I strived to learn how to speak foreign languages fluently.
Along with English, I studied Korean at home on my own and Spanish at school.
I spent 6 years in both middle school and high school learning Spanish and I cannot even use the language properly. For those 6 years, I was forced to learn complex grammar and I had to memorize vocabulary. I honestly had no interest in learning Spanish; it was simply a ‘requirement’ for a test.
However, the Korean I learned at home was due to a passion for the culture, traditions, and the rich history. I practiced this language without the systemized learning that I learned in school and soon after, a realization occurred. Language is not meant to be systemized. There is no procedure to learn a language and you should not sit down and force yourself to memorize vocabulary and learn grammar expecting to take a test at the end. Language is supposed to be an act.
Practice by speaking with other people.
Practice by reading anything you’re interested in.
Practice by listening to the music of the foreign language.
To me, that was the way to learn a language. And I would figure out the grammar and vocabulary while practicing like this.
Applying anything you’ve learned towards your life is much more meaningful than applying it towards an exam.