I know a school called Mandarin Garden is best mandarin school in Shanghai. I ever studied in their group class, which is very interesting and interactive. I like their teachers and Chinese culture events very much.
Oh my goodness, you sound like my aunt!! Hahaha...but Rosetta Stone works really great!! Its not that expensive..or for the basics go to google.com & search for " WHat are the basics of chinese words" Simply N' Easy....:DDDD