Share your methods!
What are the methods you currently use to learn a language? How well have they worked?
While we all know that immersion is important, it can be hard to find in a non-native country, so besides reading books and watching movies in that language, what other tips and tricks do you use?
Share suggestions for other learners from your own experience, and give a few examples of methods you used to learn a new language!
I know this is kind of weird but for my French exam, I watched a lot of French children's TV shows (especially Peppa Pig). I found this really useful for my aural skills and I also picked up a lot of new vocab. I found this easier than watching movies or listening to music because the language is very simplified and easy to understand, and spoken slower than average.
For my Irish exam, I did the same (except I watched a lot of Irish Dora and Spongebob this time :P) but I also watched a lot of documentaries and the daily news in Irish which really built up my vocab, especially on topical issues. I found this very useful for the exam.
When I took another Spanish course, my Spanish teacher would use songs to help us. For example, there is a Michael Jackson song with a chorus that sounds very similar to 'o, as, a, amos, an'; so we used that song to help us conjugate AR verbs. :o)
And I'm personally trying to use Spanish vocabulary in daily life; for example, if I sit at my desk, I think "la silla" and "el escritorio"; if I look at the ceiling, I try to think 'el techo'.
Hope this helps!
It's actually so very easy to immerse yourself through internet anywhere in the world these days. If you have time for it you can watch videos/shows/movies in your target language for hours a day. It is very effective. If you have money it's good to pay for some tutor online (video chatting) or if you're lucky and find someone who does it for you for free. But because of possible volume watching videos is still the most effective method (other then of course moving to a country of your language).
I watch DVDs with foreign language audio and captioning in the target language ...French, Spanish You can set your TV´s audio option to Spanish, German, Korean, etc. and some channels have audio broadcast in multiple languages. Listening to dialogue from move or a TV show helps with comprehension. If you can activate captioning, it helps you learn new expressions and vocabulary.
My own belief is that conversation exchange is the optimal way to improve your speaking and listening skills. You need to be in the presence of someone who can correct your language production and on whom you can model your pronunciation and ways of approaching sentences in your non native tongue.
I have benefitted ever so much in Latin with reading side-by-side text. First I read the Latin, and the English translation basically serves as a customized dictionary for whatever words I don't happen to know already.
For Russian, I benefitted greatly from working through Russian stories in the now-defunct Immersion interface. I really needed a way to build up my vocab while also seeing grammatical structures used in context, but because Russian is so different from English, breaking it down sentence by sentence made it much more manageable. Of course one can do this on one's own now that Immersion is no more. I think it's best for languages with very little familiar vocab (and all the more so with different writing systems), so one can be in a position of largely knowing the grammar but still not being able to understand pretty much any authentic content at all due to limited vocabulary.