What is the difference between Rosetta Stone and TalkBox.Mom?
Wading through the never-ending ocean of educational resources can be overwhelming. I know I’ve been there! You decide that you want to teach your kids a foreign language, but once that decision is made, then what?! Like, how do you do it?! I want you to get the absolute best resource for your situation—even if that means deciding that the TalkBox.Mom program isn’t quite right for you. I am passionate about the program I’ve created, but I realize that there’s no such thing as a, “one size fits all,” approach when it comes to families and learning!
That being said, one of the most common questions people ask is, “How does TalkBox.Mom compare to Rosetta Stone?” If you’ve been wondering this, then you’re in the right place! I hope to make your decision a little easier by sharing some highlights of both programs. They’re both well suited for specific language learning goals, so let’s look at some key areas so you can feel confident in making a well-informed decision!
|Subscription based, purchased content available with lifetime access for your family||Subscription based, content available only with active subscription|
|Uses an immersive approach but also has English translations available for everything||Offers no English translations—all learning is intuitive|
|There are physical books and language guides, including posters and label cards, with a companion app that includes all the phrases with native speaker audio for any product that you purchase||All software is on computer or mobile app, no printed resources .|
|Structure contains flexibility||Structure is specific and rigid|
|Screen time is completely optional; the native speaker audio can be downloaded and listened to anywhere, even in the car||Screen time is non-optional as the entire program is done online/ via computer|
|You start using full sentences and phrases, making connections and understanding individual words as you go||You learn single words first, then you build up to learning phrases|
|Phrasebook Price: $35 for over 1,750 phrases and lifetime access to the app||Covid Price: $36 for 3-month long subscription (access to entire program for a single language)|
|Typical Price: $80 per TalkBox.Mom box, takes an average of 2-3 months to work through a box (price includes lifetime access to the content and the app)||Typical Price: $79 for 3-month long subscription (access to entire program for a single language)|
Family vs. Solo Activity
The biggest difference between Rosetta Stone and TalkBox.Mom is family learning vs. one person learning alone. Rosetta Stone gives you the freedom to let your child learn on their own. They can sit down in front of a computer by themselves and do the day’s lesson. When your child finishes their lesson, their language learning is done for the day.
If your biggest desire about finding a foreign language program goes as far as checking a box on a transcript without using the language throughout the day with your family, then Rosetta Stone is what you’re looking for! It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to follow. It will give your student the success they need to complete foreign language time on their own—without the rest of the family.
TalkBox.Mom is a family-based program—not focused on how much you know but how much of the language your entire family is using throughout the day.
I built our program around the idea that your entire family gets to learn a foreign language the same way you learned English—by talking to each other!
One of the first things you’ll learn is, “Are you hungry,” and “Let’s have a snack!” These are things we say every day, so once you’ve learned what the phrases are, you start using those phrases in the foreign language instead of English.
The next time snack time rolls around, you can ask, “Are you hungry?” in your desired language! I want this to be both fun and practical for your family, so my program will provide you with phrases your family uses—whether you’re getting ready to leave the house or trying to figure out who farted! (Seriously! The phrasebook has the phrase, “Who farted?”)
With the whole family learning together, you’ll be able to reinforce what you’re learning. This will help your student retain the new language faster and easier than learning from a computer without anyone to practice with throughout your day. You can also add more phrases to your daily routine at your own pace. Soon enough, you’ll experience your whole family becoming confident in speaking together in your dream language!
Digital vs. Printed
Rosetta Stone is 100% digital. You can choose to work on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, but there are no printables.
TalkBox.Mom’s goal is to get your family talking in a foreign language together in real life—not staring at a computer screen. Each box comes with printed materials ready for you to start using right away, including colorful charts, label cards, and language guides. You can access the native speaker audio for all the phrases on the printouts and more in the TalkBox.Mom Companion App or on the website.
When practicing with the audio, if you want to learn together on your phone, you can! If you prefer your kids to not have screen time, you as the parent can play the audio while your children listen and practice the phrases. You’ll be able to control if your kids look at the audio as it plays or not.
Although both programs are subscription based, the subscription you receive works completely differently with each program. The minimum purchase with Rosetta Stone is a 3 month subscription.
If your child is unable to fully learn everything in the first 3 months or they need to take a break from learning, because life happens, you can’t access the material they’ve already purchased unless you pay for another subscription.
