I love Rosetta Stone

by Jessica
(St. Paul, MN)

I am currently using Rosetta Stone German and have progressed about halfway through unit two. I was skeptical at first, because it seemed deceptively simple.

First I started matching the picture to "girl" and "man" and "boy", and before I knew it I was using those words to form actual sentences!

I haven't had a chance to use my newly acquired knowledge, but I plan to travel to Austria this summer. I would definitely recommend this software to anyone.

Comments for I love Rosetta Stone

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by: Ron

Congratulations Jessica, I'm glad to hear that Rosetta Stone is working well for you!

You've said a couple of things that others have mentioned as well. That you were 'skeptical at first' - that seems to be a trend with people. I guess we have all had bad experiences (or no experiences!) learning a language, so we don't expect it to work!

You also mentioned that you were working on Level 2. It seems that people really start to 'get it' in Level 2. I only tried Rosetta Stone Spanish after I had started studying Spanish, so I can't say for sure, but I suspect that by Level 2 things really start sinking in. I'll have to plan to study a language fresh with Rosetta Stone to compare. Thanks, and good luck!

Rosetta Stone Underwhelming
by: Harel

Having worked through half of Swedish I, I believe that the pedagogical principles behind RS are basically flawed. In order to really learn a language, conversational interaction is necessary almost from the very beginning. This puts the learner into an active frame of mind, and this, in my experience, is when learning really happens. In real life, one must quickly learn to generate sentences without thinking of letters or conjuring images of words. When two people are speaking together, the presence of the other person easily crowds out image-to-word associations -- when you speak with someone, you shouldn't rely on "seeing" the words. Sadly, RS makes this fundamental error. The student is invited into almost no real conversations. Instead, he engages almost entirely in image identification, very simple sentence construction, and pronunciation mimicry. When he (or she) is actually called upon to participate in a conversation - oh how rare! - he reads what the other person is saying while awaiting his chance to respond. The focus should be on hearing, not seeing/reading. This is regressive preparation for real conversation -- it simply doesn't challenge the student to learn in a quasi real-life way. In short, RS is far too passive a lanugage learning tool. It is also too repetitive and slow. There is one advantage to all this, however: it feels easy.

I speculate that RS has made their program "easy" so as to give the student a sense of rapid success - a false sense, I might add. This generates premature reports of mastery, and this helps to sell the product. Anything else would be a turn-off. This, at least, is my theory.

It should be obvious to anyone who visits the RS website that this company is committed to pushing its product in the glitziest way. The posted reviews are obviously cherry-picked - they are all positive, with a couple very faintly tasking reviews just to give the feedback section a whiff of authenticity. Really, you'll laugh out loud at all the positive energy. Not a single cutting review, which is absurd given the wide sales of RS.

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