Rosetta Stone a Powerful Learning Companion
It is unrealistic to think that any language learning approach will be the magic bullet. Like just about anything else in life, an attack on multiple fronts is required.
Rosetta Stone is no exception to the above. It has limitations that do not allow you to use it on its own. With just a little extra effort, Rosetta Stone is a powerful ally in your quest towards linguistic diversity.
The major setback with Rosetta Stone is association. You can actually think you are doing well because you get many exercises correct. It is easy to use process of elimination to get the exercises right in the beginning. In time, you will get very frustrated as you find your scores progressively dropping. To avoid this pitfall, you must make sure you get the idea behind each lesson. Often the ideas are quite subtle. For example (in Latin Spanish) the software illustrates the use of Tu versus Su. On another occasions, it demonstrates the use Tu and Ustedes. If you do not pick up on this hidden message, you will find the future exercises strangely ambiguous.
When progressing through each screen, make sure you get it. That is, you understand the message behind the pictures. The software often illustrates subtle constructs that can sneak up on you in future lessons and exercises. Once something seems ambiguous, use other resources such as the internet, or Spanish textbooks from the library to aid in your learning. When you figure out what went wrong, go back to the lessons that cover the material, and re-discover the subtle message. It is actually quite liberating. Once you uncover a few of these hidden messages, you actually become quite adept at picking them up later on. The process gets considerably easier as you go along.
Rosetta Stone will ultimately stump you at some point. Once this happens, diversify your efforts a little. You will get big dividends from your efforts.
I have not encountered the magic bullet for self education. Perhaps when I find it, I will write more reviews!