This is the third installment of my series on Rosetta Stone. The first two were looks at the role of immersion in learning a language, and the specific role of dynamic immersion as the key part of Rosetta Stone. You can rest assured that there are many people who have been successful at learning a language using Rosetta Stone.
What I hope this will do is help you discover resources that can help you succeed in learning the language you have decided to tackle.
One of the best parts of our experience learning Mandarin in Taipei was learning tricks to get language experience we needed at the point we needed it.
Tricks for Practicing Your Language.
1. Prepare -Remember the first sentence we were taught? ”I just started learning Chinese. I can only speak a little”. That may sound like a pretty useless statement, but it holds the key to one of your greatest needs: Finding someone to practice your language with.
Our challenge in Taipei was to keep Chinese strangers talking to us, when they thought we couldn’t speak Chinese. Sound strange? It is just a wonderful problem you face in a wonderful culture. But for you, if you are learning a language in the US (or someplace that is not a “full immersion” opportunity), you will face an even greater challenge because most likely the people you need already speak English. And them speaking to you in English is not what you want.
2. Find native speakers - Even small towns have native speakers of many of the world’s languages. If you are studying Spanish, you should not have any problem at all finding someone to practice with very quickly indeed. Other languages may be a little more challenging, but even in the small town in Texas where my wife teaches she was able to find Swahili speakers to help some of her students who were studying that language.You’ll find people who you can practice your language with if you look. You may have to be creative thinking through just exactly whom you can speak with, but our experience here in the USA with finding Chinese speakers has been illustrative. People who you engage to speak the language you are learning (which they already speak) are almost always excited to find someone who is learning their language!)
3. Look Online – Another idea for practicing your language is to look online for language helpers. You will be amazed at the language resources available via the Internet.
4. Create a Language Exchange – We found many opportunities to trade our English skills for practice with people who wanted to learn English. You can too. Find someone who speaks the language you are learning, and trade 30 minutes of English practice for 30 minutes of your targeted language.
What about you and your language learning experience? Have you found ways to practice your language?