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Do you want to learn a new language?
Are you looking for an online language program that is easy to follow and helps you learn the language in an efficient manner that involves immersing yourself in the language?
If you are ready to travel to a foreign country, it’s best to learn at least the basics before you go. If you want a more enriching experience, then you’ll want to dive deeper into the language.
One of the most joyful experiences of travel is engaging in conversation with the locals in their own language.
I hate that I can only speak English and a smattering of words from many different languages. The closest I got to speaking another language was Thai after living in Bangkok for six months.
I loved the interactions I had with the local Thais even though it was on a very basic level.
As we were teaching English as a second language so weren’t really spending our days speaking Thai. I didn’t have any structure to my learning of the language, so it was hard for me to find and remember the patterns.
I’ve tried audio language lessons before – before the wonderful world of online courses – and found minimal success in learning Spanish.
Again, I had no way to practice it, AND it was audio learning only. I had no written words or pictures to help my brain remember.
We’re lucky we now live in an age that makes it easy to learn languages online. All you need to do is find an online program for the foreign language you want to learn, login and get started.
I wish I had discovered Rosetta Stone years ago, as after trying it for the past few weeks, I can see that it is very effective in helping you learn a new language.
Rosetta Stone Review
I was happy to write this sponsored Rosetta Stone Review as I know they one of the most esteemed reputations for online language programs.
I chose to review the Spanish language program. I find it easier to learn and living in the US, there is more of an opportunity for me to speak and understand Spanish.
Living on this side of the world now also means we’ll be exploring more Spanish speaking countries with our proximity to Central and South America.
What is Rosetta Stone?
Rosetta Stone has been a language learning program for 26 years.
The program was created by Allen Stoltzfus after he struggled to learn Russian through traditional methods.
He envisioned using computer technology to stimulate the way people learn native language, and developed CD-ROM technology in 1992.
They have now evolved into digital and cloud-based language learning programs. The company (and products) was named “Rosetta Stone,” after the artifact that had unlocked the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics for linguists.
Rosetta Stone have unlocked these secrets within online language learning programs for over 30 languages, including popular languages such as French, Spanish, German and ‘Italian, and some less common, yet equally interesting languages such as Dari, Urdu, Persian, Swahili and Irish.
Irish would have come in handy to me living in Dublin. I could not get a classroom teaching position as I could not speak Gaelic!
Rosetta Stone is trusted by millions worldwide, including educational institutions and corporate clients such as NASA and the US State Department.
They also have a homeschool program, which I’d love to check out. I want the girls to learn a foreign language as well, especially if a lot of Latin America travels is in our future.
How does Rosetta Stone help you learn languages online?
Rosetta Stone knows the best way to help you learn a language.
During my first lesson, I was wondering why it began with random pictures and words. I had no idea what was happening and what I was learning.
But after about the first five exercises my brain started to connect the dots and I began to understand the language and what the words meant.
Most other language programs will start by teaching you a stream of information, including letter sounds, random words and grammatical rules.
This makes learning difficult, as it’s just a babble of words and instructions that don’t make sense to you.
Or, they try to teach you too much at once, before you’ve had time, through repetition, to fully grasp words, phrases and pronunciations.
Let’s face it, native speakers never learn their language like this.
Learning through experience and connection
The best way to learn is through experience, which helps your brain to make connections itself and discover patterns.
Repetition in simple form helps language become an automated response. Therefore, you learn more effectively (and quickly).
I loved how none of the lessons gave me any formal instruction. I was given words, pictures, and audio pronunciations. I was only given a few new words in the first lesson that I practiced repeatedly.
I was not taught what words like ella, el, Niño, ellos, ellas, nadan, cocinan mean from a grammatical perspective.
But after matching pictures to words repeatedly, my brain could work out for itself that el is he, Ella is she and ellas, ellos are the plural form of them (feminine and masculine).
Nadan, and cocinan signal the third person plural for swim and cook!
Now I understand these I can easily apply them to sentence structure and new words and quickly build upon them as we move through the program.
Because let’s face it, knowing what word is singular, plural etc. is quite irrelevant when learning a new language.
You just need to grasp how to use the language rather than reciting grammatical rules.
The way the lessons are structured means you must pay attention as you are matching words to pictures etc. If you were just being taught this through listening to an instructor your brain can so easily switch off and so learn nothing.
Trust me, I used to be a teacher.
I understand how easily student’s brains can switch off. It’s one reason teachers like to utilize computer pogroms and games in the classroom as it engages the children, they don’t tune out and they make connections and form understanding by doing.
Building your confidence is key
What I noticed was how confident I felt once I worked that out for myself. It was that moment of,
“Oh. I get it. I really think I have a good chance at learning Spanish here.”
Confidence is key in achieving success. As is enjoying what you are learning.
Rosetta Stone has helped me enjoy learning Spanish, as it engages my brain, and my brain loves to learn and figure things out for itself.
I’ve only managed to get through one lesson (which is comprised of 6 mini lessons of 10 – 30 minutes in length). From a quick look at the structure of the course, I believe it will continue to follow this way of teaching.
If I was traveling to another country and wanted to learn the language – or at least some of it – I would go straight to Rosetta Stone because it’s so effective.
How is the Rosetta Stone language learning program structured?
My online Spanish language program consists of 20 units of work. Each unit is broken down into a core lesson.
