I was given RS Mandarin a a gift. I had a few lessons of Mandarin in the past.I found the RS program interesting, but it was frustrating to try to learn by "immersion" alone. What they call immersion is really just "guess what the picture says?" That is not real immersion. In an immersion environment, native speakers will point and demonstrate and will often let you know the rules of grammar.
Learning Mandarin is especially difficult by the RS method in that the learner has no clue what the grammar and language rules are. For instance, Mandarin has a large number of "counting words" that are specific to each noun. This is important to know and thoroughly understand. RS doesn't give you this information and it is almost impossible to figure it out without someone just telling you what they are.
I would much prefer the use RS in conjunction with a regular language lesson rather than by itself. I learn faster, and with much less frustration, with regular lessons plus an exercise like RS than I do simply by doing the RS CD.
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