I forked out $549 for Rosetta Stone Chinese 1, 2 & 3, after buying a pirated copy on eBay for $29 (fortunately, the dude refunded me). I am working on the core lesson and just got an 80% on the first try. I want to thank Cathy Silber again for her diligent help with my pronunciation of syllables. As you can tell from the politically incorrect and tasteless title of my blog post, I do not feel confident that I have a grasp of this di-syllabic, tonal language.
I look forward to seeing the sorts of mistakes that young Chinese middle school students will make as I correct papers and prepare them for their TOEFL writing exams. There is no question that their facility with English will exceed mine with Mandarin for quite some time; that should be quite humbling. I am in the middle of Rod Ellis' The Study of Second Language Acquisition. It is a fascinating, 824-page tome on the way that learners acquire speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills.