Immerse yourself in a new language and learn better

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There are lots of different ways to learn a new language. What works for you depends on your motivation: do you just want to learn the basics before travelling or do you actually want to speak a new language? Do you want to go fast (just skimming the surface) or do you want to go deep?

Immersive learning: Dive in!

Learning a language well takes time and lots of different inputs. Rosetta Stone’s unique approach is to get you thinking in a new language from the start, with direct associations between images and the words to describe them. This type of learning is called immersive learning.

Not only is immersion a very effective tool for long-term learning, it is also one of the more enjoyable ways to learn. It relates the language directly to real-life situations and it doesn’t over-tax the brain by requiring the memorisation of large amounts of repetitive information.

“Rosetta Stone stops holding your hand almost immediately, forcing you to piece together and describe what’s happening in various photos. It can be frustrating at times, but it’s the closest thing to a real-life scenario and it forces you to start thinking with the language you’re learning. And using the target language in the thought process is one of the major cornerstones of learning it.” – Lifehacker

Say what you see

Rosetta Stone relies on the associations of words, pictures and sounds to create a methodology that is uniquely visual and interactive. Most web trainers take the form of language textbooks online, with lots of written exercises and ‘fill in the blanks’ type lessons. Rosetta Stone is quite different. Rosetta Stone is all about pictures and describing what you see in those pictures.

Thinking for yourself

Because the answers are not directly in front of you, your brain actually has to work out what it is being told. Whereas with translations you are given the exact meaning in your mother tongue – and quickly move on, with immersive learning you are left to work out that meaning for yourself. What is the lady doing in the picture? Which words are describing which activities/things? Your brains is asking questions, finding answers. – Learning and retaining the information presented.

This process may require a little more time in the early stages, but it is not necessarily hard. In the first lessons with Rosetta Stone the meanings and definitions are easy to comprehend. It doesn’t require a big effort of concentration or memorisation in order to take part. In fact, the process is relatively ‘lite’ by comparison with wading through traditional textbooks. Immersion is a deeper form of learning because it promotes curiosity and stimulates a more thorough form of comprehension, but it is not harder.

Longer term retention

When you have worked something out for yourself and really understood something well, the chances are that you will retain that information long term. Learning by flashcards and repetition is often not as effective because the input is very superficial. Our brains are not required to solve a riddle or to be creative with the information – just to take it straight, with no context. This can be good for getting through exams (literally cramming the information in at the last minute), but information imbibed this way is often quickly lost to us.

Rosetta Stone leaves the learner to work out the meanings, understand the grammar points being shown and discover the sentence structures. It prompts you to discover the patterns instead of telling you the rules. Your brain delights in the new discoveries and remembers them.

Practising with natives

Real conversations are the final – and perhaps most important – part of immersion. Making effective use of your learnings in speech helps you to retain the knowledge, to refine it and to motivate you to learn more. As you say the phrases correctly – experiencing the joy of understanding and being understood – you cement both the vocabulary and your commitment to the learning process.

Rosetta Stone’s team of native tutors get you speaking what you’ve learnt on the course. You can book practise sessions with one of the tutors as and when you want to. They will help you revise what you’ve learnt and bring you into general conversation at a suitable (understandable) level.

“With its excellent user interface, clear instructions, wide variety of games and challenges, and the ability to call upon a native speaker for a little one-on-one tutoring if you get stuck during your education, Rosetta Stone has got it going on. Simply put, it has a feature set that neither Duolingo or Babbel can match.” – Macworld

About the Author Simon Goodall

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

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