Saturday, January 21, 2006

I like the Rosetta Stone But...

Army offers foreign language training - Minnesota Daily

Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Berlitz and anything you can get your hands on in the initial stages of learning is great. I love all of it. I have been working on my Farsi and Dari for the past year and a half and I have used the Farsi curriculum from all the above and the results were amazing. But I am a linguist and a language teacher. I know how to motivate and guide myself and how to avoid the trappings of frustration when you're stuck. Online learning is a great idea but giving our soldiers and language learners in the armed forces the Rosetta Stone without any further instruction or interaction is not sufficient and will not produce the desired results. RS needs to be supplemented with classroom instruction and the human touch. Maybe the military is doing this already, I don't know because I don't have access. But what I know is that commercial grade language materials should be supplemented by things like online conferencing, Podcasting and voice enabled instant messaging. If you have some good feedback on the subject I would love to hear from you.