Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rosetta Stone?

We get a lot of questions about how we learn a language for the Foreign Service. The most popular question is if we use the Rosetta Stone program. (I think they advertise in the Sky Mall magazine on planes, and it says the US State Department uses Rosetta Stone.)

As a short answer, the State Department does subscribe to Rosetta Stone. However, we learn primarily in a classroom setting. There is a language lab for students, where we can use interactive programs, listen to news broadcasts, study vocab on computerized flashcards, complete audio exercises spoken by native language speakers, etc. Rosetta Stone is just one out of many programs that students can use (at school or home) to supplement their classroom learning. Truth be told, I still haven't signed up to get my login and password for Rosetta Stone. I should really do that......

We do all sorts of stuff in class to keep it interesting. We also change teachers about every 4 weeks. So far we have had teachers from Portugal and Angola. There is a textbook and exercise manual we use, but the teachers also use resources like newspaper articles, games and even YouTube!

Last week all of the Portuguese classes and teachers celebrated Angola's Independence Day. My teacher decided to dress up her three students in traditional Angolan clothing. (Of course none of the other 30 or so students were dressed up at all...)

Here I am in my finery. The second picture shows my two classmates and me giving a presentation, along with our teacher who is from Angola.