What is in this article?:
- Without a doubt, language immersion is probably the most effective way to learn another language: such as extended travel to a Spanish-speaking country. This is not always the most practical solution.
- Rosetta Stone is truly an immersion program.
One of the great advantages of an app, over a computer program, is that one can study when there are a few minutes available, here and there. Rosetta Stone provides a free app, as part of the TOTALe learning process. This permits the user to study even when there are only a few minutes available. The app is designed to mirror the computer lessons.
Suggestions for the next version:
The app is free for three months. Because users can still use the regular computer lessons, Rosetta Stone might consider an option of selling the TOTALe app to interested users who do not continue the subscription process. In addition, Rosetta Stone has the opportunity to develop a different app, one where the users can practice vocabulary words and expressions based on their own special interests. For instance, a user may wish to learn his or her numbers. Rather than learning a few numbers here and there, an app would be the perfect place to practice a more extensive set of numbers. But then, excellent low cost apps to do just that already exist, and they work well with or without Rosetta Stone. Two such examples are AccelaStudy and Byki (see my smartphone app review).
Rosetta World provides users the opportunity to play language-related games online and listen to stories in the target language. One of the games I particularly liked meant clicking on the correct photo and matching it to the spoken word. In theory, users can also play games against other learners. At this time, at least in Hebrew, there are few opportunities to find other users to play with. But if we make a request, the Rosetta Stone concierge team will plan for a game day for your target language.
Fear of embarrassment sometimes holds us back from trying to speak a new language. But when we do have a conversation with another person, the motivational boost can lift us to new levels of skill and confidence. I have saved the very best item for last: the Rosetta Stone Studio online classroom. Despite my unfounded apprehensions about participating, I jumped in with both feet. The maximum number of students that can join the virtual classroom at one time is four. This way each learner gets lots of opportunities to participate. With the very best motivational and teaching techniques available, coaches greet the participants and engage us in conversation for fifty minutes. In order to improve success rates, Rosetta Stone encourages participants to complete the related computer work for that unit and lesson. The coaches are courteous, kind, motivating, and patient. We are exposed to a photo and are asked questions about the same. If everything else fails and we blank out, the coach offers us a few suggestions. For instance, a photo may show a boy running. If the correct answer escapes us, the coach may ask something like: ¿el niño bebe? o ¿el niño come? o ¿el niño corre? Ah, that is it, we recognize it, el niño corre. So we repeat el niño corre.
The instructors are so very positive, that if someone gets it even partially correct, the coach makes sounds of approval and encouragement, and repeats what we have said, making a correction if necessary. For example, we see a woman swimming and say, elmujer nada. The answer is almost perfect, so the coach says. ¡Bien! La mujer nada. What was most surprising to me, was that with few exceptions the students got a better than average grasp of the proper pronunciation. I believe that the main Rosetta Stone computer course was responsible for that. Participants can take each lesson as many times as they wish.