Does Rosetta Stone Teach Grammar?

Absolutely! Not that you’ll learn to explicitly recite rules for turning words into sentences, but you will learn to speak your new language correctly from the beginning. The difference in our approach springs from the way your brain is naturally designed to turn raw words into meaningful speech.

Turns out, it’s not by memorizing rules. It’s true that one of the language centers in your brain develops patterns or blueprints for building words into language. But those patterns don’t evolve from formal rules that you memorized in school and then deductively applied to every utterance. Rules take too long for your brain to learn and for you to apply. The patterns emerge from all the sentences you see and hear from the moment you’re born until right now.

latin grammar example 2The best way to develop the right patterns for understanding and speaking a new language is to reawaken the process that worked the first time: load lots of correct and comprehensible sentences from the new language into your head.  In order to speak, you can’t just memorize the sentences by rote or snap them together like plastic beads using a grammar book and a dictionary. You need to understand implicitly how the language hangs together.  Put simply, you need to learn to think in your new language if you’re going to have any success speaking it.

To get you thinking and speaking in the same language, Rosetta Stone bypasses your native language altogether and takes you deep inside the language you’re learning. Clearly, that’s not enough. You can’t simply be airdropped into a new language without feeling overwhelmed and lost. For that reason, our Dynamic Immersion method engages you in the new language systematically from the beginning. Within minutes, you begin to understand the meaning and structure of complete sentences from the inside, without a word of explanation in your native language. And by the end of the first lesson, you’re comfortably producing new sentences on your own.

latin grammar example 3The development of this natural grammar in Rosetta Stone is marvelously and elegantly simple. You ground the meaning of new words in vivid and precise images drawn from real life. You build new language structures using language you already know and patterns of images that clearly convey action, emotion, and abstract meaning. You actively discover new language meaning on your own, intuitively, in every screen, and interact with the program constantly to confirm what you’ve learned. And after every core lesson, grammar activities enable you to reinforce and confirm specific grammatical elements you’ve already encountered.

As a result, you learn to spot familiar grammatical patterns in your new language, incorporate new ones into your speech, and train your brain to help you say what you really mean.

For more reading on language and grammar, check out: •   Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution by Ray Jackendoff
•  The Atoms of Language: The Mind’s Hidden Rules of Grammar by Mark C. Baker
•  Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language by Steven Pinker
•  The Natural Approach by Stephen Krashen
•  Language and Mind by Noam Chomsky
•  Language Lessons:  You are what you speak by Christine Kenneally

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Duane Sider

Duane Sider, director of learning for Rosetta Stone Ltd., is passionate about changing the way the world views language learning. In his role, Duane has introduced Rosetta Stone® solutions and the joy of the language-learning journey to a variety of audiences through numerous speaking engagements worldwide. Additionally, Duane has authored a number of articles and papers on immersion methodology in second-language acquisition. Duane joined the company’s international operations in 1997, became director of learning in 2003, directing domestic and international training programs, and assumed his current responsibilities in 2008. Prior to joining Rosetta Stone he taught literature, philosophy and aesthetics at the university level for 14 years. Throughout his career, Duane has traveled, performed and taught extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, promoting international communication and advocating new technologies in education. Duane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Messiah College and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia. He has written two plays, a collection of poetry and manages a theater company in Virginia.
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