An Inquiry in Language Learning: Part 2

Jason Shelton, the Command Language Program Manager for the 310st Military Intelligence Battalion in Phoenix, AZ, was a speaker at this years Users Meeting in May. Like Brian, Jason was kind enough to answer some questions about language learning.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for language learners today?
In the Army Reserve, our biggest challenge is keeping our foreign language skills sharp while only drilling one weekend a month.
What is the best tip you can give to language learners?
Language and culture go hand-in-hand.  Study both.  Immerse yourself in the language and culture.  Use as many authentic materials as you can.

Why is being multilingual important?
For us, it’s part of our job.  Regardless of our “Assigned” language, we often find ourselves in areas where we need to learn basic language and culture.  Sometimes a few words and a basic understanding of culture are the difference between mission success or failure, or even life and death.
What is the greatest benefit of using technology to learn a language?
It enables us to conduct language training/maintenance independently.  The options are vast and vary greatly.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the language field?
I took three years of German in high school and really enjoyed it.  When it was time to choose a career field in the military, being a linguist was a natural fit.

We thank Jason and Brian for the time they took to answer these questions. Stay tuned for more posts from language experts!

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