3+Tips for Making the Most of Rosetta Stone Software: Part II
Create Rosetta Stone Flash Cards
You're probably familiar with flash cards as language learning tools, but you should add a special twist in honor of Rosetta Stone's immersion teaching method. Instead of writing the English word on one side of the card and the translated word in the new language on the other side, make Rosetta Stone flash cards with the destination word on one side of the card and a picture illustrating the concept on the other side. Eliminating the English "middle man" translation from your practice materials is a strong first step in how to get the most out of Rosetta Stone. This reinforces the immersion experience, helping you link each word in the new language with its actual subject instead of the English translation.
Go On a Scavenger Hunt for More Flash Cards
Combine the idea of Rosetta Stone flash cards and a real-world experience with a photo scavenger hunt. Make a vocabulary list, then hit the streets with your digital camera, searching out visuals that illustrate the words on your list. These may be as simple as "boy" and "girl" or more complicated, like "There's a man behind the car" or "Turn to the left"--all concepts that Rosetta Stone uses to teach vocabulary and phrasing.
From there, just take your digital camera to a big-box store or photo shop to have some cheap prints made. Write the appropriate foreign language word or words on the back of each photo to illustrate what's going on in the photo itself, and you have some lovely photo flash cards--another step in how to get the most out of Rosetta Stone and the sizable investment it represents.
Interact With Other Rosetta Stone Learners
Part of the fun--and growing pains--of language immersion is interacting with others. You could set up coffee shop chats with other language learners, but why not challenge each other in new and interesting ways?
Take the photo flash card activity above. This is a great activity to parcel out to other members of a "supportive learning group," and it's also a good way for learners of different abilities to interact and support each other. Students just starting out can find images for simple nouns and verbs, while the more advanced learners might put together multiple photos or even collages to represent more complicated sentences and concepts. Students can then exchange photo flash cards or bring extra copies to share, so others benefit from their work as well. Both assembling and sharing the collected images show every participant how to get the most out of Rosetta Stone.
Another interactive option: A guerilla sticky note campaign. The group descends on the victim's home or office with sticky notes and the appropriate foreign-language dictionary in hand. The goal is to paper the victim's environment with sticky notes labeling items with their names in the destination language. So mesa and taza would get stuck on tables and teacups, respectively, for Spanish language learners. The deal is that the "victim" can't remove any of the sticky notes until he has learned the word written on the note. Make sure someone keeps track of the words used so that you can surprise the "victim" with a pop quiz later. Rotate "victims" every few meetings until everyone has had a turn; this is a great way to get more out of Rosetta Stone by invoking the positive benefits of peer pressure and building your vocabulary beyond what the program provides.
Can't find anyone else learning the same language--or a native speaker--to help you out? Carry out your own labeling campaign, or simply hand a friend your dictionary and set him loose in your house. Odds are that he'll have a great time trying to stump you with unusual words.
Ultimately, Creativity Works Best
The common element for all the activities listed above is creativity. Since the goal of Rosetta Stone software is creating an immersion learning environment, you can get the most out of it by extending that environment throughout your life in every way you can. If you'd like more tips on how to get the most out of Rosetta Stone software see Part I of this series, or check out our comparison of Rosetta Stone installed vs. Rosetta Stone online.