I see you’ve gotten many answers already. Still I’ll share what i’ve seen work very well.I was a language teacher for a couple of years and I am thinking of going back to teaching individuals or small groups by Skype for instance or in person.
At school you learn your grammar and your vocabulary and you have to use these textbooks and TBH it is all frightfully boring, unless as a teacher you are allowed to make up your own stuff, but as the curriculum is strictly controlled over here and in the UK for example chances are teachers just have to follow the guidelines which kill all creativity.
My kids learned to speak English by playing games, watching movies and series. They started to understand French and German when they heard other people speak these languages, the way we all learned our native language. I learned to speak German (it was one of my subjects at school, but I couldn't utter one word) when I heard it all day long. It happened quite naturally. The same goes for my French and English. Although I studied these languages at teacher training college I only became more proficient when I went abroad and when I started being immersed in the language.
So, my question is: what did you do in order to learn a new language? What helped, what didn't help? Do people really need schoolbooks or can we just look for alternative teaching materials which could be more tailor-made?
I can speak comfortably about 6 languages, have at least basic knowledge in 6 more, and teach languages.
The most basic aspect to master is to just be in contact with the language. It doesn’t matter how - music, cell phone lgg, series, pasting translation of furniture on the furniture, whatever. For most people, pleasure is the name of the game - make it pleasant, and it’s much easier to stick to it.
When you have that down, start actually studying. The best study tool I know is Anki Flashcards. If you’re interested, I can give you more details.