It’s been a year and a half since we took the plunge with Rosetta Stone to teach my oldest Spanish. We have learned so much in that time, and not all of it has been Spanish.
We had a goal that was unrealistic; we even knew it at the time. The goal was to have Rosetta Stone teach my son to speak Spanish. I didn’t expect him to be able to write his dissertation in Spanish, but I was hoping for conversational speaking skills.
Rosetta Stone is quick to remind potential customers that the are the top choice for all sorts of international agencies, and their program is super effective. However, there are a lot of hidden conditions in those statements, such as the fact that these agencies use Rosetta Stone in conjunction with other methods. We learned some of this the hard way.
Now it sounds like I’m gearing up to report on how horrible the program is. However, it’s not a bad program, just maybe a bit oversold. You can learn Spanish from Rosetta Stone, however, I think it would be incredibly difficult to learn Spanish from Rosetta Stone exclusively.
The program has plenty of good things going for it, but it has plenty of shortcomings as well. For my full break down of the good and the bad, check out my full review here. In the end, it has been a helpful tool for us, but in need of some serious supplementation.
If you are considering using Rosetta Stone to teach a foreign language, be aware that some additional resources will most likely be needed. For younger students, the homeschool pack is pretty useless. The worksheets go way over their heads, and all the instructions are in Spanish. For older students, grammar isn’t taught; they do try to show examples and address grammar, sure, but as far as explaining the grammar rules, Rosetta Stone drops the ball on that one.
If you can do nothing else, Rosetta Stone probably won’t hurt, but don’t expect fluency. It can be downright confusing at times. Supplementing with other programs, games, activities, and worksheets might be helpful, but it’s up to the parent to put it all together.
Of course, asking software to teach a foreign language is a very tall order. There is something to be said for more interactive programs, or if you can afford it, real lessons. Rosetta Stone does its best, and does well for the limitations it has.