Rosetta Stone Full Review
Rosetta Stone was created in 1992 with the idea to use computer technology to enable language learning. The founder of Rosetta Stone, Allen Stoltzfus, considered that simulation of the way people learn native language is the best way to learn the second language. That is how he came up with the idea to create an innovative language-learning solution.
Today, Rosetta Stone provides courses for 30 different languages. The company is founded in Arlington, VA, but it has offices all over the USA, including several offices around the world.
Having in mind the idea that language learning should be a natural and instinctive process, they have used interactive technology for creating the language immersion method effective among learners of any age. This method creates an environment where learner is exposed to the new language without any grammar rules or translations. The learner is supposed to learn the language by diving into an unfamiliar language environment, by exploring the language and discerning the meaning and the rules.
Rosetta Stone introduces new words and concepts in a carefully designed sequence, so that you first hear sounds. After that you see words and sentences, illustrated with the images. In the end, everything is rounded up in a meaningful conversation. Starting from the simplest forms, Rosetta Stone helps you fully understand and memorize the language. Rather than providing rules and repetitive exercises, the learning is based on the fact that you discover patterns on your own which helps you intuitively acquire the new language forms. There are lots of images and audio materials to enable you to learn the language in an interesting way.
You get instant feedback to make sure whether your answer is correct or not. Additionally, speech-recognition technology and repetitive patterns enable you to practice both speaking and writing. Software keeps track of your progress so you can go back and review lessons and activities you did not complete with the perfect score. The whole interface is based in a sort of a timeline which helps you visualize the whole unit and everything you are going to learn in the following lessons. By hovering the mouse over the timeline you can see the unit topics and goals. The timeline is designed in such a way that each unit looks very easy to complete which must be very inspiring, especially to those students who are less patient.
How it works?
Rosetta Stone is a software that is available on CD-ROM or it can be downloaded from the Internet. It enables you to starts with the basics of Hebrew and advance towards being able to communicate in this language. Learn Hebrew Rosetta Stone package includes a three-level course. Once you download the software or purchase a CD, you will be able to install it on up to 2 computers and the software can be used by up to 5 users.
Each of these three levels for learning Hebrew contains 50 hours of learning materials.
- Level 1 (Foundation) – The final goal of this level is to learn how to exchange simple greetings, how to introduce yourself and others, and how to communicate when shopping or placing an order.
- Level 2 (Connection) – The goal of the second level is to learn how to get around, how to make phone calls and how to tell time and talk about schedules.
- Level 3 (Exploration) – After you complete the third level, you will be able to talk about health and well-being. You will also learn about measuring things and the vocabulary related to the celebration of important events.
Learn Hebrew with TOTALe – If you want to complete the learning process, you can do so by purchasing online subscription which includes Learn Hebrew course and additional learning tools. The online subscription includes:
- Interactive software – You get online access to the content that is available on Rosetta Stone CD-ROM. This includes a three-level Learn Hebrew course.
- Online-only features – Learn Hebrew by reading stories aloud, playing group or solo games and chatting with other people learning Hebrew. Games, stories and flashcards are available only as an online feature, and they are not included in the CD-ROM version of the course.
- Learn on all devices – You get full access to the Rosetta Stone apps that allow you to sync and track your progress across multiple devices. The apps are available for iPad, iPhone, smart phones and Android tablets.
Regardless of the level, each Rosetta Stone course follow the similar structure. There are three types of activities within the course that you can take:
- Core lessons – This part includes the presentation of new lesson materials. Core lessons enable you to learn through images and language patterns to discover the meaning and the rules. You will need around 30 minutes to complete the lessons in this part of the course.
- Focused activities – These activities are intended to build skills and reinforce the language you have learned in the core lessons. Besides revising, you will be able to expand the knowledge related to the previous lessons. These activities usually last from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Milestones – At the end of each unit you will be able practice conversational skill in order to round up what you have learned in the unit. You will spend around 15 minutes in simulated conversational activities.
There are four core lessons, several focused activities and one milestone in each unit. There are four units in total per one level. Most learners need around 40 to 50 hours to complete one level of Rosetta Stone course.
After you complete each unit within the course, you can participate in live online sessions hosted by native speakers. Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes and allows you to reinforce what you have learned during the unit. You also get the chance to practically use the language through conversation which will additionally build your self-confidence and help you start speaking Hebrew. During the online session, the language coaches use webcam. There can be up to four participants in an online session. The coach guides the session and uses images that are displayed on the screen.
The goal is to engage the learners to speak and improve their ability to communicate in a foreign language. Live online sessions have to be scheduled in advance. You will be able to see the timetable with the planned lessons, and you can apply by clicking on the time and date that is convenient to you.
- Games – Interactive games involve all four skills and allow you to learn in an interesting way. While playing games and learning, you can chat with other learners.
- Community of language learners – The online community enables to you further develop your language skills on your own, with others, or by participating in language exchange.
Rosetta Stone is suitable for all ages due to the fact that the learning environment is created in a way that imitates the learning of the native language. There are no complicated rules or complex explanations. Instead, software is aimed to help you discover how the language works on your own, which will help you learn more effectively. The software is easy to use and compatible with multiple devices, so you can learn wherever you are. Interactive games are especially interesting for enhancing the vocabulary and language patterns.
