For the 2007-08 school year, Deborah Cody, world language liaison for Pueblo City Schools in southern Colorado, was presented with a very good problem to solve.
“We set up new 30-station computer labs in our high schools and middle schools, and needed programs students could work on in them,” she says.
Cody selected Rosetta Stone® Advantage for K—12 to meet the district’s needs. This flexible language-learning solution accompanies face-to-face world language classes for 4,000 students at two middle schools and four high schools in Pueblo City. Available for intermediate to advanced levels in nine languages, Rosetta Stone Advantage is rigorous, with an initial placement test and subsequent progress and achievement tests at each level to assess students’ understanding. Speech-recognition technology gives students feedback on oral performance.
“The program had exactly the elements we were looking for,” says Cody. “Students have to write and speak; they must use exacting pronunciation so a native speaker could understand them.”
Students spend 30 minutes every other day in the labs using Rosetta Stone Advantage as a complement to their daily world language classes with teachers. They can complete whatever activities they do not finish at home, since the interactive solution is web-based and supports all blended-learning models. “Kids are technologically driven, so they love using the program,” says Cody.
Every year, teachers and world language staff are given refresher training on working with the product. “The program has so many layers, it is impossible to remember everything you can do with it,” says Cody. “Every time we have a training session we learn something new and amazing we can achieve in the program.”
Since the implementation of Rosetta Stone Advantage, students are exercising certain skills much more. “Kids are talking more than they ever had in the past,” says Cody. “They are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary than teachers could have in their personal arsenal or paper workbooks.”
What Cody particularly appreciates about the wealth of vocabulary is its practicality. “Students are not taught little canned phrases that they would never use. Advantage gets them out in the real world.”
Rosetta Stone Advantage also gives students a nice break from the traditional classroom setting, says Cody. “Kids who do not perform well in the classroom tend to succeed here. Advantage lets us reach students we could not reach in any other way.”
On the administrative side, easy-to-read reports provide a snapshot of a class’s status. “It is easy to keep track of where students are, how much they have covered, and what they have learned,” says Cody. “We can use this information to identify which students need enrichment, or as an intervention tool to pinpoint exactly in which areas a student is struggling.”
The more than 40 activity types keep students engaged. If a students likes a particular exercise, there are many more of that type to come, says Cody. Conversely, if an activity does not hold their interest, they can move onto a different type.
Rosetta Stone Advantage is well rounded and well written, says Cody. However, the support she receives from Rosetta Stone is what truly differentiates the program. “Often, you can buy web-based instruction and the vendor just washes their hands of you,” she says. “This has just not happened. I’ve never felt alone or ignored. I am contacted frequently and feel listened to.”
For more information, visit www.RosettaStone.com/k12