Rosetta Stone partnership offers new languages to students

The Francis Howell School District has recently agreed to a deal with award-winning language software maker Rosetta Stone that will allow district families to access online language education subscriptions at a discounted rate. For $100, elementary through high school students and their parents will have access to up to five levels of Rosetta Stone online software for one full year.

A one-year subscription to Rosetta Stone’s online service normally costs $299, meaning that the partnership will offer savings of almost $200 to district families.

“[FHSD was] approached by Rosetta Stone and they were interested in partnering with us to make this opportunity available to students, parents, teachers, and community members,” said Dr. Travis Bracht, Director of Student Learning.

Dr. Bracht said the arrangement will have no financial impact on the district; there is no cost for the partnership and all collected payments will simply be forwarded to Rosetta Stone.

Rosetta Stone is a nationally recognized language learning software series, used by multiple high-profile organizations, including the U.S. government. The programs are available in 25 different languages: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, American and British English, Tagalog, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Polish, Brazilian Portugese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese. Emphasis is placed on conversational skills and a method the company calls “dynamic immersion” that incorporates vivid imaging and listening.

Rosetta Stone said its software can be used by students as young as third grade. District fliers for the program advocate the use of Rosetta stone by elementary school students as a way to “jump start their language learning.”

At this point, the district does not have any policies in place for using Rosetta Stone as a high school language credit. There are currently no discount programs for eligible families; Dr. Bracht said that both matters have not yet been discussed or considered by the district.

“I think [credits and discount programs] will be something that might naturally come up if there is large student interest and it seems like students can learn at high levels using Rosetta Stone,” Dr. Bracht said.

Any district residents who are interested in purchasing a subscription to Rosetta Stone can find the order form here. The deadline for order forms is Feb. 6. More information about the technical specifications and teaching methods for the program can be found at Rosetta Stone’s website.