Core lessons will teach you your new language, while the following focused activities build skills and reinforce the language you’ve learned.
There are four core lessons and a Milestone within one unit. Language is taught via pronunciation practice, vocab, grammar, reading and writing.
The language program has an extended learning section where you can practice your language skills by playing games, reading or listening to stories in the target language, and practicing conversational skills with people around the world.
The Phrasebook helps you practice common phrases.
This section is very helpful for the traveler as it deals with topics such as staying in a hotel, getting around, dining out and meeting people.
It will help prepare you to have those real-world conversations in that language when you visit your dream destination.
Some of the Rosetta Stone language programs also include access to special language tutors for further immersion and practice.
Finally arrived in that destination and find yourself getting stuck in conversations?
Log into your account for a quick refresher and study the phrasebook for those language situations that are most important for you having a great time.
Units and lessons
So far, the lessons are structured with simple word to picture matching with the instructor simply saying the words and I repeat it.
This is followed by an audio lesson where you must repeat the word after the instruction given by their TruAccent® speech recognition technology.
You can’t move to the next word or phrase of your target language until the pronunciation is correct.
Again, this is something I have not seen in other language programs and is highly effective.
Although, it did remind me of that time at University where we had to pass a singing test and after my 112th attempt at hitting the Do Rei Me notes correctly, the computer politely told me it was perhaps better if I stop and come back another day.
Thankfully, Rosetta Stone wasn’t so brutal, or it is so effective at teaching that I only had to repeat a couple of words once or twice.
I love how you immediately see your percentage score after each lesson. You can retake the lesson if you’re not happy with your score.
I like the structure of the program – simple practice that doesn’t involve memorizing vocabulary that has no context.
It immerses you dynamically into the language through seeing, hearing, speaking reading and writing in the language you are learning.
The user interface is clear, simple and easy to navigate.
I feel like a kid who has just logged into an exciting program at school to learn rather than listen to the boring teach drone on and try to lecture information rather than help the student experience it.
Helping you learn a language despite being time poor
Probably like you, I have very minimal time to do something monumental like learn a foreign language.
I LOVE how the lessons are broken down into manageable small lessons.
There are numbers below each lesson letting you know how many exercises there are. A simple check for each one completed effectively lets you know your progress. Ones that aren’t checked signify where extra practice is needed.
This track your progress bar is super helpful in keeping me on task. I don’t quit on the lesson thinking it is going to take too much time.
Simple things make a huge difference to time-strapped people in helping them complete goals.
Rosetta Stone recommends that it will take approximately 40-50 hours to complete the content in each level of the program.
Individual lessons may take from 5 minutes up to 30 minutes, depending on the specific activity within the program. Even if you have only a few minutes to spare, it is easy to fit Rosetta Stone into your schedule.
I’ve just been dedicating 15- 30 minutes of an afternoon to log on and do a short lesson.
Because they are so simple and repetitive and so tuned into that patterned brain learning, I feel very confident in my ability to learn enough Spanish to give me an enjoyable and rich experience when I travel to a Spanish speaking country. (Now I just need to book that in!!)
How much is the Rosetta Stone program?
The Rosetta Stone is an online language program and is subscription based.
Online subscription plans start from 3 months to 24 months.
I love the how the different subscription time frame suits the level of in-depth study you want to take as well as how fast or slow you are at learning.
If you are a super busy mom like me, then a longer subscription would be very handy, so you can move slowly!
If you are a fast learner with loads of time, you may be able to hunker down and learn efficiently in minimal time.
I love the flexibility this offers to learn on your schedule, with any device, from anywhere in the world.
You can download any lessons to your mobile device, so you can continue learning offline. This is perfect to help you brush up on a few phrases on your flight or bus to your chosen foreign country!
Plus, the lower monthly payments may make better sense than to outlay a large fee to pay for a program outright.
If you compare the monthly subscription rate to paying a language tutor for limited hours, the Rosetta Stone language program offers great value.
You can retake the lessons as often as you like until you fully understand it.
You could do hours every day even if you wanted to and the price wouldn’t change.
If you were paying for a tutor however and needed those extra hours, it would cost you a lot of extra money.
Does Rosetta Stone work?
I highly recommend using a language program to help you learn a different language, especially if you can’t learn it through immersion into that culture.
As a former educator – including teaching English as a foreign language – I am very impressed with Rosetta Stone.
While I cannot give you, any guarantees this online language program will work because it is, in large part, dependent on your effort and ability to learn and practice.
However, I do think Rosetta Stone is the best program for learning languages online (that I have experienced) and to help you start speaking in no time.
It gives you an easy to learn system that is very efficient in teaching language. Actually, let’s change that, in helping you learn another language.
I don’t think Rosetta Stone does a lot of teaching, which is why it’s such a masterful program.
Through the immersion method, it guides you to the understanding and then give you a means to practice and perfect your pronunciation and conservational language use.
If you want to maximize your language learning in the most efficient way, have fun while you are doing it, and gain the confidence to have conversation in the country you are traveling to, Rosetta Stone is the language immersion learning program for you.
P.S. Don’t forget, if you have a loved one who is ready to embark on overseas travel.
Learning the language of the country they will be visiting is a wonderful way to help them have the richest expertise possible.
It will be a meaningful gift for their stocking this year!
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Have you learned another language before? Where, what language, and how? What helped you the most?