Dr. Paul Pimsleur
Dr. Pimsleur was born in The Bronx, which is a suburb of New York City. His father immigrated to the United States from France, and his mother grew up in the United States. His father composed music and his mother worked at the New York Public Library.
Dr. Pimsleur worked hard and studied first at the City College of New York, and then took French and Psychology at Colombia University. He graduated from Colombia with a Master’s degree.
His love of language most likely stemmed from his father’s French heritage, and growing up bilingual. After graduating from Columbia, he decided to teach French at the college level. He began teaching at UCLA and later at Ohio State University. While at OSU, he got the idea to begin developing a series of language programs that would allow people to learn a new language over the telephone. He created and directed the Ohio State University Listening Center. In order to make the teaching scalable over the telephone, the Learning Center, under Pimsleur’s direction, began producing instructional language tapes to be played over the phone system as a teaching aid, which lead to the first auditory self-directed study of foreign languages.
After finishing his work at Ohio State, Pimsleur then went on to teach at State University of New York: Albany, where his interest into the psychology of language learning and acquisition lead him to study and teach exactly this psychology.