Here is what I think about Rosetta Stone.
Please remember that this is my perspective as a teacher and a non-user (although I am seriously considering purchasing this language program to improve my Spanish).
I have done some extensive research on their official website and I've also read numerous reviews of the program and I am presenting what I have learnt.
- Diana Tower
Rosetta Stone's Immersion Method is a computer based program that simulates language immersion. It comes in CD-ROM format and works on both PC and MAC systems. This program works to simulate the "immersion" experience that someone faces when they go abroad to a new country.
You are presented with a combination of pictures, audio and text all in the target language. There is also a section to help you improve your pronunciation by recording your voice (microphone included) and comparing it to the native speaker's version, and you are also able to improve your writing skills.
Rosetta stone does not use any form of translation to learn a new language. This program helps you by hearing words and associating them with pictures.
There are three different levels 1, 2 and 3 for English. Rosetta Stone provides these courses in either British or American English. The choice is up to you. If you interact more with Americans it would probably be more beneficial for you to get the American version, and visa versa.
As there are three levels to choose from, it works all learners from beginners to advanced.
• CD-ROM software for Level 1 (Windows/Mac)
• Headset microphone
• User’s Guide
• "audio Companion" (For an additional cost ) Additional audio/MP3 files that complement the lessons that you do on your computer, but you can take everywhere you go.
-You can record your voice and play it back to compare your intonation and pronunciation with a native speakers recording
-You can change the speed of the speakers to make it more challenging or easier.
- As you progress, the software remembers your weaknesses and the areas where you've struggled and flags them so you can improve your skills even in your weak areas.
Rosetta stone assures it's users that you will be able to learn the language, grammar and all. It does not, however, focus specifically on grammar in traditional terms. I personally think that you do not need to focus on Grammar as much as many of my students do, but I do have a solution.
This is the question that someone has recently asked me, and I can not answer it 100%.
Only you can make the course work or not, when the program is good. When you have a quality program, like this one, there are usually only two reasons why the program didn't work for you.
1) Your learning style is not the same as the program. For example this interactive and immersion based course is very visual and hands on, and for those of you who like grammar drills might find it difficult at first.
2) You stop using it after ___ amount of Months or even DAYS!
The problem with language courses, in general, is that they create a great sense of hope and promise in people.
"If you buy this product, you WILL learn English".
It sounds so great doesn't it. The trick is that they omit your rolein the equation.
It should say, "With our program and your effort,persistence, devotion and consistency you will learn English...with time!".
Doesn't sound the same does it? Sounds much more real...and like work!
The Rosetta stone methodology, using immersion to learn seems very useful. I think that focusing on using a language rather than on the grammar and mechanics of it is much more fun, interesting and effective.
I also like that there are different levels so you can start at your level, not something too simple for your level.
I think the main question to ask yourself when looking into a program is..."Will I use it?"
Most of the programs out there do really work. This one and Berlitz for example, just to name a few. When you purchase a home study program it is YOU that makes the program work. (Obviously if the program is of poor quality then you might not learn much...but in the case of Rosetta Stone quality is certainly not a problem).
This language course is changing the way that people approach learning languages, and I am excited about what I see.
Come find the motivation to keep studying with it.
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