Rosetta Stone program offered at discount

September 27, 2012

Popular languages on campus survey.


Contributing Reporter


For the price of dinner and a movie, students could be speaking another language.


In the modern language computer lab in George T. Madison Hall, Rosetta Stone software is available to all students and faculty members for $17.15 –– the program retails at $400.


Paul Nelson, an assistant professor of modern languages in Spanish, said that Tech received Rosetta Stone in the fall of 2010.


“Rosetta Stone is visually and auditory-based,” Nelson said. “You repeat what you see on the screen andit has voice recognition to aide in pronunciation. It’s a great learning tool.”


Originally, Rosetta Stone was set up as an additional teaching aide for students enrolled in modern language courses, but it can also be used by any student or faculty member at Tech, regardless of modern language class enrollment.


The modern language lab currently has a fairly low number of users.


“I think the main reason more students don’t come to the lab is because many students do not know that it is here,” said Sujal Acharya, a student worker in the modern language lab and a senior civil engineering major.


To get an idea of student awareness of the modern language lab, The Tech Talk conducted an informal and unscientific survey of students.


Students were asked five questions regarding their knowledge of the modern language lab, as well as their interest and perceived importance of speaking multiple languages in our society today.


Out of 50 students surveyed in Tolliver Hall, only 13 knew the modern language lab existed.


On the other hand, 38 or 76 percent of those same students were somewhat to highly interested in using the Rosetta Stone software and learning another language.


When asked about the importance of learning multiple languages, 34 or 68 percent students polled indicated that learning a second language should be essential or pursued, while 15 or 30 percent of surveyed students said it was at least somewhat important.


“We can’t live on an island,” Nelson said. “As you study language, you realize we all live in the same world, expressed in different ways.”


According to the CIA World Factbook, 10.7 percent of Americans speak Spanish as their first or second language, a growing need in our society today.


Nelson said the department of modern languages recently added a minor in international studies to help better prepare students to compete in today’s global economy by not only teaching them about other cultures of the world, but also by providing them with international experience and firsthand knowledge and contact with other cultures.


The minor requires six hours of study abroad, six hours of upper level modern language courses and nine hours of approved international studies courses, which include approved International Business courses.


“Having access to the Rosetta Stone software can be especially helpful to business and engineering students,” Nelson said. “It can open up doors to different opportunities, more jobs and insight into why people live and think the way they do.”


Email comments to kec025@latech.edu.


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