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Duolingo vs. Rosetta Stone

foreign language spanish duolingo rosetta stone

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#1 NoIdleBread

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:50 PM

My daughter is in 5th grade this year and we are looking to start Spanish with her. Has anyone tried Duolingo?? If so, has there been success with actually speaking Spanish and not just learning vocabulary words? Is Rosetta Stone the better option as far as long term success with learning a foreign language???

 

The thing is this: in the next few days, my husband and I were going to purchase Rosetta Stone for learning Spanish (big $$$ investment!). I just came across Duolingo today, and of course it is FREE. . . big difference, right?!? But is it the better choice??



#2 MaggieAnnie

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:04 PM

well dd uses duolingo and she likes it though i don't have her to go to the more "public" space she just uses the assignments.

 

I can not compare long term as we have only used it a few months she uses it as a supplement to spanish for children. 

 

We all like the format -the audio is good and it records well even though we just have a junky old laptop.

 

but hey yes- free is good right now! It helps that we do it together, we use the phrases she is practicing translating with each other.


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#3 contessa20

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:24 AM

DS14 and I are doing Duolingo for Spanish practice.  It isn't our main curriculum though.  We both REALLY like the way it's set up.


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#4 sarawatsonim

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:21 PM

I frequent a language learning forum that is full of linguists and polyglots. I am really determined to become fluent in French and who better to get advice from than people who have achieved your goal :) The general consensus on the forum is that Rosetta stone will not bring you anywhere close to fluency for the amount of money you spend on it. It will teach you a lot of vocabulary which is good, but for the price there are much cheaper alternatives that do a better job. One of the programs that seems to work well for a lot of them is Assimil. I am currently using the Assimil French with Ease edition (they offer a variety of languages) and it is by far the best program I have used. You need the book and CD set because all pieces are an integral part. I bought it used off Alibris for $30. 


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#5 contessa20

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

Is the polyglot forum you use How-to-Use-Any-Language?  I used to go there all the time when I was working on Swahili and I remember Assimil being brought up all the time.  It is the only place I had ever heard of it before.  Anyway, just curious.  :)

 

I frequent a language learning forum that is full of linguists and polyglots. I am really determined to become fluent in French and who better to get advice from than people who have achieved your goal :) The general consensus on the forum is that Rosetta stone will not bring you anywhere close to fluency for the amount of money you spend on it. It will teach you a lot of vocabulary which is good, but for the price there are much cheaper alternatives that do a better job. One of the programs that seems to work well for a lot of them is Assimil. I am currently using the Assimil French with Ease edition (they offer a variety of languages) and it is by far the best program I have used. You need the book and CD set because all pieces are an integral part. I bought it used off Alibris for $30. 

 

 


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#6 SailorMom

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:32 PM

I've used both, and so far prefer Duolingo.  There are more translations of full sentences that you have to write after a native speaker says them (rather quickly, I might add).   I do think I personally need more practice on certain words/translations than Duolingo thinks I need :)  I frequently go back and review content it thinks I've mastered.

I think Rosetta Stone works well to a point, but I certainly wouldn't pay for it with Duolingo being free.


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#7 sarawatsonim

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:01 PM

Is the polyglot forum you use How-to-Use-Any-Language?  I used to go there all the time when I was working on Swahili and I remember Assimil being brought up all the time.  It is the only place I had ever heard of it before.  Anyway, just curious.  :)

 

Yes! It's How-to-Learn-Any-Language.com ;) Right link though. They are so knowledgable and so helpful on there. I am so amazed by some of their abilities to learn multiple languages, I find it very motivating. On a side note, I do have Rosetta Stone because my husband won it at a work party. It's pretty and more fun than most programs BUT I have only used it during spare times as a kind of vocabulary lesson. I spend the main portion of my studying time on Assimil because that is where I have seen the best results. 


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#8 contessa20

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:42 PM

Yes! It's How-to-Learn-Any-Language.com ;) Right link though.

 

:lol:

 

It took me the longest time to figure out what you were talking about.  I can't believe I typed "Use" instead of "Learn."  The link was right but for some bizarre reason I typed the title wrong.  Long day.  :laugh:
 


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#9 happypamama

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:34 PM

I have not tried Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, but I would also see if your library has Mango Language.

#10 happypamama

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:36 PM

I have not tried Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, but I would also see if your library has Mango Language.

#11 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

We're giving Duolingo a try. Not sure about the need to spell correctly. I think it might be better a few months in. There is an app for android (I've downloaded but haven't tried yet). I think we're going to try Visual Link Spanish. We are going to start (today!) with the free stuff. If it works well then I'll upgrade.

#12 NoIdleBread

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:30 PM

We're giving Duolingo a try. Not sure about the need to spell correctly. I think it might be better a few months in. There is an app for android (I've downloaded but haven't tried yet). I think we're going to try Visual Link Spanish. We are going to start (today!) with the free stuff. If it works well then I'll upgrade.

 

I've decided to do the same. . . give Duolingo a try. I mean you can't beat free, especially when so many people say it is either similar to or better than Rosetta Stone. In talking with my husband, we've decided to go with Duolingo and then if it isn't giving us the results we're looking for, we'll move on to Rosetta Stone or something else.


