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Rosetta StoneRosetta Stone

Polish-speaking student wins Rosetta Stone award for learning English

NewsSecondary Education
By Heather McLean | 26 April 2017
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Create DateApril 26, 2017
Last UpdatedApril 26, 2017

Rosetta Stone, a provider of technology-based learning solutions, has announced the winner of its European Day of Languages Contest, which celebrates the efforts of the school and student that have spent the greatest amount of time using Rosetta Stone’s language learning platform.

The winner, thirteen year old David Jakubowski, is a pupil at Birchensale Middle School in Worcestershire and was awarded an iPad Air at his school assembly on Friday 31 March.

As a native Polish speaker, David spoke no English when he moved from Poland to England in September 2016. As a result, he found it difficult to settle in, communicate and make friends at the school, leading to him feeling excluded and lonely.

After raising concerns about their son’s unhappiness, his parents approached the school, which suggested he use Rosetta Stone’s Language Learning Suite, a digital learning solution designed to build fundamental learning skills that the school was providing to students. Six months on and David’s English has improved significantly, enabling him to communicate with teachers and other students much more effectively.

“We are extremely happy that David has won this contest,” said Tomasz Jakubowski, David’s father. “As a parent, it was upsetting to see David struggle to settle into school life because of the language barrier. Rosetta Stone transformed him from an unhappy child who wanted to go back to Poland, to a happy, sociable boy who now no longer wants to leave England.”

“I have really enjoyed using Rosetta Stone since moving to England last year,” said David. “When I first arrived in this country I found it difficult to speak to my teachers and other children in my class, but this has now changed. I worked hard at learning the English language and can now understand my teachers during lessons. I also have a number of friends. I’m excited that I‘ve won this iPad and I look forward to using it to learn even more.”

Birchensale Middle School has been offering its students access to Rosetta Stone since 2016 and more than 499 students are currently participating.

The digital language learning programme, which is designed for beginner to intermediate students, provides an immersive environment that uses carefully sequenced online lessons to gradually introduce vocabulary and grammar. Rosetta Stone uses activities that reinforce language skills by encouraging students to practice listening and reading in a format that motivates, resulting in frequent exposure and strong results.

“When a non-English speaking child moves to the school, there’s always a challenging transition period as they attempt to settle in,” said Katarzyna Okonska, lead teaching assistant at Birchensale Middle School. “We are very proud of David and how much he has progressed since using Rosetta Stone. By including games and activities that children enjoy, Rosetta Stone allows students like David to learn in an environment that is fun and engaging. Over the last six months, our teachers have seen significant improvements in David’s communication skills and confidence, which is all due his time learning with Rosetta Stone.”

“We are seeing an influx of foreign students entering our schools as our country becomes increasingly multi-cultural and diverse,” said Nada Elfaki, client relationship executive at Rosetta Stone. “However, this creates a number of communication barriers, which is particularly difficult for children at an age where building relationships is crucial for their development. Our platform enables children to learn on devices they are used to – whether it’s a desktop or mobile device, and at a pace that matches their capabilities. David’s story is proof that understanding and speaking different languages can have a huge impact on relationships and an individual’s sense of belonging. A big congratulations to David!”

The competition ran from the European Day of Languages on 26 September 2016 to 31 December 2016. All schools that maintained an average of two hours of Rosetta Stone usage per student per month were eligible, and it was free to enter.


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