Product Type: Rosetta Stone in Infotainment
Newest Review: ... fourth a yellow ball. A native Spanish speaker will say 'A blue ball' (but in spanish of course!) and you'll see these words written in ... more
Can you learn like a child?
Rosetta Stone: Spanish (Level 1 & 2)
Member Name: em_01204
Rosetta Stone: Spanish (Level 1 & 2)
Rosetta stone is a software that claims to teach you through "dynamic immersion" This means there is no translation, but you learn the way you did when you were a child, by seeing things and then finding out the word for them and learning like this.
First of all,there may be some problems with this. Some people do believe the brain learns languages differently when older than when you are a child. If this is the case, then rosetta stone is ineffective in its methods. Many people believe there is a critical period to learn a language and if it is not learnt in this time then it can never be learned completely fluently. For example, in cases of extreme neglect where children were not taught any language, they sometimes could never learn it properly even into adulthood. Also, there is no point denying that we do have a mother language already that we have used solely for years and years and it comes to us without even having to think about it. Is it really possible to avoid wanting to "translate" it in your head to find out what it means in english? And is it really such a bad thing to do this? Although children learn through rosetta stones method they are exposed to it for all of their waking hours for years before they learn properly. I am not saying that adults cannot learn another language, I am just saying basing your whole learning experience on trying to learn as if you were a child may not be the best way to do things. Regardless of the debate about how adults learn another language I will talk about the software, especially for spanish.
The software is expensive, and you will be looking at at least a couple of hundred just for levels 1 and 2, but as many people point out, private lessons would total more than this, not to mention with this software you can re-do the lessons as many times as you want and take it as slow/fast as you like. A lot of people rave about rosetta stone, and those who were not interested in languages in school suddenly find they are picking it up and remembering it better than they ever thought they could. For these people I would say great and it is without a doubt worth the money.
When you first get the software, it seems as if a whole language is suddenly at your feet and you feel very excited about it. You do get a lot of lessons in level 1 and 2, and they take things slowly, recapping things and testing you, whilst always teaching you new things. I think the lessons are very well done, and I found it challenging enough I felt I was learning but not too hard I couldnt remember anything. All in all, some people see rosetta stone as glorified flashcards which I cannot argue with. You are basically looking at pictures and learning the spanish for it. There are reading, listening, speaking and writing lessons. I found myself soon becoming bored and in places finding it repetitive and tedious, especially as I realised I was learning things like the boy is in the plane, and it is a while before you learn stuff you could have a proper conversation with. Saying that, if you want to learn a language, the more stuff you know the better and if you stick it out and use the software every day you will undoubtedly become better at spanish.
In my opinion, rosetta stone, just like anything is best used in conjunction with other methods. Even if you just use it for level 1 or 2 I think it would be good to take a break and use any other resources you can find so you dont get bored with rosetta stone. There are lot of free websites and videos etc to use, even bbc has an online spanish course, maybe use bitesize spanish GCSE revision for teens, try and practice understanding spoken spanish (definately not an easy feat), by listening to it as much as possible, listen to online spanish radio, listen to spanish songs, watch tv in spanish or with spanish subtitles and do anything you can to build up your spanish to a basic level. There are a lot of courses on conversational spanish, and this is a good idea to do, then you know the basics. I think after a while things start to fall in place but you are always learning, there is always more you need to learn. Depending on whether you just want to be able to learn to speak spanish enough to have a simple conversation or be fluent which includes writing then you need to try and focus on grammar eventually.
One great thing about rosetta stone is the writing lessons. I was never good at noticing accents on words and it was as if my brain ignored them,especially when I just read spanish, whereas with the writing lessons, you get the word wrong if you forget the accents and you quickly learn where they are meant to go.
A problem I did find it that sometimes you dont know what the pictures are trying to show. They do try very hard to make it clear but at the end of the day they are just pictures so even though its not something you are meant to do, I have a spanish dictionary beside me incase I dont understand what the picture is meant to be showing. I would rather do that than learn a word and not be sure when to use it.
Also, I think maybe the only reason I got ahead with spanish is because I already knew a very basic amount from school. My boyfriend tried someones japanese one, knowing no japanese whatsoever and had no idea what ANY of the words meant so couldnt work things out from the pictures and found himself just having to guess and not really learning. Maybe it is just the nature of the spanish language that is easier than japanese but I would say knowing very very basic knowledge of the language, even just looking at a few youtube videos would help.
I feel it really depends on the person whether this software is effective as everybody learns best in differnet ways. I know people who got bored straight away with just seeing pictures and clicking but I did stick it out and am glad I did. It IS sometimes tedious and boring but it is worth just sticking with it. Even if you think you are not doing too well, every time you learn ANYTHING new from it, you are that tiny bit better at spanish and that tiny bit more towards your goal.
I have never been the best at languages, I am not one of those people who just hear something once and remember it, and pick things up easily, but I am stubborn enough to keep going no matter how slow it is.
There is no substitute for actual conversation and rosetta stone obviously lacks this.If you have any opportunity to practice talking to a native spanish speaker then use it. Sometimes in rosetta stone you are either reading something and clicking the correct picture or saying something in front of you are writing something you have just heard but you dont really get the chance to form your own sentences and receive feedback. This is what eventually everybody needs to learn properly so if you find yourself hitting a wall when trying to learn spanish, a few private lessons to practice and have any mistakes corrected can be invaluable.
In conclusion, if you never learned languages well at school because of the way you were taught this may very well be a good way for you to learn. It is expensive but in the long run, if you stick with it and use it regularly it can be worth it. I would suggest always trying new ways to learn spanish so you dont get bored and your brain is getting information in lots of different ways. Rosetta stone is probably quite over rated but if your goal is to learn a language well, I would give it a go, there is nothing to lose (except a couple of hundred quid)
Summary: Depends on the person
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