Rosetta Stone Language Software

Using the Itty Bitty Courses

These courses are designed to teach you little snippets of language in a way that the brain can absorb it. Be sure to follow the directions, particularly about getting relaxed and spacing your learning. If you just read all five lessons while packing, you're not going to remember much. Be sure to do the lessons in order. The phrases are set to teach you some basic grammar "by accident".

1. Put on some light, slow music. Without words. A largo from a piece by Vivaldi or Bach. Something understated by Brahms, or something that stumbles along like Satie's Gymnopedies. You need to get your brain slowed down enough to let things sink in.

2. Do a stretch or two. Close your eyes a few seconds and picture a wheat field. In short, relax. You can't think about language if you're still thinking about the office or the kids.

3. Sit with your back flat against the back of your chair. Then let your shoulders drop, so you don't mistake sitting up straight with making your body tense.

4. Look at the first lesson. You're going to read it out loud so that your mouth can get used to the idea of saying these things and your ear to the idea of hearing you say them. Take a deep breath and exhale to let go of the nervousness about speaking a foreign language. Laugh at yourself a moment if it helps.

5. Read the first block of three. Read the English in a soft monotone - "You are getting very sleepy..." Read the foreign language the way you'd say the phrase in English. This will build the association in your mind while making the new language feel more natural. Vary your tone a little - try to say at least one of the phrases emphatically: Please. - Thank you. - You're welcome

6. Keep reading till you finish the seventh block. Then repeat.

7. Skim down the lesson. Does everything look familiar? If yes, continue. If no, read the items that are still troubling you with emphasis.

8. Listen to the music two or three more minutes. Try to imagine yourself saying a snippet of dialogue. Say "Please" and "Thank you" or "How are you?" without looking at the screen.

9. Print the page and take it with you to glance at when you don't have anything better to do.

10. Do something else for between an hour and a day. You need to give each lesson time to sink in - but not too much.

11. Skim the lesson you did earlier. Does everything look familiar? If so, try the next lesson. If not, reread it once before doing the next one.

12. When you've completed all the lessons, skim through all five lessons. By the fifth lesson, the phrases for "Hello," "Please" and "Thank you" should be painfully familiar. If not, you might need some review. If so, congratulations, you've just completed your first step in picking up a new language.

Note: When you learn a language, the more you learn, the more your brain has to create a structure out of and the less you need review - though even native speakers need review if too long away from the home country. Since this is a short course, you should read through it every week or two once you're done until you get to use the language for real.