Four years ago I started learning Portuguese. And now I'm pretty OK. I can speak to people, read emails, books, and sometimes make jokes that are slightly amusing. Looking back, I realise that I spent a lot of time doing things I thought were teaching me the language, which were just teaching me about the language. And a lot of things that were so boring and annoying they were counter-productive.
So, here's a list of everything I did, divided into two groups. Things that worked. And things that sucked.