Monday, March 24, 2008

Online Spanish

An exciting event occurred on Friday- I finished my online Spanish class.

I'd been laboring through that torture for two long years and it was about time it finished. Now don't get me wrong, a foreign language is great, but enough is enough. I spent over 180 hours on it to earn 4 semester credits. Actually, it really does equal out to be saving me time in the long run, but it didn't really feel like it.

I went through Rosetta Stone, (cleverly named after the Egyptian artifact that featured the same text in three languages, two different versions of Egyptian and Greek. This was a breakthrough because now archeologists could decode Egyptian). The program is unique, but not really. You learn the same way you learned English. Your mom pointed to her nose and says, "Nose!" in a very high pitched voice and eventually you get what a nose is. Rosetta Stone does the same thing. There are a few variations on the same lesson, but basically a word or phrase comes up along with four pictures. One of the pictures matches and you click on it. If you're right, then an encouraging bell sound ensues along with a smiley face. If you're guess is incorrect, there is a blaring horn.

I would also do speech comparisons. Somehow, the all omniscient computer could tell if my feeble attempts to speak Spanish could be decoded by a native speaker. It all sounded the same to me, but the helpful meter was kind enough to show me how close I was to getting the pronunciation right.

The biggest trial with the whole online thing was the sheer stupidity of computers. Sometimes my lesson wouldn’t show up after I completed it, and let me tell you how frustrating that is. I could spend up to an hour on a single one and to have it not count is infuriating. When a teacher doesn’t put something in the computer, you can reason with her, but a computer listens to no one but itself in such matters. At other times the internet would randomly loose connection and I would be left stranded.

There were pros, too. I could work on it at two in the morning, (although I don’t recommend it), and anywhere with internet access.

Overall, I am grateful it is over. I couldn’t have done it alone, my parents helped me a ton. If you’re considering enrolling in such a class, I hope this article helped you in your decision. And if you need any tips, hints, or suggestions, give me a ring. Just say, “¡Me puede ayudar!”


Phases said...

What does "¡Me puede ayudar!" mean? And would you recommend it for someone who needs to take, say, Math and Science?

August Early said...

I can't say about any other classes, because I haven't taken them. But I don't think some are so bad because you have a teacher. But I don't know and it depends on if you like working alone. I don't think I'll take another online class, but for some people it is a good option. "Me puede ayudar" is Spanish for "help me!

Phases said...

Thank you for clarifying. Yet another of the few things I know in spanish.