11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Good but not an alternative to face-to-face lessons,
This review is from: Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The software takes the approach of immersing the learner in the language with no translations and leaving the learner to figure out for him/herself what the Italian words mean. You can practice your pronunciation using the included USB headset and listen back to see how well you can emulate a native speaker. You can also log on and undertake a live online tutorial session after a module - this may be why the licence agreement includes info about minimum age for the product. I imagine the rationale behind this approach to language learning has some basis in academic research in psychology on how second language acquisition occurs, but nevertheless, it can be a frustrating process to go through and at times you are left feeling a little at sea and sometimes questioning the occasional odd choice of phrase and words to learn. You have to weigh up the convenience of learning sitting at your computer versus the valuable interaction opportunities offered by attending face-to-face lessons at something like a night class. I still feel that the latter would be a more rewarding approach, not least because you can share your learning experiences with other learners and get lots of feedback from the tutor. Instead, what we have here is software + USB headset + some online tutor interaction. It's a good package if you really can't get to night classes I guess, but quite expensive. I imagine you could do a 12 week course at a local college for maybe less money than this - I'd much rather do that. As others have mentioned, it is also rather annoying that the manufacturers make you jump through hoops just to ensure they don't use your email for marketing purposes. Perhaps if you combined this approach with another - e.g. classes or a DVD/video based course, this would be good. At this price it is a bit of a shame that a good companion book doesn't accompany the lessons.