Rosetta Stone or Power Glide?

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Rosetta Stone or Power Glide?


I am often asked about which foreign language curriculum to use. There are many to choose from out there! Choosing probably boils down to learning style, and the ways your child learns the best.

The three I often recommend are Tell Me More, Power Glide, and Rosetta Stone. They can be found from most homeschool resources, including Sonlight, and RockSolid Discount Homeschool Books, as well as Amazon.com. Power-Glide can still be found at Christianbook.com and through used book sales. Most often I'm asked "Rosetta Stone or Power Glide?"


There are two versions of Rosetta Stone: regular and homeschool. The homeschool version includes worksheets to print out and outlines to make each level a full year curriculum. It's an immersion program. It shows you photos of nouns, verbs, and phrases and helps you build your vocabulary like someone native to the language would. Rosetta Stone also has an oral component and tests your pronunciation. To learn more about Rosetta Stone to see if it will fit your child, you can read more here.


We used Power-Glide foreign languages with great success. It is a tried and true method for learning foreign languages. Remarkably similar to the way I learned foreign languages in school, it uses a workbook format with audio CDs for listening. The workbook includes translation exercises, hands-on projects, and ideas for researching countries that speak the language. It doesn't outline each concept for you; it's discovery based. Written quizzes and tests are also provided, which we used.


We used the Power-Glide French program as written, just me and my children. My son placed into third quarter French in his first year and did extremely well moving into college French. Power-Glide representatives are the ones who told me most language programs will work if you are conscientious about working on the language for a minimum of 15 minutes per day. Whichever curriculum you choose, make sure it's one subject you work on daily in your homeschool.

Which foreign language are you studying and what's your favorite curriculum? Share in the comments!

Rosetta Stone or Power Glide?

Please note: This post was originally published in April 2008 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Comments 34

Guest - karen on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 08:13

With my 3rd and last child, I used Monarch Spanish for early grades. We are using Breaking the Barrier plus a weekly tutor for the last level before AP Spanish. We'll do an online class for AP Spanish. The tutor is an investment, but if you are going through AP level, you should more than make your money back in college credits.
My son did Rosetta Stone plus Practice Makes Perfect workbooks, and then an online class for AP Spanish. He did get a perfect score on the AP test and got 12 credit hours from his university.
So out of all the AP exams offered, you stand to gain more college credit out of a foreign language than any other class (depending on the college's policies, of course).

With my 3rd and last child, I used Monarch Spanish for early grades. We are using Breaking the Barrier plus a weekly tutor for the last level before AP Spanish. We'll do an online class for AP Spanish. The tutor is an investment, but if you are going through AP level, you should more than make your money back in college credits. My son did Rosetta Stone plus Practice Makes Perfect workbooks, and then an online class for AP Spanish. He did get a perfect score on the AP test and got 12 credit hours from his university. So out of all the AP exams offered, you stand to gain more college credit out of a foreign language than any other class (depending on the college's policies, of course).
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 23:09

Dear Karen,
That's some terrific information! Thank you for sharing. It sounds like your planning and your student's hard work paid off!
Blessings,
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear Karen, That's some terrific information! Thank you for sharing. It sounds like your planning and your student's hard work paid off! Blessings, Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Heather on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 16:45

I have been in contact with The Learnables. They say that after 4 levels of Learnables Spanish your kid should be able to take the Clep test.

I have been in contact with The Learnables. They say that after 4 levels of Learnables Spanish your kid should be able to take the Clep test.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 21:12

Oh my, Heather!
I hope that's true! I wonder if they have any former students who would be able to attest to that. That would be wonderful.
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Oh my, Heather! I hope that's true! I wonder if they have any former students who would be able to attest to that. That would be wonderful. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Brandy on Thursday, 09 April 2015 10:58

What do people think about using Duolingo as a foreign language "curriculum"? Anyone with experience - is it comprehensive enough to be used as a curriculum?

