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Rosetta Stone vs college class?

Hello, I am studying French but I suppose this can apply for all languages. If the cost of Rosetta Stone was not a problem, compared to the average college basic class, how does Rosetta Stone hold up?


I read Rosetta Stone is bad but so was my college course. My professor (who was Ameircan and not French) would give us print outs and worksheets that she had collected from various books and peer to peer websites. Someare even incorrect! The work was 80% online material from a book/website interface. My professor was very unapproachable and in short, now I see she has a low score on RateMyProfessor. I felt I had an awful education starting out, everyone was essentially on their own in that class so just how much worse can Rosetta Stone be?


How much more would I learn with the software and other resources compared to only memorization and worksheets they teach at college? I do plan to go back to college simply to have the course on my record but I'd like to be far ahead this time and know what I am doing in advance. I do not want to rely on actually learning in these claasses, I know I will not with these horrible methods.


Will skills from Rosetta Stone push me to the front of the average intoduction college course or is it simply a waste of time? I understand I will not become fluent over night with either method but as a beginner can Rosetta Stone serve as a substitute for the average college course if my focus is to learn the language not memorize enough to pass a class?



Rosetta Stone is ok at the very beginning, but it can only do so much.  All 5 levels of French only add up to 50-60 hours worth of language instruction (repetitive drills excluded).  However, estimates are that native English speakers require roughly 700 hours of instruction/study in order to develop a working ability in French.  So when all is said and done, RS will amount to less than 10% of what a student does to achieve semi-decent proficiency in French.   The bigger strategic question to me is after completing Rosetta Stone in the first couple of months, what is done for the following 8 months to solidfy that French?


In my opinion, RS may serve only as an additional tool, it certainly helps grasp some vocabulary and sentance structure, but you may want to get some grammar explained, and write down some words and phrases that may not occur again, perhaps make and use some flash-cards. If you add a little listening and reading practise, this pretty much will be a learning prosess. But I think that RS as all-in-one learning tool is a word of marketing.

I highly recommend the Teach Yourself series. I learned a lot from Teach Yourself French. Have a look at RF1 also, they have a "radio français facile" which is quite helpful. You can listen to the news and check the transcript so that you get used to spoken French easily. Here's the link:


Watch movies. Listen to French music. Is there anything you are really passionate about? Why don't you try to read about it in French? Even the French Wikipedia would help. Since you're already familiar with the topic, it'll be easier for you to grasp the content. You can also get a few paid lessons here on italki. There are tons of teachers here and I'm sure you can find one adequate to your learning style and needs (and no, I'm not being paid to advertise lol).


The important thing is: try to get as much contact as you can with the language, especially real language, used by both native and non-native speakers in genuine interactions.



I don't rate RS very highly. I think it made me lazy as quite often you're just clicking on pictures. It can help with picking up some vocab but I don't think it does much with grammar. It's not worth the money. I think it you're going to spend money on learning materials I'd recommend Michel Thomas's course as it really makes you work hard and you start to pick it up. It's also cheaper than RS as I recall. It also makes you feel like you're involved in a class due to the way it's designed.

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