I was pretty sure I wanted to learn several other languages too, and at the rate I was learning Russian with Pimsleur, I was going to grow old and die before I learned all the languages I wanted to learn.
In 2006 I started to think seriously about how to develop foreign-language learning software. In December of 2007, I hired my first programmer, and we started developing a program.
Learning foreign languages and traveling the world has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I went from being a typical American who couldn’t speak any other language to being able to speak conversational Russian and being able to have fun in French and German.
Brent Van Arsdell
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