Maine High School turns to computer program for foreign language teacher – MeriTalk


When Madison Area Memorial High School in Maine couldn’t fill a foreign language teaching position, it turned to computers. After being unable to fill a vacant teaching post, but students had already signed up for Spanish and French classes, a school guidance counselor and principal began to look for less conventional solutions. and proposed Rosetta Stone.

“It was rushing and school was starting,” principal Jessica Ward told the Morning Sentry. “The students were already programmed for a foreign language, and we just cannot fail to offer it. “

The guidance counselor and superintendent suggested using the Rosetta Stone computer program as a full-time Spanish and French teacher, as well as an education technician to supervise students and oversee the administration of the program.

“Ideally, we want to recruit a teacher,” Ward said. “It’s not perfect, but it was the best option to move our students forward this year.”

Madison Area Memorial High School won’t be the only school to have foreign language teachers in the coming years due to a nationwide teacher shortage. Computer programs such as Rosetta Stone allow schools to continue offering foreign language programs even if there is no qualified teacher available. Additionally, for smaller schools, which don’t necessarily need a full-time teacher, a computer-based language course may be a more affordable option.

Rosetta Stone is used in over 4,000 schools across the country; Ideally, however, the software is used in conjunction with a live teacher, said Franklin Moomaw, Rosetta Stone’s regional sales manager for education.

One of the main advantages of Rosetta Stone is that the school can expand its language offer. Madison Area Memorial High School now offers students their choice of 30 languages, up from two previously. The program also allows students to progress at their own pace, so that students who learn quickly are not held back and students who learn slower are not in a hurry.

However, the program changes the focus on how the language is learned.

“With a teacher, the emphasis is more on grammar and vocabulary,” said Paige Wong, a student at Madison Area Memorial High School. “This is all about listening and talking. “

Madison Area Memorial High School is still looking to hire a foreign language teacher for the next year, even if the Rosetta Stone program proves successful.

“It’s hard to replace having a real person there to help students when they are having difficulty or to make learning relevant to their lives,” Ward said. “Yes, they’re learning the language with the Rosetta Stone program, but I’m afraid they’ll miss out on cultural education and the personal touch of having a real teacher available.”


Gordon K. Morehouse