Grammar Acquisition with Rosetta Stone

One of the things we do at Rosetta Stone is help our learners acquire grammar rather than learn about it. What do I mean by this? In our method grammar acquisition happens behind the scene, because patterns take center stage. Every language contains a number of fundamental components that combine in recognizable, consistent patterns, so we leverage these to help you intuitively discover how to correctly combine and construct the language you’re learning. As you pick up on these patterns you’ll start to sense when there are exceptions, and make mental note of those. And one day you’ll do a double take, realizing you’ve been internalizing the grammar all along—without studying rules, and without rote memorization.

Let me illustrate how our method works. Here’s a simple pattern in English:

  • I run. He runs.
  • I eat. He eats.
  • I think. He thinks.

In all likelihood, a learner of English could look at that series and easily fill in the following blank:

  • I swim. He _____.

In our grammar activities we highlight these patterns for you, showing you examples just like those above, but with a wider variety of grammar content. We show you the patterns you might have just started to pick up on in the Core Lesson, and we lead you to make the connections your brain is ready to make.

Since many of us have learned a little Spanish, let’s look at the series of images and sentences below. You’ll begin to get a feel for how our method works. Based on the patterns in the example, you can figure out the difference between la niña and las niñas. And then it’s clear what the difference is between el niño and los niños, and between lee and leen.

la nina lee1

If you know that lee goes with la niña and el niño, and that leen goes with las niñas and los niños, can you determine whether to select bebe or beben in this next example? Of course! We make sure that patterns are clear. We guide you in your acquisition of your new language, gradually introducing more grammar complexity as you learn intuitively.

las ninas beben

Here’s an example from a language you might not know: Russian. In the text circled below, you’ll notice that there is only one difference at the end of the word: вода and воду.

russian example

Since this happens with the word вода, it probably happens with other words as well. Take a look at this next example, and notice again the change from газета to газету. It’s the same kind of pattern.

russian example 2

And I bet if I asked you again to select the correct word in this next example, you could.

russian example 3

We’ve just walked through examples of the natural connections that we help you make as you learn inductively with Rosetta Stone. You don’t need explicit instructions about grammar; you’ll learn it as we help you become fluid and flexible in your new language. As you begin to speak more quickly and comfortably, the grammar of the language you are learning will become second nature to you!

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Aaron Schmitt

Aaron’s interest in languages began with a chance meeting with a Norwegian course at the University of Wisconsin. Since then he’s been an enthusiastic learner of any language to cross his path, receiving an M.A. in Scandinavian Studies in 2006. He’s been with Rosetta Stone for nearly four years and has been involved in the development of many of the Version 3 language-learning solutions. He currently works on the development of new and innovative approaches to learning language with Rosetta Stone.
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