Over the centuries people have considered that the most effective way to learn a foreign language is to master its grammar and vocabulary, and the rest will come along. This theory is outdated today, because the rhythmic repetition of words seems to be more efficient. This may be due to the fact that adults consider that studying a language is similar to solving of a problem.
Today, the study of phrases is just as important as the words themselves. Good morning! or How are you? are just as important as city or yellow, for example. Moreover, the acquisition of these phrases ensures fluency in a foreign or even native language.
However, how many words or phrases can we learn per day and how? Some say that 5 – 8 lexical units (words or phrases) per day would be reasonable. But in this way we can only learn 20,000 words and phrases, as much as an average speaker who has been studying a language for 7 years. Others say that, using different tricks and memorizing strategies, we can reach 100 lexical units per day. But this is not possible for everyone and all the available time would be dedicated to this type of study, leaving no place for grammar or even a job. Something more reasonable would be between 15 and 20 lexical units per day. In this situation, study time is reduced from 7 years to 2 years and a half or 3 years, which is acceptable.
As a traditional study method, we can also mention the use of memory plates, writing words on these plates and connecting their meaning with the already known words. Even the very fact of writing words on these memory plates can be beneficial to the vocabulary study, but it can become boring very quickly. There is also a wealth of smartphone and tablet applications which use different tricks (points, colors, labels systems) for studying a language. These applications also send emails to learners to remind them of their progress. Obviously, the best way to study a language is, for adults, to attend a professionally accredited course or to graduate from a specialized faculty. Although it may be difficult, there are websites that can help you complete the projects you will have to do.
As in any other situation in life, when things seem difficult or even impossible to pull through, especially when talking about the human intellect, perseverance and patience are very important.