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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why is Rosetta Stone so successful when their courses are so bad?

As some of you may know, I am considered an expert on foreign language instruction based on my experience in the field and my authorship of a very successful series to teach Chinese to English-speakers.

Yesterday someone asked what I thought of Rosetta Stone. I told him that I have never seen any evidence that anyone who used RS to learn a language was actually able to communicate in it.

He was shocked. In his mind and the minds of most people, RS is synonymous with language learning.

I explained that they do two things very well.

They have the best marketing of any group. They have established in the public mind that RS = language learning.

They are the only firm to aggressively go after pirates. You will not find a single pirated version of their courses on the net. Not one.

In spite of the fact that their courses do not seem to provide what they claim to provide, they are the most commercially successful language courses in the world.

And that is a very sad commentary on publishing.

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