Rosetta Stone Anyone?

My daughter, now 5 and a half, has been asking to learn Hebrew for about a year now. We started teaching her the aleph bet when she was about 2–in fact, I have an adorable video of her toddler self repeating the Hebrew letters as she watches Oy Baby. Still, we weren’t sure where to go with it after that. I know some Hebrew, and my husband none, so neither of us could speak Hebrew to her and help her learn the way a native speaker would.

First we tried the Little Pim videos–they’re cute, and teach some basic vocabulary, but again, I wasn’t sure where to go after that. How can I reinforce that vocabulary, since we don’t speak Hebrew at home?

Now we’re trying Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone is computer-based immersion that includes voice recognition to teach and correct pronunciation. My daughter was too young for it a year ago, but now the immersion method is working better for her, and the voice recognition is managing to understand her childish voice–something it didn’t do well even a few months ago. Because you can have multiple accounts, I created one for myself and one for her; the plan for now is for her to study, and for me to review and relearn, and perhaps she and I can start having short conversation in Hebrew, or start using nouns we both know, or otherwise reinforce what she learns. She also has Israeli friends her own age, and that might help as well, when she gets further along.

Of course, the only way to really learn a foreign language for most people is true immersion–at my daughter’s age, a year in Israel would make all the difference.



5 thoughts on “Rosetta Stone Anyone?

  1. As I was saying before I pressed the wrong key, for an alternative there is BYKI (Before You Know It) which is free, or $69 something for the “Deluxe” version, software to download that has some features similar to Rosetta Stone. You can also sign up for tutors. I tried it when I was spending time in Hungary and optimistically thought I could learn Hungarian. I thought it was very useful but I don’t know how it compares with Rosetta Stone. And I don’t know how it would be for children.

    My Hebrew was never good, and I would like to refresh/relearn it. Draco is interested but doesn’t really have a good situation to support his learning it. In addition I’m conflicted because I’d like to see him learn Spanish which his mother understands but doesn’t speak well.

    Sigh! There are too many things to do and not enough time.

  2. True enough about the time thing. A. is learning some Spanish already in school, and they offer Latin later on, but this is such a good age to start a language, and since she’s willing and eager… I’ll take a look at BYKI–thanks for that.

  3. This is a good age, and since she is eager she should learn easily. And if she already knows the aleph bet she has one hard part done. I do little bits with Draco but nothing consistent. He’s more interested in building things and games using strategy. He’s more interested in the structure of language than in the actual use of it, and anything with numbers fascinates him. He’s funny. If he’s sad or upset, doing anything with numbers will get him right out of it. He’s a real boy’s boy, very different from what his father was.

    If Avital is still up for chess sometime, Draco is still up for, though his understanding of it is rather warped.

  4. Avital’s too. She plays for about 5 minutes, and then she’s off. I think there are enough kids around who are interested that we can do some sort of club or regular meetings. I’m working on it!

    • That would be nice. There is a little girl who is in Draco’s class and lives nearby who might possibly be interested in chess. I’ll check on that.

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