How to Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own
If you're interested in 'How to Learn Any Language,' you'd probably like to know the rubber-meets-the-road stuff. How does the author address the 'How' of his title? Mr. Farber outlines a 'multiple track attack' that has you pursuing your target language on several fronts. Here are the tools he wants you to get: a basic grammar text, a dictionary, a phrase book (such as those for tourists), a magazine or paper or simple book written in the target language, language tapes, blank tapes, and flash cards, including homemade ones.
First step: Study patiently and well the first five chapters of your grammar. Mark anything you don't quite get; take your question to a native speaker if you can.
Second step: You're ready to bring on the other tools. Continue with the grammar text, but now pick up the newspaper (or magazine or book) and read the first paragraph. Highlight the words you don't know, look them up, and make flash cards. You'll review the cards when you're on hold, waiting in line, etc. (Read the English side of the card first and think your way into the target language before you flip it over to confirm your answer.) A couple of days later, perhaps, move to paragraph two. You should now begin cherry-picking your way through the little phrase book and listening to your tapes. (Tip: The highly interactive Pimsleur sets are pricey but excellent; do an Amazon title search for 'Pimsleur' and your target language.)
The phrase book will supply you with things that the grammar book won't. Don't just memorize these basic phrases and expressions. Plot a conversation and practice your responses. The tapes, if they're good, allow you to hear and imitate native speakers. By now you should be on chapter seven or eight of the grammar. And you should be looking for people to speak with. One chapter deals with clever mnemonic devices for memorizing new words. Example: I've remembered that 'kar lo' means 'he is cold' in Hebrew by imagining my friend Carlo shivering. The more far-fetched, the better, probably. All this seems to make good sense. Why limit yourself to one approach when you can more nearly approximate the total immersion method by drawing on a wealth of resources at hand?