Gateway Academy finds success in world-language education

Gateway Academy, a Phoenix K-12th grade private day school, has seen great success within its classrooms since implementing Rosetta Stone for students to utilize while learning a foreign language, school officials say.

When one walks the halls of Gateway Academy, it’s not uncommon to hear conversations taking place in languages from all over the world.

For these Twice-Exceptional students (those with high-functioning autism), access to a world language program has unlocked a passion for learning and is helping students excel, according to a press release.

By bringing technology into its classrooms through Rosetta Stone digital programs, teachers at Gateway are effectively addressing the primary challenges facing their students: extremely short attention spans, and a wide spectrum of learning abilities and pace.

The online learning solution plays to each student’s individual strengths, allowing them to learn at their own pace—and they are making great strides, with some students completing two years of study in this school year alone, the press release stated.

“Most of our students are exceptionally bright, but have various learning and social and emotional skill levels,” said O. Robin Sweet, founder and executive director of Gateway Academy, in the press release.

“It’s amazing to see how engaged they are with the Rosetta Stone program. Technology has really allowed them to excel, and I truly believe we have some future linguists among us.”

Located in Phoenix, Gateway began using Rosetta Stone in its classrooms in July 2016. Learning a second language is required for all grades—Spanish for grades K-5; French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch or Portuguese for middle school; and Japanese, Russian, Korean, Hebrew or any of the more than 20 languages offered in grades 9-12.

Students have the opportunity to spend 40 minutes a day, up to five days a week in an interactive language lab where they learn not only a new language, but also about its culture and traditions, through group projects and research papers, the press release stated.

Many students struggle with basic learning tasks, such as coming to class prepared, turning in homework, meeting deadlines and time management.

“Integrating technology into our program has made a significant impact with both the students and parents who are seeing the impact that learning a second language is having,” World Language Lab teacher, Jessica Ahl, said in the press release.

Students recently presented a commercial written and performed in their language of study to see if their classmates could figure out the meaning (the commercial was then performed in English) and are now working on a cookbook of native dishes representing their language’s country of origin that have been prepared in class throughout the school year.

“These are complicated kids, but their potential is out of this world,” Mr. Sweet said in the press release. “It’s our job to try to draw out their gifts by providing effective tools and resources, which enable them to find success.”

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