Today's class marked the halfway point of the course. I hope the second half keeps me as engaged as the first half did. That being said, I felt like today was a bit of a step back in usefulness. Yes there was some helpful information but overall I think it spent too much time on low-yield topics (describing people in great detail). For some topics a basic vocabulary is all you really need when learning a new language and I think descriptions fall into that category. I could have done without learning how to say someone has long eyelashes.
What I found most useful about this class, and several other recent classes, is that there will often be digressions to discuss pronunciation. Again, reflecting on my time using Rosetta Stone, I felt that this is one major area where it fell short, and moreover, even provided false advertising. One feature of Rosetta Stone that really intrigued me when I was investigating different language learning programs was the free headset it provides for pronunciation exercises. My wife can attest to the fact that, on a daily basis, I would curse at the computer after having to repeat myself countless times due to the headset intermittently recognizing my voice. It was very frustrating - I found myself not even using the headset after a while because it was more trouble than it was worth. Furthermore, the voice recognition software was very inadequate. For example, I could say the word perfectly and it would tell me I was wrong, or I could say the completely wrong word (not just mispronounce the correct word) and it would tell me I was correct. The impression I got from Rosetta Stone's advertising was that the headset would really help me with my pronunciation, something that I work really hard to perfect. This could not have been farther from the truth. Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish, on the other hand, uses David to illustrate poor pronunciation and Jimena to demonstrate perfect pronunciation. In addition, there are mini teaching sessions to discuss exactly how certain letters are pronounced depending on where they fall in a particular word. I've learned a lot of helpful pointers from these lessons, and have gotten great feedback on my pronunciation.