Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rosetta Stone Findings

Technical Report
Research Area: 
Second Language Acquisition

The U.S. Government (USG) has invested significantly in the online foreign-language training program Rosetta Stone™. This particular package has been attractive to agencies and to the Armed Services as a convenient way to meet immediate agency language-training needs and to help fulfill the objectives of Goal 1 of the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap.1 Rosetta Stone™ is available in thirty different languages, including Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs), such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Pashto, and is designed to teach all four skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students are not required to use a book—all of the lessons are entirely online. The program is purportedly easy to access; students can log into their accounts from any computer that can connect to the Internet, so there are no CDs or DVDs to distribute. Finally, the software manufacturers have marketed the package as a state-of-the-art solution using “the Dynamic Immersion Method,” which is claimed to facilitate learning new languages very quickly and in the same communicative and interactive way native languages are learned. The company’s website states that the software will help “you achieve your language learning goals faster than you ever thought possible.”