View Full Version : Rosetta Stone question.
December 27th, 2011, 04:13 PM
They spend a lot of money on advertising.
My question is - Have you or have you ever met anyone that has used this product and said that it (1) worked and (2) was well worth the cost?
I have not and was wondering what others experience with them was.
December 27th, 2011, 05:27 PM
As to the cost, that was not a factor since the USAF paid for it, but my son used it as part of his Mandarin Chinese course and found it very useful and well done. He recommended it to me should I want to pick up a second language.
December 27th, 2011, 05:42 PM
Used it, worked ok, but not as good as the good old tried method of
1)immersing yourself in the culture of the lanugage
2)having a systematic learning plan
3)consuming media in the language, at least 2 hours a day, conversing regularly, building a vocabulary
4)getting an SO that speaks the language :P
, as for price vs value: I believe there are trials available?
December 27th, 2011, 05:43 PM
We did a lot of setting up of offices in new countries in the last five years and used RS as primers for our teams that were being deployed. Our goals were not to have the individuals fluent, rather just what they needed to tell a cab what hotel they're staying in, order off a menu, ask basic questions, understand directions and some customary stuff... for those purposes it worked quite well. I'm sure if you dedicated yourself to the study of it beyond what the initial course offering gave you it lays a good groundwork as well - that just wasn't our need so it wasn't how we used it.
All in all, I'd do it that way again if I had another similar opportunity...
December 27th, 2011, 05:52 PM
I studied Spanish as a kid, initially with the traditional American-style classroom training, and then by living outside Madrid for 3 years. Guess where I learned the most?
Recently, I got the Rosetta Stone for Korean and I'm finding it excellent for the spoken language. It's not nearly as effective as a way to learn to read/write Hangeul. Overall, I'd say it is well worth the price, especially since you can purchase it in chunks, depending on how fluent you hope to become.
December 27th, 2011, 05:53 PM
Dan, If you want to learn Spanish, start by watching Spanish TV. Novelas, dibujos animados y noticias.
December 27th, 2011, 06:32 PM
In my work as a curriculum director, I have had to study the current theory behind foreign language instruction. I even led a team that created an award winning online foreign language instruction system that is now used throughout the U.S. and some other countries. (No, you can't useit--it is part of an online school curriculum.)
The way it was typically taught in schools for centuries, the way Dirty-Dog was probably taught in school, was later shown to be about the worst way you can teach it. (And yes, much of that research came from the military.) Several people have mentioned the positive aspects of immersion, and that is a key part of the current thinking on foreign language instruction. Yes, living next to Madrid will teach you a language far faster and more effectively than the way I was taught decades ago. Watching Spanish language TV will do a lot for you.
I am by no means truly familiar with Rosetta Stone, but it is my understanding that its foundational theory is consistent with current thinking on foreign language instruction. I would expect that it would do as good a job as you can expect from such a system. If I were in the position where such learning might be useful to me, I would probably go that route myself.
I am sure you will find critics who were taught the old way and fiercely believe it to be the best. When we built our course design teams, we had several early hires who could not get rid of the old system (memorize grammar rules first) in their thinking, and we had to fire them. In addition, we had people who reviewed our program and gave it poor marks because it was not traditional in approach. If you find someone who criticizes RS, ask some questions to find out why. If it is because students are not focusing on verb conjugations and vocabulary lists from the start, then you will know where they are coming from.
December 27th, 2011, 06:40 PM
I used it and my German still stinks, but I thought it was well put together. Basically I did not put in the hours needed.
On the other hand I forced it on my 2 sons (home schooled) and they did well. The spent 4 hours a week on it for one year. Not fluent by any standards but they can communicate in German verbally well enough and read fine.
December 27th, 2011, 09:13 PM
I'm glad you asked the question, because I've wondered this myself, as I continue to work on my Spanish.
I did the Pimsleur system for German, and I liked it a lot. It was really structured to reinforce learning, and it was easy to use in the car. It was not quite as expensive as RS, but it wasn't cheap.
On the other hand, my husband bought me the course the State Department uses, which is much more traditional. It had more material and was more technical, and you know what? I never got through it. There is a lot to be said for CDs you can run in the car.