I described the set up of Rosetta Stone because one of the first major cons I found is directly related to its set up. It has to do with the way the lessons are presented: one way with the lessons in a line  and the other with them listed in columns. The first way is called ‘your course’ so it seems to be the way Rosetta Stone wants you to complete the lessons and so that’s the way I was completing them.

Until I took a good look at the lesson columns and noticed there were more lesson components under the lessons than there were in the planned course. Specifically, the columns had all the components I previously mentions (core lesson, pronunciation, listening, etc.) while the course was occasionally missing some. So I started going through the columns completing the things that I had ‘missed’. It was than that I noticed components checked off in lessons I hadn’t yet gotten to (Oh yeah, as you finish a component, it’s checked off on your course). I realized that not all the components of the lessons were listed with its fellow components. The vocabulary of lesson 2, for example, might be sandwiched between the listening and the writing of lesson 4.

This made me a little annoyed since I felt it was some kind of programming error. Then I thought about it and realized that it was only earlier lessons showing up among later lessons, and not vice versa. So you wouldn’t find lesson 4’s listening component with lesson 2 stuff, before lesson 4 has formally been introduced by its core lesson.

I’m fairly sure now that this is intentional (as in, not a programming error), especially since it happens in all the other units. New lessons are introduced, via the core lesson component, before the previous lessons have been completed, and the remaining components will be finished gradually as you go through the new lesson(s) (Lesson 1 of unit one lasted through lesson 4). This is actually fairly handy, since the lessons don’t necessarily use all the same vocabulary, especially nouns. So by continuing the lessons as new lessons (ie new vocabulary) is introduced, it helps you retain the information better and doesn’t overload you with too much info. at once. You avoid memorizing words just to get through one lesson, only to forget it all when you leave it behind for a new lesson.

Unfortunately, this is contained within the units, as far as I can tell, and I don’t yet know how much overlap there will be between the topics of unit 1,2,3, etc. Hopefully by the time I move onto a new unit, I’ll have mastered the first and won’t need to be reminded of what came before.

And also hopefully, this will be the last of my technobabble and from here on out I’ll talk about language learning stuff, aka fun stuff.

PS I have a feeling this confusion might have been avoided if I just read the manual that comes with the program, which I really only skimmed.