Rosetta Stone, the world’s leading language learning brand, and HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization, have extended their partnership to provide HIAS’ refugee clients with free language learning software. Through the collaboration, Rosetta Stone donated 500 subscriptions that will help newly resettled refugees acquire language skills, more easily integrate into local communities, and open pathways to economic inclusion.
HIAS resettles the most vulnerable refugees from around the globe and offers free Rosetta Stone subscriptions to ease their transition into new communities.
The UN Refugee Agency estimates that nearly 2 million people were forced to flee their homes during the first six months of 2021. Notably, forced migration is not specific to any one geographic region: Humanitarian crises around the globe are putting people at extreme risk; asylum seekers and refugees are braving unsafe conditions to start new lives; and political unrest is creating entire populations of stateless people with little emergency assistance.
HIAS is uniquely qualified to address the modern refugee crisis and has helped more than 4.5 million people escape persecution. The organization facilitates application processes, resettles the most vulnerable people from all over the world, and works with U.S.-based social-service organizations to welcome refugees into local communities.
HIAS first partnered with Rosetta Stone in 2019 to help refugees more easily enter into American society through language instruction. Rosetta Stone and HIAS then extended their collaboration in 2021 to continue assisting HIAS’ clients with their education, social integration efforts and employment opportunities. HIAS and its clients have access to language lessons in 25 languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, and more.
“Our partnership with Rosetta Stone has given refugees additional tools to acclimate to their new lives and navigate the resettlement process with increased confidence and language skills,” said Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS. “We are excited to continue this partnership and continue to provide opportunities to our staff and clients to communicate more easily and create welcoming communities.”
Bahati Buzindu, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and HIAS client, shared, “Rosetta Stone is really helping me understand what other people are talking about, and I’ve been encouraging—and teaching—other refugees to use it, too!”
“Refugees come from all walks of life: They are doctors and farmers, interpreters and caregivers; some speak multiple languages, while others were denied a formal education. Regardless of a person’s skill set, adjusting to a new home is incredibly difficult, especially after being forced to flee one,” said Jennifer Gu, COO of IXL Learning, Rosetta Stone’s parent company. “HIAS and Rosetta Stone’s partnership is an important step toward helping resettled people grow new language skills, and empowering them to ease into communities and lead independent lives.”
Through Rosetta Stone, learners practice new languages in an immersive environment that helps them build the fluency and confidence to speak. Lessons are filled with real-world images and audio from native speakers that accelerate language acquisition. Additionally, the TruAccent speech engine compares voices to native speakers, gives immediate feedback on pronunciation, and helps refugees feel confident participating in real-world conversations.
As part of the partnership, Rosetta Stone also provides HIAS employees with training on how to effectively administer language learning to users for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, HIAS and its affiliate network staff use Rosetta Stone to learn the native languages of the refugees they support, to better understand them and serve their needs.