After not logging in for some time, I didn’t quite feel up to going back to the main content tree, so I decided to check out other parts of the program.
The Resources tab
At first I found the resources section interesting because of its division in language skills and communicative abilities as well as workshop inclusion, but then felt slightly disappointed: the type of exercises available here are exactly the same as in the knowledge tree I was trying to walk away from.
The difference between this tab and the lessons in the language training lab is that these ones do not follow a progression, which may be an advantage to some and a disadvantage to others. For me, personally it was a nice change of pace.
The My Statistics tab
Another new discovery was the Summary section. In strict language learning terms you will not find this section helpful because it is nothing but a summary of the time and work you’ve put into this program. However, it may be a very good way to measure your work and progress and decide your next move, as it actually includes a breakdown of the skills you’ve worked on.
So in conclusion…
If asked to put a number on it, I’d give Rosetta Stone a 7 out of 10. Considering I had serious concerns about this program’s effectiveness at the beginning, that is actually more than I thought I’d give it in the end!
If there’s something excellent about the Rosetta Stone Tell Me More program, it may very well be its huge library and study program structuring, which leads you through a pretty natural progression. You literally never run out of things to do…
…which could also be its biggest weakness.
I believe one of Rosetta Stone’s issues is that it doesn’t really draw you back very hard. After maybe a month or so of constant use, you don’t feel like you’re dying to log in and give it another go because you’ve already seen all the variety of exercises and resources the software has to offer, so you know your next lesson will be very similar to the one you’re doing now. It’s slightly monotonous.
Don’t get me wrong—so far, one of the things I like the most about this program is its versatility and extent of contents… but that doesn’t mean I want to do the same exercises every time I learn a new word!
Another minor issue I have with the program in this particular language is the media contents. They look as though they haven’t been updated since the 90’s, and they seem stiff, offering little variation.
Lastly, this is where Rosetta Stone lost points with me: I honestly, honestly hated the lack of human interaction. It sounds absurd to say this at this point because Rosetta Stone is KNOWN for being a free-standing language learning tool, but I could never shake off the feeling of being completely alone in my language learning mission. If I hadn’t actually been mixing it up with tutoring sessions, it would have been the loneliest language mission I’ve done so far.
So is Rosetta Stone worth the money?
I think it is a very good tool for absolute beginners. At that point the learning depends more on mechanical processes (such as vocabulary memorization and basic grammar comprehension) and the way in which Rosetta Stone rolls out could very well lead you a very early start on fluency.
However, I think it’s not worth it for later levels, at which you want to start flying solo and develop thoughts and ideas of your own in your target language. There are better (although fewer) resources for advanced language learning, so you may want to look into that instead.
So that’s the end of my Rosetta Stone review. Think I missed anything? Have you tried Rosetta in other languages, and have a say in it? Let me know in the comments!
Update: You can now read the completed series by clicking on the following links: