Great tips and ideas , Matt.
I find that focusing on small chunks of language, and not moving on until I become at least relaxed, and some what spontaneous in their use, is an effective approach.
I Speak fluent German, sometimes a great experience as a language learner, is when a native speaker thinks I’m a German, too.
Spanish, to conversational level, was a hard road for me — I think because most English speakers always believe that Spanish is a doddle to learn. Not true, especially when you have to deal with the local dialects and slang.
such as, “ Fin de semana”, the weekend, it took me a while until I finally grasped what all this “fin-de”, was about. The Spanish love to cut a word in half, slur it, chew it up, then fire each word out like a gattling gun.
Subtitles with films is great. But I’d stress that they must be subtitled in the language you’re listening to, otherwise with English subs mixed with audio of another language is a mind bender.
Thanks again for a great article and tips.