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#13 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

Well I'll tell you my experience with Rosetta Stone German.  My husband is a native speaker.  He doesn't have a ton of time to work with the kids though.  And I don't speak any German.  So we bought levels 1 - 5 (thank goodness for very cheap...long story how we got it so cheap).  Anyhow, DS went through level one and that went pretty well.  He rarely needed DH's help.  DS probably was at about that level anyway because DH had spent years speaking German to him.  So then he hit level 2.  After getting about halfway through he became more and more lost and stuck.  DH tried to explain some of the grammar, but DS was just too frustrated and confused at that point.  Rosetta Stone teaches the grammar in an indirect way.  Apparently that approach does not work for everyone.  We have the homeschool version.  The worksheets often did not match up what was taught in the program and required way more knowledge than what one would have gotten from the program.

 

I was really hoping it would have been the answer for our situation, but it has not been at all.  And we actually have someone who can answer questions! 

 

I suspect this program works better for adults (who are willing to work very hard) and possibly with high school students with a lot of guidance.  I don't believe this is a good program for anyone younger than that. 

 


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#14 KeepItGoing

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:01 PM

I suspect this program works better for adults (who are willing to work very hard) and possibly with high school students with a lot of guidance.  I don't believe this is a good program for anyone younger than that. 

 

Rosetta Stone is a good product (though more expensive than its value, in my opinion), but it is not a full program. And in the forms I've seen (it's been a few years), it does not teach the grammar at all, indirectly or directly—it uses the grammar, but not in a way that enables you to draw proper conclusions. I've never heard of anyone being able to learn grammar from a Rosetta Stone product, so don't feel bad if you can't!
 

Duolingo is a much better program, and it's free. It's much more complete, although I've never seen a single program that was truly complete.

 

Assimil is a good program, but I suspect that it works better for adults and experienced language learners than it does for children.

 

Michel Thomas and Pimsleur are good programs in quite different ways. I have a German-language resource list that sums up some of my opinions on those. They are both audio programs, but quite different. I think that Thomas will take you farther (if you can stand his terrible accent in both Spanish and English!); Pimsleur will help you develop an excellent accent and some real fluency, but with only a very limited number of things that you can say. Either one is fairly expensive (well, not one of the older MT audios); try to get them from your library. Michel Thomas has an app you can download which allows you to hear a lesson free, then download additional lessons ($5 for an hour, I believe). Or you can buy the whole program at a better price, if you like what you hear in the demo lesson. (Don't hesitate to buy the older lessons—I can't imagine that the newer versions add enough value to justify the huge increase in price.)

 

On my sort-of-site (not ready for the big time, I assure you!) I also have a number of Spanish language resources listed. (Spanish, not German, is my real area of expertise.) Some day, when I have the time, I will edit and improve this list.

 

If you look at my Stage 1 link - which is really a mess - you will see some helps for beginning Spanish students, using a reading method I can't find anywhere online, to my bewilderment. At the bottom of that Stage 1 page is a set of links to a number of different exercises. The "Ciudades and pueblos" exercise is the one I've worked on the longest; the "caballo" and the "planta" exercises should be usable, too. The EYC link was intended for an IRL class I was teaching, and probably not for raw beginners.

 

If anyone looks at the Spanish stuff and likes it, please let me know. Encouragement makes me much more willing to write lessons!


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#15 QuirkyKidAcademy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for the comparisons. We are going to learn French this year using Duolingo and Mango.



#16 tomandlorih

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:16 PM

Well I'll tell you my experience with Rosetta Stone German.  My husband is a native speaker.  He doesn't have a ton of time to work with the kids though.  And I don't speak any German.  So we bought levels 1 - 5 (thank goodness for very cheap...long story how we got it so cheap).  Anyhow, DS went through level one and that went pretty well.  He rarely needed DH's help.  DS probably was at about that level anyway because DH had spent years speaking German to him.  So then he hit level 2.  After getting about halfway through he became more and more lost and stuck.  DH tried to explain some of the grammar, but DS was just too frustrated and confused at that point.  Rosetta Stone teaches the grammar in an indirect way.  Apparently that approach does not work for everyone.  We have the homeschool version.  The worksheets often did not match up what was taught in the program and required way more knowledge than what one would have gotten from the program.

 

I was really hoping it would have been the answer for our situation, but it has not been at all.  And we actually have someone who can answer questions! 

 

I suspect this program works better for adults (who are willing to work very hard) and possibly with high school students with a lot of guidance.  I don't believe this is a good program for anyone younger than that. 

This has been our experience with Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish.. (although I am not a native speaker.. just took years of it. ;)  Thankfully, it didn't cost us anything to try it out but my dd9 hated just clicking randomly until she got the right answer when a simple explanation of the concept was all that was needed for her to understand.   It might work for some kids but my dd is definitely parts-to-whole and we are trying Spanish for Children this year.   We also did Getting Started with Spanish last year to go with the RS and that was great!  

Immersion might work when you are a baby but once you can think and wonder why?  Not so good.  lol


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#17 smfmommy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:50 PM

Thank you so much for the heads up on Duolingo.  I am definitely sending my eldest to that site!  She really wants to get fluent in Spanish.

 

 


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