|Mississippi’s Third Largest School District Uses Technology to Assist Students with World Language Program|
“Rankin County School District has always strived to provide our 19,500 students with the tools they need to compete at the global level, and this includes the incorporation of foreign language opportunities throughout the district,” said Dr. Sue Townsend, Superintendent of Education. “With every instructional area, we regularly take a step back and evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching strategies and tools provided to our teachers. After careful examination, we identified conversational language fluency as an area that we could improve on and Rosetta Stone as a tool to help us get to where we want to be.”
The district selected Rosetta Stone after researching several foreign language options; language teachers were then invited to evaluate the platform to determine efficacy. For the first time, every RCSD student taking a world language course will have the opportunity to utilize the globally recognized platform for learning foreign languages. Students in grades 5, 6 and 8 study Spanish; seventh graders are offered a sampling of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Italian and German; and high school students can choose between Spanish and French (in select schools).
“When we began working with Rankin County, one of their primary requests was to have the program accessible to students outside of the classroom so they could continue to work on their language skills anytime,” said Matt Hall, vice president, Enterprise & Education, Rosetta Stone. “We love seeing that they are already making such great strides in the program and that their acquired language skills are having a real impact on their lives. We applaud Rankin County for recognizing how technology can positively impact learning in the classroom.”
The Rosetta Stone program is a flexible supplement to regular classroom instruction: Students in one elementary school and every middle and high school spend 40-60 minutes per week using the program with the assistance of language teacher in a classroom setting. But language learning doesn’t stop when class ends. Because the program is cloud-based, students can learn and practice from virtually anywhere using their laptop, smartphone or tablet. Helping to make that possible is the district’s 1:1 initiative, in which students in grades 7-12 receive a Mac Book Air.
“We are now in our second year of implementation with Rosetta Stone, and there has been a welcome uptick in student usage, with nearly 2,100 hours logged during the first six weeks of instruction,” said Josh Frazier, who oversees Instructional Technology for RCSD and spearheaded the implementation of Rosetta Stone into the curriculum. “The program is particularly appealing because the technology allows students to learn on the go – whether they’re at home or in class – and they can self-pace their instruction.”
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