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Best way to learn a language?

Filed under: Technology

I have lived in Latin America and Spain for a few years, and as such have "learned" Spanish through immersion without any formal education whatsoever. However, because of this, I have never been able to perfect my grammar, tenses, vocabulary, and all that good stuff. I can shoot off the slang like it's no one's business, but using the subjuctive will throw me off base.

I am looking for a way to do this without having to take classes in an actual classroom.

People talk a lot about the Rosetta Stone software, but from what I've read, it mostly teaches you words through association with images. This would be really useful for someone who is just starting a language, but it appears that at no time does Rosetta Stone really indoctrinate the formal grammar into you, or even the alphabet! It is these technical aspects that i need to master rather than simply more trial-and-error.

Given that Publius has a very international and internationally-minded audience, I'm sure many of you have learned a second language. What I'd like to know is, first, how did you do it? Second, if you used any kind of software, CDs, online courses, anything, what was it and how well did it work for you?

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