I may be overstating this a bit but one of the concepts from class 25 totally blew my mind! It was the concept of the feminine noun having a masculine article - I know, crazy, huh? The general rule is that masculine nouns carry the article el while feminine nouns (usually ending in "a") carry the article la - pretty straightforward. Extrapolating from this, I always assumed that a noun that was preceded by an el was masculine and by a la feminine, regardless of whether or not the noun ended with an "a." For example, I assumed el agua (the water) was masculine and therefore would be paired with a masculine adjective like frío (cold). Today's class taught me that there are several feminine nouns that are paired with a masculine article because they start with an "a," such as agua (water), azúcar (sugar), and alma (soul). I know for certain that I've been saying el agua frío instead of el agua fría. Learning this was like discovering the world is really round after being convinced it is flat. My concentration was thrown off for the next several minutes so I don't remember much about what was presented after this segment.
My magical epiphany, however, wasn't the only thing overstated about class 25. If you remember, the teaser from the last class was that we were going to be learning some "hard-core verb tenses" - not so much. The "hard-core verb tense" we learned was the future using the structure ir (to go) + a + infinitive: "Voy a comprarlo (I am going to buy it)." This is a very simple was to express the future and did not teach any new conjugations. There is a unique future tense, however, I learned in today's class that it is not really used in Latin America. Given my preoccupation with conjugating verb tenses, this is something I would have like to have know much earlier in the course. Rosetta Stone has it's students practicing conjugating the future tense for weeks, and never mentions that it is not used in much of Latin America. I feel like there are several things like this that I spent a lot of time practicing with Rosetta Stone that are absolutely useless here in Buenos Aires. For the price of Rosetta Stone I would expect these details to be included. To expand on this concept of "what you get for your money" I've included the following comparison chart:
One other segment of the class really had me puzzled as well. There was a rapid-fire segment presenting Argentine sayings that don't directly translate to English (think "by the skin of my teeth" in English). The phrases were presented out of context in rapid succession without any time to digest the material. Even if there had been extra time to fully understand them, I think presenting isolated phrases that people learning a new language will likely never use is a complete waste of time, energy, and brain power. For my money, I would prefer to learn high-yield vocabulary that I will need on a daily basis. Weave some colloquial sayings into the dialogue but don't waste a whole segment on them.