Growing demand and a shortage of qualified foreign language teachers has opened the door for commercial companies, including Rosetta Stone and Middlebury Interactive, to enter the educational marketplace.
More than 20,000 schools and districts have integrated Rosetta Stone into their curriculum since 1991.
Similarly, Middlebury Interactive has taken Middlebury College’s vaunted world language pedagogy and translated it to online and blended learning offerings for K12 students. Launched three years ago as a collaborative effort with Middlebury College and the educational company K12, Middlebury Interactive serves 170,000 students in 1,200 schools.
The program’s mix of online instruction, videos, and authentic cultural immersion can supplement district programs, says Jane Swift, Middlebury’s CEO. “We have a good understanding of the best ways to teach a language and ways to support teachers who are teaching a language,” Swift adds.