7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I am so impressed by Rosetta Stone Polish version 4 Totale.
Over the last few years, I have bought just about every teach-yourself Polish book/CD available. Some are better than others, some are good for particular styles of learning. Whilst I had some success with some of those other items, I had always held off buying Rosetta Stone as I was put off by the price. I eventually succumbed when it was available during one of their regular offer periods (the offers seem to vary from day to day at some times of year). I haven't looked back since.
Now, I have to say that if I had no previous exposure to Polish, I am not sure whether I personally would have got past unit 1 of level 1 of Rosetta Stone. The complete immersion thing is very different to most other courses and a bit intimidating. It's worth working through that though.
So, what's so great about Rosetta Stone Totale? Well, there's material that you can use in various places, such as the main software on your computer, a separate app for your iPhone/iPad, audio CDs for listening to in the car etc. There's the content of that material, which teaches you vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, writing, sentence construction, grammar (a joy in Polish!) etc. Then there are games online, that you can play on your own or against other students (although there don't seem to be many students of Polish online at the moment). You can also practice with native speakers online (when they are available - see previous comment). There are also stories to read etc. But the best bit, which really makes this course addictive, is what are called Studio Sessions, which are basically online lessons with a live tutor. Rosetta Stone publishes a schedule of sessions each week, and you can book as many of the sessions in that schedule as you like. Each session is 50 minutes long, and is basically a group lesson for as many students as book that session (there's probably a limit on number of students per session, but I've not seen it hit). For Polish, I have never encountered more than two other students in a single session, and often have a session to myself. Now, the Session bit is a subscription service (you get 3 months included in the initial price), but it is still far, far more cost effective and far more convenient than going to classes at a nearby school. You do need to make sure you have worked through the material before doing the Sessions though - you have been warned! :-)
Is the course perfect? No. There are some minor mistakes in the material, but these are very rare. The occasional screen in the software also goes a bit awry, but that is also quite unusual. For the most part, the whole package is excellent.
Service is great too. The USB headset that is supplied as part of my package had issues and eventually failed. Rosetta Stone replaced it without any hassle. If there are technical issues during Sessions (with non-technical users connecting simultaneously from around the globe, the occasional issue is bound to arise), these are handled quickly, with technical support popping up a window to chat with users to resolve problems.
There is a huge amount of material in Rosetta Stone Totale, so be prepared to spend a lot of time working through it. But, as long as you do, you should be very impressed.