I've since given up on the idea of learning a language in the classroom - it just takes way too long, and you can feel you're really learning when you aren't. You go outside and try to speak to someone, and find you know nothing at all.
So, after a few weeks of soul searching, and a few snap decisions, here is my revised plan for Italian fluency
- Move to Italy (check!)
- Memorise the list of the 1000 most used words in Italian
- Study the basics of grammar, but worry more about expressing myself than grammatical correctness
- Master the 50 most important verbs in the five most important tenses
- Get a job
- Live with Italians, and try to only speak Italian with them
- Go on daily English fasts, building up to cutting out English altogether
- Italian Girlfriend?
I really feel that immersion is the key here, hence the move to Italy. But hey I'm still young and stupid so i can do these things. But if you're using age or kids as an excuse, that's exactly what they are - an excuse. If you really wanted something, you'd do it!
Most of the ideas here were stolen from beyondbouonds.org, a great resource from a guy who mastered mandarin in just 2 years! He has an excellent post about learning Latin languages in 3 months, which should be checked out.
Thoughts, comments, ideas?