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4. Take classes, not shortcuts: Widely publicized teaching tools like Rosetta Stone can help supplement your foreign language education, professors say, but shouldn't be a student's sole means of absorbing a language. While interactive tools are useful for memorizing vocabulary words, they're not as effective as learning the nuances of conversation as live, face-to-face instruction, says Redmond of Wake Forest.
Solveig Zempel, professor of Norwegian at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, agrees. "Tools such as Rosetta Stone and others certainly have a place for anyone who does not have access to formal instruction but needs to gain an introductory level of language fluency, but they are no substitute for classroom instruction with an experienced teacher," she says.
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