Good thing is that once you get used to the unique Rosetta Stone approach to teaching, the whole learning experience becomes slightly addictive due to the progress tracking features and especially speech-recognition functionality which keeps you engaged constantly.
Rosetta Stone offers other solutions for businesses, public sector, education and homeschooling.
How to choose the right plan/level? How do I know if this service can be helpful for me?
When it comes to choosing the right plan, both solutions for learning Hebrew, start with the level 1. This means that both plans start with the beginner lessons and as the course continues you get access to the more advanced materials. The difference between Learn Hebrew and Learn Hebrew TOTALe is that the second one includes online subscription which gives you access to additional online features for learning Hebrew. In addition, Learn Hebrew TOTALe includes language learning apps that enable you to sync and track your progress across multiple devices. There is no test that could help you determine the level of Hebrew. You can check out Rosetta Stone demo in order to determine how exactly the software works and whether you will find it useful.
The prices vary depending on the type of the course. Learn Hebrew course that contain three levels is $399 and you get unlimited access to the course. Learn Hebrew with TOTALe includes limited access within 3, 6, 12 or 36 months. 3-month access is $129, while 36-month access costs $499. Rosetta Stone frequently offers discounts on the courses, so you can purchase the courses cheaper.
If you purchase Learn Hebrew CD-ROM or downloadable version of the course, you have 30 days to return the product if you are not satisfied with it. In case you have purchased TOTALe subscription, you are allowed to return or exchange the product within 7 days of purchase. Considering relatively high price of these courses, their return policy is very useful, as you will be able to test the product first hand.
- Modern software with interactive exercises and games.
- High quality of both visual and audio materials.
- Integrated speech-recognition technology throughout the course.
- Live online sessions allow you to practice conversation in real-life situations.
- Online community with games, chats and online interaction gives you a chance to have fun while learning.
- You know exactly what you are going to learn as the goals are set very clearly.
- The demo illustrates features with video. You cannot try out the actual software on your own.
- No explicit grammar rules.
- There are no translations during the lesson as learners are supposed to discover the meaning. Despite the images, some learners may still need the translation for certain words.
- The number of live online session in which you can participate is limited to four per month, which is not enough if you are intensively learning the language.
• How is Rosetta Stone different form traditional language learning solutions?
Instead of learning the language through translation and grammar rules, Rosetta Stone helps you understand the foreign language and to intuitively grasp the new concepts. This enables you to start thinking in a new language immediately, which will make learning much easier.
• What is Rosetta Studio?
Rosetta Studio represents the live training sessions with the native speakers. Rosetta Studio feature is available for 25-minute sessions, four times a month. The sessions are held by the coaches who are native speakers and their goal is to engage the learners and help them speak. Up to three other learners can participate in the session apart from you. You can also have private sessions with the native speaker.
• What is Rosetta World?
Rosetta World is the interactive language-learning community. It enables users to learn languages in the surrounding similar to social networks. You create your own profile and connect to other language learners in order to interact and help each other with learning. Rosetta World uses advanced technology to match the suggested activities to your level of Hebrew. You can play voice and text games to practice speaking and writing, or you can participate in other social activities and interact with native speakers.
• How does speech-recognition technology work?
Rosetta Stone has developed a cutting-edge technology that uses a modern software for speech recognition. Their speech-recognition technology compares your speech to the native speakers and provides feedback on your pronunciation. The perfect accent of native speakers is used in the software so that you are able to learn from an authentic model. This technology enables you to quickly evaluate and improve your speaking skills on your own.
Rosetta Stone offers a very modern and well-designed solution for language learning. The technology is constantly being developed in order to integrate the best models into the course. The courses are based on the immersion method that allows you to learn language in more natural way, which keeps you engaged easily. Feedback is available throughout the course, so you get additional motivation to go on with the learning. Rosetta World and Rosetta Studio are there to enhance your learning process even further by enabling you to practically use the language and get feedback from native speakers. Although there are no translations and grammar rules, the language patterns are usually quite illustrative and most users have no difficulties in adopting the rules in this way.
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I paid for the HEBREW Course and began learning. I enjoyed it very much and made good progress.
Unfortunately I had a setback in my health, and my learning was interrupted for several months by surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
B”H I am now well and wish to resume my HEBREW learning but when I tried to start again, I was told I had to pay again.
I am not willing to do this and so sadly, I intend to abandon my association with Rosetta Stone.
Brilliant, a little predictable on some of the questions, but it’s really nice, I’ve had the software and now have a lifetime subscription to the online service. I do no have anyone to speak Hebrew with but I’ve been trying to learn by myself since I was 7, still not sure if I could have a conversation but I am getting good at understanding Israeli TV. I’m 45 now.
For me Rosetta Stone was reasonably engaging.
However, my main issue with the program is the quantity of content. It only goes to level 3, as opposed to level 5 for other languages. At the end of this, you will not have enough vocabulary to read the newspaper or watch a popular TV show without going back and looking up a lot. You will have enough knowledge to ask directions or make some basic interactions. I have been going through some of the lessons in hebrewpodcasts.com, and their beginner level lessons often go beyond what RS has provided