Although Rosetta Stone offers better rates if you subscribe for longer terms, the minimum three-month long subscription to Rosetta Stone will typically cost $79. Currently, because of COVID, it is $36. If you’re prepared to put down some big money upfront, you can pay for a lifetime access option.
Each TalkBox.Mom box is a one-time purchase and includes lifetime access to the TalkBox.Mom companion app with native speaker audio, printables, label cards, and colorful charts to hang in your home. I know all children learn at a different pace, so there’s no reason to put pressure on your family to learn in any specific time frame.
The average time it takes families to fully learn and use their phrases in one box is 2-3 months if you ‘re working on phrases daily. If you want to take your time learning all of the phrases in the first box, no problem! You’ll always have lifetime access to what you’ve already purchased. The box, materials, and app access are still yours to keep. You can review until you feel you’re ready for new material, then you can purchase the next box. A TalkBox.Mom box costs $80, and you keep the content forever.
Alternatively, if you want to try the program out first without a major commitment, that same 3-month long subscription to Rosetta Stone at the $36 Covid-friendly price will buy you a $35 phrasebook that contains over 1,750 different phrases for your family and all the native speaker audio for the book in the companion app. Both the physical phrasebook and access to the app are yours forever for one single payment of $35.
Considering both products are almost the exact same cost for 3 months, they are comparable in price. The difference is what is being taught in the first 3 months.
Rosetta Stone is very structured. Each lesson is set and your child simply follows the path through the program. It starts with single words and works up to phrases.
The format of each lesson stays the same: click on the pictures that match the words. Speak the words. Type the words. As the child moves from just words to phrases, the phrases do get more difficult and complex as you go, but the lesson style doesn’t change.
It’s very simple and straightforward, which works for a lot of people, but unless they’re particularly self-motivated, your average learner may get bored with it.
Rosetta Stone is beginning to add supplementary stories and games into their app although the lessons have not changed. If you want your child to just be told what to do and when to do it, Rosetta Stone offers that simplicity.
The trade-off is that all of those choices are made for you, you don’t get to choose what you learn, and you can’t skip a phrase that you know you’ll never use. You might not mind that if you’re looking for a survey of the language.
TalkBox.Mom has a structured but flexible approach. Each box focuses on a specific topic that you use in your home to expand the areas of where you’re using your dream language every single day. The boxes go in a specific order because the later boxes match your confidence, meaning the audio has less breaks, there is little to no English on your charts, and you learn even more phrases per box.
The boxes vary in their format depending on which topic you’re learning. For example, the first box, the Snacks & Kitchen Box, has a guide to help you start using phrases as you eat and clean up, a poster to ask for various snacks, and label cards to use the different items in your kitchen. The Chores & Cleaning Box includes chore cards, cleaning checklists, and a cleaning poster for your cleaning closet. The Arts & Crafts Box has 3 drawing challenges and crafts to do in your dream language. The box even includes materials for completing the crafts, including colored pencils and pompoms!
All of the boxes have the same approach. You choose the phrases you want to use with your family (ignoring any phrases you won’t use), you practice saying those phrases with the native speaker audio in the companion app, and you use those phrases in your life.
Because the Talkbox program is designed to be used throughout your day, it’s easy to keep it interesting for kids. TalkBox.Mom boxes are designed with families in mind, so I have lots of different activities and games so that your family can have fun together while you learn.
As an added bonus, If you’re someone who loves checking boxes to feel even more accomplished, I created a planner so that you can have the flexibility of my program while still having the “check the box” experience if that’s what you need!
Rosetta Stone offers product support for your purchase to make sure that their program is working correctly for you. TalkBox.Mom also offers product support, and if you’re not tech savvy, we’ll even help you to download the app.
However, the biggest focus of our support is helping you reach your language goals by completing your boxes. We’re not here to sell boxes. We’re here to help your family actually use a language, so you and your family can do more good in the world, connect with other cultures as you travel, and expand your work and educational opportunities.
To help you reach your goals, we have a super-positive and friendly private Facebook group called TalkBox.Mom Hotshot. It is maintained full time by Kaeti, our Facebook group manager. Our team and the entire community of TalkBox.Mom families are right there with you, cheering you on, sharing your struggles, and helping you bust out of those ruts we sometimes find ourselves in with lots of tips, tricks, and activities—whether your kids are babies or high schoolers looking for high school credit.
If you would like your family to use a foreign language together, click here to choose your language, so you can get started right away and join the TalkBox.Mom community!