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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 11, 2008 / 6 Nissan 5768

Online Language Lessons Stimulating

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Several decades have passed since I last sat in a classroom trying to learn a language that wasn't English. I can still remember Miss Rachel Nahum (and, yes, she insisted on "Miss," despite being close to our grandparents' ages) telling us what was right and wrong about our pronunciation.


A desire to learn other languages has never left, and there are good reasons for me to take up one or more such efforts now. An Arlington-based firm, Rosetta Stone, Inc., whose headquarters recently relocated from Harrisonburg, Virginia, is trying to meet that need with both software-based language courses.


But it isn't just software, which I shall tackle shortly and review here soon, by which you can learn. The firm is offering its services online, for slightly more than $21.66 per month for individual subscribers, or $259.95 per year, which works out to about 72-cents per day. By contrast, the "Level 1" software sells for $209; if you want all three levels of the course, available for a number of languages, it'll set you back $499.


The online program covers the 31 languages in which Rosetta Stone teaches, ranging from Arabic to Welsh and including both Spanish for Spain and Spanish for Latin America. It would seem to support most Web browsers, including Apple's Safari 3.1, with which I tested the software, as well as both headset microphones and the built-in one found on an Apple iMac. If this stuff works on a Mac, then PC compatibility should be no problem.


The premise of Rosetta Stone is to provide language training in a somewhat-conversational format, in what the firm claims is a method similar to the way we learned our first language: the company calls this "Dynamic Immersion," combining what it says is "advanced interactive technology with native speakers and a rich visual environment."


As I quickly learned online, Brazilian Portuguese, the language I chose for online study, is not as close to the Spanish in which I drilled long ago. Thus, hearing correct pronunciations was crucial: the online program "hears" - and judges - my pronunciation. In the first "core lesson" of the first lesson of the first unit in Portuguese, I scored 109 correct, 9 incorrect, for a score of 92 percent correct.


There are several things that impress me here. First off is the sheer technical quality of the online presentation. It would be very easy for such a system to have massive hiccups; so far, I haven't found any, even though I tried. When setting up the online version, you need to download and install a small application; every time you fire up the program, a microphone check is necessary. After these steps, however, you're ready to go.


The second thing that's impressive, even to the non-pedagogical among us, is that even after a few days of separation between segments, a fair amount stays without. I began that first "core" lesson on April 1, and returned to it five days later. My pronunciation was still good, and my memory of the vocabulary was there. I can't spout off in the language yet, but after that five-day absence, my confidence was bolstered by what I knew and was able to recall. I began with simple words and, by the end of the core lesson, I was speaking, or more properly, reading and repeating, sentences. Because the words and phrases are associated with pictures of people doing the described activity, learning and remembering was easier.


Now, I'd have to go through the entire course before telling you how well this all works. I have the feeling that my reading and speaking will be rather good, if I continue diligently. I'm off to a good start, however, and I'm enjoying this. Details at www.rosettastone.com.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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