I strongly recommend checking out the videos that Keith has posted on his blog. In the video, ALG “Automatic Language Growth” is described in detail. The idea is that to learn a language to a native level, you need to be exposed to many hundreds of hours of understandable content, and you don’t need to memorize grammar rules or vocab lists.
The videos contain many interesting insights from the director of the thai language program, about how people learn languages well. I really liked the part where he talks about the downfalls of having all the students talking to each other, or of individuals practicing speaking. Input always comes before Output, he says. Correct Input to our ears cannot come from our mouths.
On that note, i’m off to watch some german star trek 🙂