Posted on by Ulrike S. Rettig

My Rosetta Stone Blog - 2 A Big Time Investment

Latin American Spanish, Level 1 - Unit 1 - Lesson 1, continued ...

I'm in the habit of doing about 15 minutes of language learning a day, so it's taken me a while to finish Lesson 1 of the first Unit. After doing the Core Lesson, of Lesson 1, which is 30 minutes of learning, I faced another group of exercises, all still part of Lesson 1.

The names of these exercises, and the time they took me are as follows: 

Pronunciation: 9 minutes;
Vocabulary: 4 minutes;
Grammar: 7 minutes;
Listening and Reading: 14 minutes;
Reading: 8 minutes;
Writing: 5 minutes;
Listening: 9 minutes;
Speaking: 8 minutes;
Review: 5 minutes. 

This added up to 69 minutes. With the 30 minutes of the Core Lesson, I now have had 99 minutes of learning Spanish.

There were no surprises. All the exercises worked with the 17 content words (and familiar mini-sentences) that I had learned in the Core Lesson. All exercises worked with the familiar photo flash card format. In some exercises the simple words were cut into syllables and drilled (endings, masculine/feminine, singular/plural).

Most strikingly, the exercises were not distinct from each other. All exercises (except for the 5 items in the writing practice) seemed to overlap. In all of them, I saw familiar pictures, clicked on them, listened to familiar sentences, saw same sentences written, and in most cases was asked to speak them (either to approving or disapproving sounds). Somewhere during the "Listening and Reading" exercise, I heard myself say: If I hear "the boy is eating" or "the women are running" one more time, I'll scream.

99 minutes is a substantial time investment. The payback is on the light side: 17 content words, and the basic masculine/feminine, plus 3rd person singular/plural distinction.

One other thought crossed my mind. Everything in this lesson is presented in the third person. I see individual people or groups doing a bunch of actions that are unrelated (eating, drinking, running, cooking, reading, etc). I really would like learn language that will get me engaged in conversations with others.

What's next? Blog #3 Where is the Context?