The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR Spanish teachers add their own manual for Rosetta Stone lab

By Joshua Knopp/tr news editor

Many TCC teachers write textbooks, but two Spanish instructors on TR Campus are doing something a little more specific to the college.

Over the summer, Kate Brooke and Janet Rodriguez put together a workbook to accompany the Rosetta Stone program that their students use in the lab section of their Spanish classes.

TCC purchased Rosetta Stone for all campuses two years ago, and Brooke and Rodriguez have used the program extensively in their classes. The pair noticed, however, that the lab manual students were buying wasn’t consistent with what Rosetta Stone was teaching.

“We used it for about two semesters before we realized that the vocabulary was incongruent with the book,” Rodriguez said. “It made sense to make a book to go along with Rosetta Stone.”

Rodriguez said the Rosetta Stone program was a more natural way to learn Spanish in the first place because of studies done on how a language is acquired. In Spanish, most people learn how to speak in the third-person first and then in present progressive, or words ending in –ing. But in most Spanish books, present progressive isn’t taught until chapters five and six, she said.

“The book puts great emphasis on verb conjugation but doesn’t give them any context to use those verbs,” she said. “People will be studying for five or six years, and they’ll know the words, but they’ll have trouble communicating.”

Brooke said the primary goals for the project were to save students money and help them learn Spanish.

While the cost of books has been reduced, with Brooke and Rodriguez’s book costing students $22 and replacing a book that was $110 used, Brooke says determining the success in teaching will be difficult.

“The only thing that we’re both a little bit concerned about is our department is so small. There’s only two of us,” she said. “We’re hoping we can have an adjunct on to teach in a traditional manner. Right now, between the two of us, we don’t have enough for a control group.”

While they don’t have data points to go on, Brooke and Rodriguez can take comfort in the positive feedback of students like Adrian Vasquez.

“What we do in Rosetta Stone, we do in here also,” Vasquez said. “The Spanish book they used to use would throw us off. They made a book to keep close to Rosetta Stone.”

The pair is currently working on revisions to their lab manual for Elementary Spanish I and developing a manual for Elementary Spanish II to begin using next semester.

“It’s a big project. I think it might be bigger than we anticipated,” Brooke said. “But we’re both very optimistic about it.”

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