For many, Rosetta Stone is the first online Spanish course they’ll hear of. The commercials can be so convincing that many will look no further, and decide they could use a Spanish language lesson without assessing the pros and cons.
Obviously, Rosetta Stone Spanish language course wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is if it wasn’t doing a fairly good job of teaching the Spanish language. But how familiar will you be with the Spanish language, and can other software do it better?
A good starting point, but…
Over the years, Rosetta Stone has attracted quite a bit of negative feedback, and it can be difficult to tell whether this is due to a lacking course or simply the presence of newer and better ones. Newer is the key word here, and also the reason why Rosetta Stone deserves to be cut some slack; it’s been around since 1992, which is MUCH longer than most other language courses. This is also part of why it’s so popular – back in the day, there wasn’t really anything comparable.
However, can we really forgive the Rosetta Stone team for not making enough advancements? The hard truth is that, over the years, similarly-priced and yet better courses came out, and it would appear that the people behind Rosetta Stone placed too much faith in their status as one-time innovators of their field.
Like many other language-learning courses, Rosetta Stone divides lessons between levels. Most will go for a 12-month subscription that doesn’t actually sell you the product, only licenses it, for $300. However, the subscription is notably absent of a feature that makes many consider RS over its competitors: live tutoring. If you buy or download the software, you and three others will be privy to four sessions a month with a Spanish tutor. While a huge perk on its own, it also increases the price considerably – to get all five levels of the course and live tutoring, you’ll need to pay a whopping $500.
Is the flack against Rosetta Stone Spanish justified?
Much of the criticism revolves around the content used in the software. Users complain that the phrases aren’t commonly used and therefore don’t do much to improve your conversational Spanish. It can be difficult to find the phrases that are actually used in everyday talks, not to mention wasting time and mental resources on learning close-to-useless dialogue.
Another big issue is that the software isn’t really engaging in any way. The visuals are mostly absent, with pictures being unrelated to the content you are being taught. The audio also leaves something to be desired, although a good part of this can be blamed on using odd and unnecessary phrases on every turn.
The learning process is slow, and the way the user is treated is nothing to write home about – customers have noted that the software might as well be assuming that its users are toddlers. All in all, there are better options out there that will provide a better and more pleasant learning experience for less money. Despite this, some will still consider Rosetta Stone Spanish language course software worth getting due to the live tutoring feature – something many Spanish language learning courses lack.