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Rosetta Stone or not?

At least once a week someone asks me what I think about Rosetta Stone.  I have to give Rosetta Stone folks credit for their promotional efforts and for making people want to get going on  learning another language. They seem to give people hope that it can still happen no matter what your age or circumstances.  Rosetta Stone gives one the interactive experience with a lot of graphics which is really helpful to some people.  And in this day and age the ability to learn on the computer and at any time of day is also  attractive of course.  But when it all boils down to it, the sames rules apply.

Often my classroom students express envy about the three-year-old native Spanish speaker babbling away  in the grocery store.  I remind my students that that child has heard that language for many hours a day for three years not including gestation! That toddler has heard adults and kids talk as they cook, play, clean, drive, celebrate and interact in innumerable ways.  She has watched TV, been read to, cajoled and disciplined all in Spanish!  So what does that toddler have over my Spanish students?  Well, mostly TIME ! And time spent completely immersed in the language.

So how do we replicate this?  Well, we cannot all head out of the country for three years, but there are options.  Whether it be with Rosetta Stone, language dictionaries or the wide array of books and CDs available in the bookstore and online, one has to spend the time.  I know people who are outgoing enough to take a few classes and immerse themselves locally:  go to church in the language, make new friends from the community, listen to TV and radio several hours a day, really change their lives and  immerse themselves without leaving their home town.  It takes a special and outgoing personality, but it does happen.

On the more conventional front, you can buy all the Rosetta Stone programs possible but if you are not going to dedicate the time, it will be no different from the book,  the teacher,  the tutor or the trip to Costa Rica or Paris.  So, yes, if Rosetta Stone is for you and you can shell out the hundreds, then go for it. But if you can spend time with some grammar and vocabulary books, TV, videos, CDs, friends, a trip, cultural events and make sure the TIME ads up, you are going to do just as well. Time is that key element

Immersion Island fits in well here because we give you the opportunity to take your language “live” locally and spend time immersed.  We offer camps for children and adults to either begin or further their language journey while being fully surrounded by by the language.   Typical middle and high school students are doing wonderful things in the classroom and they  really know their grammar and vocabulary.  Immersion Island saturates them in the spoken language more  than can happen in a classroom setting which can be restrictive especially when there are so many students in a class.

Most of our camps are week-long for kids and this gives them eight hours or  more a day of role play, games, songs  and situations to allow them to hone their conversational skills.  We even have our first adult Spanish weekend planned in the fall!  All of this allows the critical additional piece to any type of language study – time!!!  Immerse yourself today at Immersion Island!