What do people think about using Duolingo as a foreign language "curriculum"? Anyone with experience - is it comprehensive enough to be used as a curriculum?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Thursday, 09 April 2015 14:11

Good question, Bandy!
We use DuoLingo at our house too. There are some really good things about that language application, not the least of which is the fact that it's FREE! However, in her article How to Have Fun with Foreign Language Lee says, "Regardless of your curriculum choices, some college may want to see standardized tests when you complete a foreign language. Not all colleges, but some, will want to see a subject test like AP Exam, SAT Subject Test, or CLEP." So, perhaps the proof of DuoLingo's adequacy as a language program could be proved by test scores. I think this would be one of those questions that Lee's Gold Care Club clients might ask during consultations. You can learn more about The HomeScholar Gold Care Club here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/gold-care.php
I hope that helps.
Blessings,
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Good question, Bandy! We use DuoLingo at our house too. There are some really good things about that language application, not the least of which is the fact that it's FREE! However, in her article How to Have Fun with Foreign Language Lee says, "Regardless of your curriculum choices, some college may want to see standardized tests when you complete a foreign language. Not all colleges, but some, will want to see a subject test like AP Exam, SAT Subject Test, or CLEP." So, perhaps the proof of DuoLingo's adequacy as a language program could be proved by test scores. I think this would be one of those questions that Lee's Gold Care Club clients might ask during consultations. You can learn more about The HomeScholar Gold Care Club here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/gold-care.php I hope that helps. Blessings, Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Lisa Flowney on Saturday, 07 March 2015 08:28

I've been looking for current website to Power-Glide. When I google Power-Glide, Powerspeak is what appears. It does not look to be the same curriculum. At one time I believe BrainGrow.com and Alpha and Omega,sold Power-Glide Spanish, but doesn't seem to appear that they do now. Do you know who is currently publishing Power-Glide Spanish Curriculum?

I've been looking for current website to Power-Glide. When I google Power-Glide, Powerspeak is what appears. It does not look to be the same curriculum. At one time I believe BrainGrow.com and Alpha and Omega,sold Power-Glide Spanish, but doesn't seem to appear that they do now. Do you know who is currently publishing Power-Glide Spanish Curriculum?
Guest - Lee (website) on Saturday, 07 March 2015 08:55

From what I can tell, Power Glide is now branding as PowerSpeak. If you think they might be different, you might want to email their support to clarify: [email protected]

Blessings,
Matt (husband of Lee)

From what I can tell, Power Glide is now branding as PowerSpeak. If you think they might be different, you might want to email their support to clarify: [email protected] Blessings, Matt (husband of Lee)
Guest - Anita on Friday, 16 January 2015 15:02

I am diligently searching for language curriculum for my soon to be 9th grader. She wants to learn Latin. I have so far looked at Powerspeak and the Latin Road to English Grammar. They are both expensive,but we are willing to make the sacrifice if they are good programs. I do intend to contact at least one college to see what they accept.My daughter is highly motivated to learn Latin and is already studying vocabulary from Latin and Greek roots, and is doing very well with that. If anyone has input regarding these two, or any other Latin program, please let me know!

I am diligently searching for language curriculum for my soon to be 9th grader. She wants to learn Latin. I have so far looked at Powerspeak and the Latin Road to English Grammar. They are both expensive,but we are willing to make the sacrifice if they are good programs. I do intend to contact at least one college to see what they accept.My daughter is highly motivated to learn Latin and is already studying vocabulary from Latin and Greek roots, and is doing very well with that. If anyone has input regarding these two, or any other Latin program, please let me know!
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Friday, 16 January 2015 15:33

