How do language tutor sessions work?


Curious about what it feels like to take an online tutor session with Rosetta Stone?

To give you an idea of a typical lesson, I’ve recorded the experience of my last German class with Martina.

Every Rosetta Stone tutorial session is 25 minutes long. As an online subscription user, you can access one of these sessions a week. The classes are of no more than 4 participants in total and everyone in the class should be at the same level, having already done relevant units in their self-study.

1. Introductions

As instructed, I logged into my Rosetta Stone account 5 minutes before the session started. I also took the opportunity to quickly revise one of the vocabulary lessons in the Unit we were going to study – Dining and Vacation.

As it became time for the lesson to begin, a countdown started: 3, 2, 1 and go. Our tutor, Martina, introduced herself, followed by the other two participants in the session. There was a very brief chat about the weather where Martina was and then it was straight down to business.

2. Getting started

When you are in the tutor session you look at a window that is divided into a main screen with the course content on it and a video cam window where you can see your tutor. Martina brought up lots of images of different types of food and asked us, in turn, to describe what we saw.

3. Role Playing

Sometimes levels within the tutors sessions can be more variable, this is especially true in the early classes. However, on this occasion, all participants had a solidly intermediate understanding of the language and we were able to communicate with each other quite well. Martina said that we were an excellent class! Perhaps because of this, she got us to play a couple of role plays, where we ordered food and asked each other questions as if we were working in a restaurant. It was a lot of fun.

 4. Being corrected

My favourite thing about Rosetta Stone tutor sessions is that as you describe the pictures, your tutor types out what you are saying on the screen, directly as you say it. This enables her to gently correct you without interruption and leaves you with the correct sentence up on screen. To give you an example, as I answered a question about why I liked to work in a restaurant (part of the role play), I used the incorrect word saying: ‘Ich arbeite gern als Chef’, when of course I should have said ‘Ich arbeite gern als Koch.’ Rather than having to interrupt me and the flow of the class to correct this minor mistake, Martina just typed out the correct version and I took on board the learning that way.

5. Chatting with your tutor

As progress through the lesson, you may have questions that you want to put to your tutor, without interrupting the class. This you can do in the chat window, where everybody can chat to one another as they wish.

Aufwiedersehen (till next time)

As we came to the end of the lesson, Martina asked us if we had any further questions about what we had been learning. She then closed with a very encouraging pep talk, assuring us that she had been impressed with our knowledge and wishing us ‘viel spaß’ with the next unit. I guess she says this every time, but it was still nice to hear it. I felt we all had done well.

About the Author Simon Goodall

Language learner, teacher and contributing author to the Rosetta Stone magazine

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