With the rise of technology, there has also been a rise in methods and systems to learn languages, all promising fast and easy learning. One of the oldest and most well known options to learning a second language (or third or fourth) is Rosetta Stone. Having been around since 1992, the program’s approach is Dynamic Immersion, which introduces sights, sounds, words, and sentences in a way that is supposed to accelerate the learning program.
Then there are learning apps like Duo Lingo or Drops, which offer teaching through translating words and phrases, visual learning, and forced immersion, all on the learner’s own time. And, the newest option: Language Learning With Netflix (LLN), which provides subtitles in the original language and English in order to allow the watcher to experience a more immersive viewing.
But do any of these options work? And moreover, can they fully teach a new language in a limited amount of time? In short: no. In an article published by the BBC, two factors that contribute to the ease and speed are native tongue and the language that one is learning. Also noted is time dedicated to the task of learning. An hour of day can make a difference, but stronger immersion is needed to make for better learning. Recommended are reading and watching material in the target language, and participating in everyday activities in the target language.
One issue however, that does not make any of the programs or apps a one-size fits-all is that people have different learning styles. Some may benefit from memorization and pronunciation, some might favor visual learning/association, and even still, others might find it easier to learn through practical use and an immersive experience.
In the end, services like LLN, Duolingo, or Rosetta Stone may entice individual to start the process of learning a new language, but the benefits over other modes of language learning still need to be investigated. They can be a useful supplemental resource, but these services are not perfect tools to learn a new language, let alone learn a new language in three weeks.