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Rockingham Enters into Partnership with Rosetta Stone®

Gracias ... Merci ... Danke ... Grazie ...

These are just a few of the many ways Rockingham County Public Schools teachers and students can now say "Thank You" to Rosetta Stone® for making its popular language-learning software available to Rockingham's entire student and staff population. Recently, Rosetta Stone®, the Harrisonburg-based company, entered into a formal partnership with the school division and presented Dr. Carol Fenn, Rockingham's Superintendent, with 13,500 licenses of Rosetta Stone® Classroom Version 3 bringing Rosetta Stone's immersive method to all students, teachers and support staff in the district.

Dr. Fenn expressed her gratitude for the agreement made with the company. "We appreciate this wonderful opportunity for our Rockingham students; this product takes us to new heights to communicate with our growing and diverse community. We can be a true family of learners together. Thanks so much to Rosetta Stone!"

The local-turned-global company has quickly become the leading provider of language-learning software in the world, used by millions in over 10,000 schools throughout 150 countries as well as by NASA and the United States Army for their language training needs. In Rockingham, foreign language departments in middle schools and high schools as well as elementary school students in the English Language Learners program will benefit greatly from the product's implementation into the curriculum.

The web-based product incorporates a powerful innovation in speech recognition technology by comparing a student’s voice to that of a native speaker. It then assists students in achieving accurate pronunciation of words and phrases, providing feedback to the students' spoken efforts. Students in Rockingham are outfitted with a headphone/microphone headset in order to use the software appropriately and effectively. To see the product in action, visit the Rosetta Stone website at http://www.rosettastone.com/ for a video of world champion swimmer, Michael Phelps, learning Chinese to prepare for his next Olympic experience in Beijing.

The software puts 14 languages at the fingertips of RCPS students and faculty who want to learn a new language. Available languages in Classroom Version 3 include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English (British), English (American), French, German, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Latin America), and Spanish (Spain).

What's the RCPS role in this partnership? The company, formerly Fairfield Language Technologies until 2006 when it assumed the name Rosetta Stone®, has actually had a longstanding relationship with Rockingham schools. Many of its current employees are native to the Shenandoah Valley as well as RCPS graduates. Over the years throughout the development process of its various products, Rosetta Stone® has used Rockingham's computer network and lab and classroom workstations to test and get performance data on its software to learn how products would function in an actual educational environment. Additionally, with the new online product, teachers will provide feedback to Rosetta Stone about its use in the classroom.

Rockingham County Public Schools extends its sincere appreciation to Rosetta Stone® for the continued relationship it enjoys with the company and looks forward to maintaining this strong partnership into the future.