One of the most well-known products on the market for language learning is Rosetta Stone, renowned for its immersive and engaging method of instruction. The software assists users in learning new vocabulary and grammar in context. The software combines both auditory and visual aids. This study article examines the current literature and evaluates the software’s advantages and disadvantages to address the question, “Is Rosetta Stone a good tool for learning a conversational language?”
One of the earliest commercially available language-learning tools, Rosetta Stone, is a language-learning software that has been around since 1992. It was first made available as a CD-ROM in 1996 and immediately became the standard language-learning program. Rosetta Stone made it simple for people to study a language in their spare time by bringing language instruction from traditional classes to home computers. Rosetta Stone had to adjust in recent years with the introduction of app-based learning, and it is now accessible as a download and an online subscription since 2014. With a projected $190 million in revenue for 2019, Rosetta Stone remains one of the most well-known language learning programs available despite digital language learning market changes. It makes learning accessible to students of different abilities and interests by providing courses in 25 languages, some with as many as five distinct courses per language.
The usefulness of the Rosetta Stone for language acquisition has been examined in numerous research. While the software was shown to be good for delivering isolated language elements, it was proven less effective at fostering communicative competence and oral fluency (Lord, 2016, p. 22) when used to teach Spanish in an academic setting. Furthermore, the study recommended that cultural appreciation and awareness be investigated because language textbooks frequently contain a wealth of cultural information in contrast to Rosetta Stone’s resources.
Similarly, a study by Kurniawan et al. indicated that using the Rosetta Stone program to improve students’ listening comprehension skills is successful (Kurniawan et al., 2021, p.102). According to their pre-test and post-test results, the study found significant learning gaps in listening comprehension between individuals who used the software and those who did not. Based on the pre-test and post-test results before the treatments, the findings of studies 2 and 3 were highly pleasing. According to the study, employing the program can help English teachers develop their pupils’ listening comprehension abilities. The study’s results can guide future research and urge more investigation into the effectiveness of teaching listening comprehension using Rosetta Stone software.
Lastly, a study (Ikonta & Ugonna, 2015) discovered that students who used the Rosetta Stone software had considerably higher post-test results than their pre-test scores, suggesting that the software increased their English ability. According to the study, most students considered the intervention procedure fascinating and motivating, and they showed a favorable learning attitude toward the program. The research concluded that using Rosetta Stone in ESL classes to acquire a foreign language is productive.
Strengths of Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone has been around for over 30 years and has many advantages that help learners learn other languages effectively. Rosetta Stone’s pronunciation and reading practice are one of their merits (Christiano, 2023). Learners can improve their pronunciation by practicing speaking syllable-by-syllable and recording word and phrase chunks. Besides audio recordings of native speakers, Rosetta Stone also offers short stories entirely in the target language. To help them with their accent, learners can record their audio and compare it to recordings made by native speakers.
Interacting with actual native speakers is one more benefit of Rosetta Stone (Christiano, 2023). The course provides brief on-demand videos and live classes with native speakers that are live-streamed at predetermined times. Language coaching, which consists of a speaking practice session with a native speaker and language expert, is another choice. It allows students to practice conversing with real people, an important aspect of learning a language. The high-quality audio in Rosetta Stone’s learning materials is crisp, clear, and spoken slowly, making it ideal for students to hear and comprehend every word. The “Dynamic Immersion” method used by Rosetta Stone, which concentrates on creating an immersive language learning experience, is essential because it includes native speakers. Rosetta Stone is a powerful language learning tool overall, thanks to its various advantages.
Weaknesses of Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone has several limitations; therefore, it might not be the best option for all language learners. First, the way the classes are structured—a core lesson followed by exercises that take about 30 minutes to finish—may not be convenient for students with hectic schedules. Also, because conversational skills are the main emphasis, grammar and reading comprehension are addressed briefly, which may not be suited for students who prioritize these subjects (Dizon, 2022). Moreover, Rosetta Stone lacks cultural context, which is essential for language learning. Also, the program is pricey, which might prevent students on a tight budget from enrolling (Dizon, 2022). Last but not least, Rosetta Stone’s mobile app offers few features and does not support all Level 5 languages. Overall, those who are false beginners, auditory and visual learners, and those more concerned with conversational fluency than advanced grammar and reading comprehension may benefit most from Rosetta Stone.
To sum up, Rosetta Stone is an excellent resource for learning conversational language skills, yet it has some drawbacks. The software’s qualities, which make it a useful tool for language learning, include its immersive approach to language learning and its adaptability to various learning styles. However, the software’s limited focus on conversational language skills and lack of interactivity are weaknesses that may limit its effectiveness for some users. Rosetta Stone can be a helpful tool for language learners, but it should be used with other learning tools to guarantee thorough comprehension.
Christiano, M. (2023). Rosetta Stone Review: Language Learning Pioneer Now Outpaced by Competitors.
Dizon, S. (2022). Duolingo vs. Rosetta Stone: Pitting the Old Against the New for Language Fluency.
Ikonta, N. R., & Ugonna, N. C. (2015). The Effect of Rosetta Stone (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) Software on English as Second Language Students’ Proficiency in English Language. African Educational Research Journal, 3(1), 69-79.
Kurniawan, D., Bunau, E., & Wardah, W. (2021). THE USE OF ROSETTA STONE LANGUAGE LEARNING SOFTWARE IN TEACHING LISTENING: DOCUMENTARY RESEARCH. Journal of English Education Program, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.26418/jeep.v2i2.45516
Lord, G. (2016). Rosetta Stone for Language Learning. IALLT Journal of Language Learning Technologies, 46(1), 1–35. https://doi.org/10.17161/iallt.v46i1.8552