Calico Spanish Stories Online vs. Rosetta Stone for Schools

Calico Spanish Stories Online and Rosetta Stone for Schools are both immersion-style, computer-based programs designed for schools who may not have a Spanish-speaking teacher but want to enable their students to learn Spanish at home.

Beyond these similarities, we have identified several differences that will help you choose the right product for your school. Calico Spanish offers content that engages young children in fun stories and deep culture concepts while supporting your school with child-friendly, updated content and format.

Motivating stories for very young children

The Calico Spanish Stories Online program uses engaging video stories to help young children engage in messages they like and can understand. The stories are written and the videos are developed for children in preschool through fifth grade. Children, especially younger children, who are not highly motivated to work independently on a language program may quickly tire of Rosetta Stone’s photo-based content and repetitive format.

Supportive system so no one is confused

Rosetta Stone is skillfully built on the assumption that people learn a second language the same way they acquired their first, by experiencing language input, making assumptions about that input, and correcting or confirming those assumptions based on more input. It’s possible that this is what actually happens in formal language learning, but this is highly contested. That is, experts are not at all sure that this is the most effective or efficient way to help students learn language in formal study. This method usually tries to completely eliminate English translation and doesn’t organize content based on what language learners will most likely need or want to talk about in the real world.

At Calico Spanish, we believe that the best way for young children to learn language is to be exposed to messages they can and want to understand in Spanish, and so in our core content, the Video Stories and songs, children will not encounter any English translation. On the other hand, we also enable the teacher or facilitator to understand everything that is happening in the content by providing English translations for every Video Story and song in the Teacher’s Guides. These guides also help you answer questions about language use for yourself and your learners as you wish, as well as providing many ways for you to follow up the video content with interactions and games you all can understand and participate in.

Content and format designed for your whole family

Whereas Rosetta Stone has taken the content they developed for adult language learners and repackaged it as a program for younger learners to use independently, Calico Spanish is built on child-friendly content and provides everything you need to facilitate and participate in the learning.

Rosetta Stone claims, for example, that children will work independently and eventually move to “advanced” skills like discussing government. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, however, argues that learners cannot achieve advanced proficiency in another language without an immersion experience in that language, such as in a study-abroad program. In Calico Spanish, the goals of every lesson are focused on what a child wants and needs to communicate with others at levels they can achieve.

At Calico Spanish, we believe it is a myth that an effective language learning program can have as one of its primary goals that the child work as much as possible independent of contact with other people and without help and facilitation.

Updated by a company committed to Spanish

Calico Spanish has its proverbial fingers in exactly one pie: helping young children experience Spanish in a way that enables them to communicate in the real world. Our curriculum developers are committed to keep the content free of error and up-to-date. We are continually improving and updating our programs with added features that help children learn Spanish.

Unique approach to intercultural competence

From the first lesson in Calico Spanish, children and teachers explore deep cultural content together, asking questions that open their eyes to the different ways people think about the world around them. You will help learners move through 4-5 Culture Capsules per level and discover fascinating new perspectives. Each Capsule ends with a Spanish-language objective that supports national standards.

Making the choice

Calico Spanish Stories Online and Rosetta Stone for Schools both enable children to experience an immersion-style, English-free Spanish program via a computer application. Schools looking for a program for older children to use without much teacher guidance should look into Rosetta Stone. Teachers who want to help their students through a program filled with content designed for young children learning Spanish should choose Calico Spanish Stories Online.

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