Anita,
I'm curious to see what others suggest as well! In her blog post Homeschooling Curriculum – Let’s Talk Latin! Lee talks about how she used The Latin Road. She liked it because the publisher assumes that 1) you’re homeschooling and 2) the teacher is a mom who doesn’t know Latin. Lee wrote more about choosing a foreign language curriculum in this article as well: How to Have Fun with Foreign Language and more specifically about The Latin Road in this blog post: Along the Latin Road
I hope that helps!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Anita, I'm curious to see what others suggest as well! In her blog post Homeschooling Curriculum – Let’s Talk Latin! Lee talks about how she used The Latin Road. She liked it because the publisher assumes that 1) you’re homeschooling and 2) the teacher is a mom who doesn’t know Latin. Lee wrote more about choosing a foreign language curriculum in this article as well: How to Have Fun with Foreign Language and more specifically about The Latin Road in this blog post: Along the Latin Road I hope that helps! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Anita on Monday, 29 December 2014 05:49

My daughter starts high school next year and wants to learn Latin. Any ideas for a suitable curriculum ? She loves vocabulary and is doing vocabulary workbooks with Latin and Greek roots this year and doing really well. We do, however, also want to fulfill the language requirement for possible entry into college. Thanks in advance!

My daughter starts high school next year and wants to learn Latin. Any ideas for a suitable curriculum ? She loves vocabulary and is doing vocabulary workbooks with Latin and Greek roots this year and doing really well. We do, however, also want to fulfill the language requirement for possible entry into college. Thanks in advance!
Guest - Michel on Friday, 19 September 2014 05:58

I checked with a major university to make sure they would accept Rosetta Stone about a year ago. At that time they did, however, just this week I checked again and the answer was no. I asked what options I had for a foreign language and was told "not many". They suggested taking foreign language in high school at a community college. One year there would satisfy their "2 years of the same language" HS requirement and give them credit for both HS and college. If you are taking foreign language purely to satisfy college requirements, it is best to check with the colleges you are interested in before you go to all the trouble of reviewing curriculum. They did tell me that they *might* grandfather in the senior who already has been with Rosetta Stone, but even that wasn't a guarantee. It would seem your only other option with colleges is to take the language of your choice by the method of your choice and then be able to test out.

I checked with a major university to make sure they would accept Rosetta Stone about a year ago. At that time they did, however, just this week I checked again and the answer was no. I asked what options I had for a foreign language and was told "not many". They suggested taking foreign language in high school at a community college. One year there would satisfy their "2 years of the same language" HS requirement and give them credit for both HS and college. If you are taking foreign language purely to satisfy college requirements, it is best to check with the colleges you are interested in before you go to all the trouble of reviewing curriculum. They did tell me that they *might* grandfather in the senior who already has been with Rosetta Stone, but even that wasn't a guarantee. It would seem your only other option with colleges is to take the language of your choice by the method of your choice and then be able to test out.
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 19 September 2014 08:29

Wow! What a good thing that you checked...I wonder what the reasoning behind the change in procedure was.

Laura
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Wow! What a good thing that you checked...I wonder what the reasoning behind the change in procedure was. Laura Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Kathleen on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 09:10

We tried Rosetta Stone Spanish (LA), with three children (elementary, middle, and high school) working on it for 30-45 minutes a day. It seems to work for the one with a verbal learning style, but for our visual oriented child, not so much. Many lessons were frustrating b/c he didn't know what he was saying or the structure/rules to help him say what he wanted. I also felt it is WAY overpriced, unless you find it on a great sale. Furthermore, the license forbids you from selling it (on eBay, etc), and finally if you don't uninstall it from a computer, will run out of installation keys and NOT be able to use the program. (So. What happens if/when your computer crashes?!) We are using a Spanish textbook program this year, which works out just fine since I (mom) speak Spanish.

We tried Rosetta Stone Spanish (LA), with three children (elementary, middle, and high school) working on it for 30-45 minutes a day. It seems to work for the one with a verbal learning style, but for our visual oriented child, not so much. Many lessons were frustrating b/c he didn't know what he was saying or the structure/rules to help him say what he wanted. I also felt it is WAY overpriced, unless you find it on a great sale. Furthermore, the license forbids you from selling it (on eBay, etc), and finally if you don't uninstall it from a computer, will run out of installation keys and NOT be able to use the program. (So. What happens if/when your computer crashes?!) We are using a Spanish textbook program this year, which works out just fine since I (mom) speak Spanish.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Friday, 25 July 2014 11:45

Kathleen,

That's a valuable point. Rosetta Stone is not right for everyone. We are fairing better with the text book as well. (But then, my husband speaks Spanish and helps with pronunciation.)

