- Reviewed on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
- Grades Used: 9th
- Dates used: 2012-2013
I purchased Rosetta Stone Levels 1-5 Latin American Spanish in August 2012 to use for my daughter for 9th grade. I definitely have mixed feelings about it and am not sure I would recommend it to others.
Negatives: In the 8 months that we have used it, I have spent about 15 hours on the phone with tech support to fix problems with the software. We would start up the software for the day only to get an error message that would require us to contact customer support. The advice from one tech resulted in the program being deleted (complete with all records for work completed to that point). The worst time required 6 hours of tech support to get the program working again. Ironically enough, Rosetta Stone relies on non-native English speakers for their tech support and some are quite difficult to understand. Only when you request tier 2 support do you get someone you can understand easily. My expectation was that in spending hundreds of dollars on this software, it should work...all the time! I also found out the last time I called in that the phone support is only available for the first 6 months. I am now limited to live chat support for any remaining problems (unless I want to pay $20 per session.)
My second concern is that the program is very weak on grammar. I have studied Spanish in college and with a one-on-one tutor in Guatemala, so was able to supplement what my daughter was learning. However, in a full year of study (using the Homeschool edition included schedule for high school students), she has yet to be taught the basics of present tense verb conjugation. It teaches through "intuition" and repetition, but does not tell the "why" behind anything it teaches. My recommendation would be to only use this program for high school in conjunction with another program that is more grammar based. My daughter has done well working on her own with this program, but is frustrated that after a year, she is still unable to form sentences and have a basic conversation.
If you plan to use this program for high school, don't assume that it can be used independently. I think there must be something better out there, but in the meantime, we will probably continue to use it, but supplement strongly with other curriculum before my daughter goes on to take dual credit courses in Spanish.
- Reviewed on Friday, February 22, 2013
- Grades Used: K-2nd
- Dates used: 2011-2013
When my kids tried to do it, they became very discouraged very quickly. The voice recognition will not recognize even the clearest pronounciations for them. I called the company several times, and after spending a few phone calls messing around with settings, they told me, "it's not meant for kids under 13 years old!". They did not tell me that when I bought it explaining it was for me and my kids and this does not explain how it won't work for me either. They were able to link up to my computer and listen to my kids say perfect "bongiornos" 20 times in a row and be shot down with a negative beep. This also happens to me frequently, and we all end up saying it louder and louder so that we are screaming one word answers at the computer. It has voice settings for young children and we have it on the lowest 'accuracy' setting- I wish there was a way to set it up where no matter how their pronounciation is it gives them credit for repeating a word. This has been a very frustrating experience and serious waste of money. There are better free apps available then spending $500 to turn kids off foreign language.
- Reviewed on Friday, July 13, 2012
- Grades Used: 5th and 3rd
- Dates used: 2012
We have really liked Rosetta Stone French, though we are only halfway through the first Level. We have tried using several textbooks, but without a native speaker, it's hard to get very far. I took French in school and can "get by", but I'm no replacement for a real accent. My kids love doing the program, and they can each go at their own pace. My 5th grade daughter loves that she can do it herself and has instant feedback on how she is doing. My 3rd grade son is going at a slower pace, but is developing a very good accent. They do sometimes get frustrated because the computer doesn't "hear" them correctly, but I feel like that comes with the territory - it is manageable and worth the trouble. I can go into the Homeschool mode and see how they are progressing, how long the lessons took them, and what scores they got.
That being said, I know we'll have to supplement with a real written/grammar program at some point. I don't think this could count for a high school language credit. It is great for middle school and younger (if the typing parts are too difficult for the really younger kids they can skip those), to give them a good exposure to the language. We are now supplementing with French story books and the like, and they are really enjoying it. It is also great for mom who needs a refresher!
- Reviewed on Thursday, December 15, 2011
- Grades Used: Elementary and Jr High
- Dates used: 2008 - 2011
Do NOT waste your money. We attempted to use Rosetta Stone Latin America Spanish in our home school. The concept is great, but there are many problems like the other reviewers have mentioned. My children learned a small amount of Spanish but were extremely frustrated with the program. Often times, they could not tell what the picture was asking. More often than not, the voice recognition did not work. And it takes HOURS to take the program off of one computer to put onto another computer. You have to get on the phone with customer service - deactivate your account - reactivate your account, etc. Hours. I would not recommend this foreign language program to anyone until some of these things can be fixed... and even then, I would be hesitant to recommend it.