Rosetta Stone | Fall 2014
Lynn Stover, Garden Spot Middle School
From 2011 to the present (2015), the Elanco School District has provided the opportunity for students at the elementary and middle school levels to experience a unique cultural enrichment activity as a part of the District’s mission to prepare our students to be full participants in an increasingly global society and marketplace. A nice addition to this enrichment program from January 2014 to January 2015 was the purchase of the Rosetta Stone Arabic Language Program, which was provided through the generous support of the Spartan Foundation for Education.There were 10 students affected initially by this project at Blue Ball Elementary School. However, groups at all of the district’s three elementary schools, and one middle school group, benefited from this interactive, online program.
The Rosetta Stone program allowed observation and assessment over time to see how this program positively affected the students’ acquisition of the Arabic language and to assess its impact on their (Arabic) literacy level.As for the benefit to be derived from the program by students and myself, I will offer this quote from the opening letter that has been sent to students and their parents, who may be considering joining me in this unique cultural exploration:This enrichment activity will focus on increasing your student’s awareness of Arabic language and culture. We will learn common phrases and basic vocabulary, play games, sing songs and play instruments. Language learning is an important part of brain development in young children and has been proven to increase test scores of school-age children.The study of the culture and language of the Arabic world is also of great benefit to our local and national communities.
On a personal level, students in our district now have many Arabic children – for the most part, Iraqi refugees – as classmates. They can welcome them with a word or two in Arabic, demonstrating the value they place on the tradition of a newfound friend and establishing a relationship that builds the foundation for success for both students. As students build relationships at school, their parents also develop relationships that may build success on a larger scale. Finally, national security levels I will quote former President G. W. Bush, “ [The study of critical languages and cultures]… will benefit U.S. national security interests by training citizens … to understand and communicate with peoples who may have a wrong and limited view of America’s ideals and culture.”