Interview with Duane Sider, Director of Learning at Rosetta Stone about TOTALe

Yesterday I had the delight to talk to Duane Sider, Director of Learning at Rosetta Stone for my first interview of this blog. I want to offer a series of interviews with the “grown up” companies in the online education sector in the coming months to share their point of view and ideas of the industry with you.
Hence the new Educational Grown Ups interview series is complementing my interview series on EDUKWEST where I only cover educational start ups.

In this interview we focused on the new Rosetta Stone TOTALe product that combines the classic Rosetta Stone course with two new environments, the Rosetta Studio and the Rosetta World.

Duane gave a detailed overview about the dynamic immersion and methodology behind Rosetta Stone. He explained Rosetta Stone’s philosophy of not integrating technology just for technology’s sake followed by a detailed description of the Rosetta Course, Studio and World.

At the end of the interview we talked about the use of Rosetta Stone in the classic classroom and the future of the teacher / tutor in our changing world and how he might transform into a guide.

It was a very insightful interview and I came up with three¬† key factors to understand Rosetta Stone’s approach.

One important thing about Rosetta Stone is that it concentrates on students who are serious about language learning. It is not about having a community for social interaction in Rosetta World, it is about learning a language as targeted and focused as possible.

TOTALe consists of three “evolutionary” steps for the learner starting with the asynchronous Rosetta Course as basis, going to the safe and guided synchronous Rosetta Studio and ending in a “on your own” experience in the Rosetta World.

Rosetta Stone tries to recreate the most effective way to learn a language which is of course in learning in a foreign coutry with native speakers by using technology that helps the student to achieve the personal goal as fast and as seamless as possible.

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  • tonyathomas

    I have used their products to learn Japanese and found them to be very helpful.

  • chinamike

    Are you sure that learning in a foreign country with native speakers is the most effective way to learn? I think it depends on a great number of variables and how you measure effective.

    This also goes to the heart of Krashen's learning vs. acquistion distinction.

    • KirstenWinkler

      There are of course other factors like a good teacher and 1o1 training but I think the surrounding is a big factor, yes.

      In this case you should be forced to use the new language in an authentic environment. And nothing is more authentic than the country itself. Problem in Germany if you want to learn Germen: everyone starts speaking English ;).

      So for me the ideal case is: asynchronous learning + 1o1 lessons + real world practice.

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  • chinamike

    Are we going to be able to hear the interview?

    • KirstenWinkler

      It's hosted on I think you had problems with that in China. Here is the direct link to the video

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