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How to use Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish

Learning a new language can be one of the most rewarding and challenging things a person can do. Whether learning for career advancement, before visiting or moving to a foreign country, or just for personal betterment, a new language is a skill that will last a lifetime. Below is a guide for using Rosetta Stone language CDs to learn Spanish.

About the course

Rosetta Stone software is designed to assist you in learning Spanish in the same way you learned your first language. It combines images, sounds and text with an increasing difficulty level to teach grammar and vocabulary intuitively, instead of relying on memorisation, drills and translation exercises the way traditional language courses do. Versions Over the years, Rosetta Stone's programs have evolved. The most current version is Version 4 TOTALe and both European and Latin American Spanish are available in this format. Levels Each course of Version 4 Spanish is divided into five levels. Level One contains about 24 hours of lessons and covers basic grammar, verb conjugation and telling time. There is also a 10-minute simulated conversation. Level Two contains another 24 hours of lessons and covers more advanced grammar and language structure including tenses as well as specific subjects such as giving directions, discussing emotions and social interaction. There is another 10-minute simulated conversation included. Level Three is designed to build on the language skills learned in levels one and two. By the end of this level a learner should be capable of discussing concepts such as politics and religion in a relatively detailed manner. The 10-minute conversation for this level stresses the ability to express opinions and judgement. Levels Four and Five cover complex tenses, irregular verbs and complex sentences and are only available for certain languages. Both forms of Spanish are included in the group.

Things to consider

While the course is simple to use, simply plugging in the CD and following instructions, learning a language in this manner does have some pros and cons. Pros The intuitive learning method really is much easier than traditional courses, explaining Rosetta Stone's wide acceptance and growth. Learning from home also makes it much easier to take up a language course as there are less time and scheduling demands than with traditional classes. Learning at home allows the student to learn at their own pace, without fear of failure or embarrassment, two of the major obstacles in adult learning. Cons Learning a language in this manner requires self-discipline. Having no accountability to teachers or classmates means that if a student doesn't motivate himself/herself, no one will. Learning by CD also means that there is no one to go to with questions or for clarification.

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