Software teaches languages gratuit (for free)

Attendees at the Rosetta Stone unveiling test out the new language software.  The program is now available for use at no cost to students, faculty and staff.

by Julie Morcate

Rosetta Stone, an interactive, award-winning language-learning software, is now available to Rider students, faculty and administrators.

The program is successful because tedious translating and memorizing are not necessary to the learning process. The user learns how to speak by listening to native speakers’ voices as well as studying images and situations from real life.

Rider, the first New Jersey university to partner with Rosetta Stone, has access to more than 30 languages, from Spanish and French to Farsi, Hebrew, Swahili and Tagalog. All members of the Rider community can use the program, even over the summer, as long as they go through Easypass.

Rosetta Stone will help prepare students and faculty for global citizenship and give them assistance in the increasingly competitive global market. They have the freedom to learn as many languages as they wish, and all of this comes at a small price. The program can cost nearly $500 per language for an individual consumer, but the University will pay $35,000 per year to cover everyone’s unlimited use of Rosetta Stone.

“The acquisition of this program evolved through the input, persistence and commitment of a number of key people,” Dr. Linda Materna, director of the Office of International Programs, said.

Many students are already benefiting from this opportunity. Freshman Heather Chojnacki, a Spanish and Global and Multinational Studies double major, has already started using the program.

“It’s something I definitely take advantage of,” Chojnacki said. “I think it’s a good way to practice grammar and learn new vocabulary, and that’s really important no matter what level you’re on.”

Chojnacki, who is studying abroad in Madrid, Spain in the fall, intends to use Rosetta Stone every day this summer in preparation for next semester.

“It’s useful because it helps not only with reading and writing but also hearing, understanding and speaking,” she said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Another student, freshman French major James Howe, does not believe he will use Rosetta Stone to learn more French. He believes it will be a good accessory when he starts learning a new language.

“It will be a good tool for beginning language students, or those who aren’t sure what they’re interested in,” he said.

Meanwhile, philosophy major Ville-Matti Kataja, a freshman from Finland, believes the program can help students immerse themselves in the culture they’re learning.

“The program will be useful outside of the classroom, but it also has a lot of potential to be utilized as a teaching method,” he said. “As for transfer students, this will help them adjust to the American culture and to help them get to know the United States better.”

Materna agrees that this is one of the best opportunities Rider could give to its students and faculty.

“The acquisition of Rosetta Stone is a bold, visionary and all-embracing effort,” Materna said.

On April 17, there will be a presentation at Westminster at 12:30 p.m. in Thayer Lounge.

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