Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rosetta Stone Demo

Wow, we're having fun with this. Rosetta Stone has a free 7-day on-line demo for homeschoolers. You can sign up until today only. You can choose any of 21 languages to try the demo in, with all levels available. Fiona and I have been trying Japanese, Sophie is using French and Noah has decided to check out the German program. Unfortunately although they have a Thai program, it's not part of the free demo, so Erin is out of luck.

We used to have a PowerPack sampler years ago and were mighty impressed, but the newer version is better still. I've been working hard on Japanese and am now about a quarter of the way through Level 1. Each level would be considered roughly equivalent to a one-year high school course -- not bad for three days. I had learned (and then mostly forgotten) how to read hiragana last year thanks to the SlimeForest Adventure game, and knew a few words and phrases, so I wasn't starting totally from scratch, but pretty close!

So the next question is which languages we'll buy in the new year when the next intallment of the kids' learning allowance comes through from the SelfDesign program. Sophie has had RS French on her wish list for a few months, so that's a pretty much fer-sure. We'll have to see how enthusiasm holds up for the rest of us.

5 comments:

  1. You're kidding? One level is worth a year in a HS course? That's insane. I got my trial yesterday and am 2/3rd of the way thru level 1. I'm learning as fast as I can so I can get one language down and possibly begin on some others before my 7 days is up. :D

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  2. Well, to fully make it a high school course you'd have to include written work and formal grammar work. But in terms of the aural component, yes, it's apparently similar in scope to a typical high school intro course. I'm amazed by your progress. What language are you doing? I'm only a quarter of the way through level 1 Japanese and it's tough going. Maybe it's partly that I'm having to learn to read the hiragana and katakana as I go ... and I can't easily use anything written to help me make sense of it, because I need to decode it in a new-to-me phonetic system. Anyway, good for you! That's amazing progress.

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  3. We just got the Spanish (Latin American) program to help my husband communicate with his employees. I've been using it also and within two days of starting I knew (and remembered) more Spanish than I did from 3 years of high school Spanish classes. It's a really fantastic program!

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  4. It used to be that as a BC resident, you could access the Rosetta Stone program online for free through the Richmond (BC) public libraries by using a BC One Card that you can get from your local library. The BC One Card gives you access all BC libraries. But when I just tried to find Rosetta Stone at the Richmond library in order to refer you to it, it looks as though they've switched from Rosetta Stone to "Mango Languages" -- might be worth looking into the differences between Rosetta Stone and Mango before you spend your Self Design money.. they have Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Greek, Russian and Mandarin available

    http://www.yourlibrary.ca/content.cfm?lev1=190&lev2=398

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  5. Zicki, we just finally managed to join a library that participates in on-line programs like LibraryToGo. (We don't have a local library so we have to pay... ) But yes, a year or two ago Rosetta Stone began to rescind library licenses. Some US libraries still have it -- not sure if they're grandfathered in for a time thanks to a longer contract or something -- but it's mostly no longer a library option.

    I had a look at the Mango Languages demo at their site and it's okay but it's certainly not Rosetta Stone by any stretch. There's also LiveMocha.com, which is free and doesn't require library access. We much prefer RS though, especially for kids.

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