June 21, 2013

Article: Rosetta Stone Is No Replacement for In-Class Learning, Study Finds

From http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/rosetta-stone-is-no-replacement-for-in-class-learning-study-finds/44269

Rosetta Stone Is No Replacement for In-Class Learning, Study Finds
By Sara Grossman
June 19, 2013

Rosetta Stone, the popular commercial language-instruction system, is no replacement for trained teachers and in-class learning, a new study has found. The company that makes the system says it has no interest in replacing teachers, though it has recently made deals with colleges to use its product as a teaching tool.

The study found that the Rosetta Stone “software package is not a viable option for foreign-language learning” because of shaky theoretical foundations, mechanical inflexibility, and “cultural inauthenticity,” among other things. The author of the report, Lisa K. DeWaard, an assistant professor of Spanish and second-language acquisition at Clemson University, also took issue with what she described as misleading marketing claims by the company, Rosetta Stone Ltd.

A representative of Rosetta Stone, however, disputed Ms. DeWaard’s assertions, saying that her findings were based on her personal view of language learning.

“Her conclusions are very much her opinion,” said Jean Ku, director of industry marketing at Rosetta Stone. “We take the immersion approach. It’s very much to get people started in thinking in the language they’re learning. What she’s talking about is a critique of one particular approach.”

Read the full article and the thought-provoking comments at http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/rosetta-stone-is-no-replacement-for-in-class-learning-study-finds/44269

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