Class 3: Now we're starting to get into the meat of things. After doing more basics (numbers) we moved on to formal greetings and the all important (and sometimes confusing) verbs. This is where I think the conversational nature of the Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish program will really earn its money. One of the hardest thing for me is to conjugate verbs on the fly. I'm o.k. when I stay in the present tense, but I feel completely lost at times when I venture into the past or future. Even worse is when I have to use different tenses in the same or consecutive sentences. For instance, I was talking today to a local woman about how I had studied Spanish in the past, am again learning it now, and will try to continue speaking Spanish when I return to the States. I needed to stop each time and conjugate the verb in my head before continuing the sentence - something that really breaks up the conversation. The method that Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish uses has you listening to all of these conjugations from the first class. Furthermore, the teacher and student switch quickly from tense to tense as one would in normal conversation. I am able to learn how to use various verb tenses (including past and future) by recognizing patterns and by repetition.
This is also where I am beginning to see Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish diverge from Rosetta Stone. I actually used Rosetta Stone for about 4-6 weeks (1 - 1.5 hours per day) before leaving for Buenos Aires and nearly all of that time was spent in the present tense...the least confusing one. Yes, Rosetta Stone does expose you to a great deal of useful verbs, however, it takes a long time before you learn how to use them in a tense other than the present. This nauseating repetition, for someone who has some Spanish background, was frustrating, and I felt I couldn't just skip those units because there were a lot of useful vocabulary words mixed in. For my money, I would rather get really comfortable with all of the conjugations of a few key verbs because that is what you need to know to hold even a basic conversation.
The other big advantage I am seeing of Bueno, entonces... Learn Spanish over Rosetta Stone is the use of "vos." For someone who is considering traveling to Argentina I think this is vital. Understanding "vos" is obviously a necessity for understanding daily conversation, but is also needed for speaking in commands. I spent a lot of time with Rosetta Stone practicing the "tú" tense, and didn't learn, until my wife told me when we were boarding the plane, that it isn't even used here. Therefore, I have spent a lot of my time early on learning the ins and outs of "vos" - in reality its a fairly straightforward tense to learn, but still takes some time.