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Kathleen, That's a valuable point. Rosetta Stone is not right for everyone. We are fairing better with the text book as well. (But then, my husband speaks Spanish and helps with pronunciation.) Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Robin on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 18:08

My 17yo son used Rosetta Stone for Japanese. I had some misgivings about it mostly because I had no way of knowing how he was really doing since my background is French. I came across a local parent who is not only Japanese, but also willing to tutor him. (He was already holding weekly classes for younger homeschoolers.) I signed him up for private tutoring and was hoping they could pick up where Rosetta Stone left off. My son had to basically start over because it left so much out. Buyer beware! My son had also previously used Powerglide for Spanish. That was a waste of money too. My advice is to hire a tutor! You can find one who is more affordable than you might expect.

My 17yo son used Rosetta Stone for Japanese. I had some misgivings about it mostly because I had no way of knowing how he was really doing since my background is French. I came across a local parent who is not only Japanese, but also willing to tutor him. (He was already holding weekly classes for younger homeschoolers.) I signed him up for private tutoring and was hoping they could pick up where Rosetta Stone left off. My son had to basically start over because it left so much out. Buyer beware! My son had also previously used Powerglide for Spanish. That was a waste of money too. My advice is to hire a tutor! You can find one who is more affordable than you might expect.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Friday, 25 July 2014 11:47

Thank you for the feedback, Robin. Japanese is a complex language, from what I have heard. Getting a tutor was a good idea.

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Thank you for the feedback, Robin. Japanese is a complex language, from what I have heard. Getting a tutor was a good idea. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Amy on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 12:56

We have used Synergy Spanish and the second level of that program, Bola de Nieve for the past three years. It is an outstanding program, makes learning Spanish very simple with a unique "sideways" approach to the often dreaded verb issue. I particularly like that it includes audio, translating from Spanish and into Spanish as well, so we get plenty of practice writing and reading the language. I only wish the author had similar programs for other languages!

We have used Synergy Spanish and the second level of that program, Bola de Nieve for the past three years. It is an outstanding program, makes learning Spanish very simple with a unique "sideways" approach to the often dreaded verb issue. I particularly like that it includes audio, translating from Spanish and into Spanish as well, so we get plenty of practice writing and reading the language. I only wish the author had similar programs for other languages!
Guest - Melody on Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:02

I have used Rosetta Stone (Latin American Spanish) with my 3 children, improving my method of using the program with each child. They certainly learn pronunciation well (and love the computer componant), but the verb usage is difficult to remember unless I have them take notes on new vocabulary, and write out the verb charts as they learn them for review. We print out and do most of the suppementary written material to ensure concepts are learned well. We are fortunate that the Canadian distance learning school that we are enrolled with paid for the expensive program.

I have used Rosetta Stone (Latin American Spanish) with my 3 children, improving my method of using the program with each child. They certainly learn pronunciation well (and love the computer componant), but the verb usage is difficult to remember unless I have them take notes on new vocabulary, and write out the verb charts as they learn them for review. We print out and do most of the suppementary written material to ensure concepts are learned well. We are fortunate that the Canadian distance learning school that we are enrolled with paid for the expensive program.
Guest - Heather on Thursday, 10 February 2011 14:08

My children and I strongly disliked Power Glide, but they very much enjoy Rosetta Stone. I'd also recommend the Destinos DVD series for a supplement between school years.

My children and I strongly disliked Power Glide, but they very much enjoy Rosetta Stone. I'd also recommend the Destinos DVD series for a supplement between school years.
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