@henning-kockerbeck Congrats! About how long did it take you? Has it helped your comprehension of the language at all? Since you stuck with it for a while are there any tips you could suggest for comprehension? My speaking skills are mediocre but I dont practice much. THX!
@smoothsagetx I'm not sure I'm representative in any way. I finished two courses on Lingvist so far, German -> English and English -> French. I'm mostly fluent in English, if I may say so myself. So I used the German -> English course to get familiar with Lingvist and to strengthen my active vocabulary a bit. I went through it, if I remember correctly, in a week or two. The English -> French course took me much longer, and I still repeat about fifty words per day. I'm mostly using this course to build up my French vocabulary, as well.
I use Lingvist in combination with several other sites like Duolingo or Memrise. I can't really attribute which site brought which portion of my progress, but I feel Lingvist was easily worthwhile. It was actually a little bit spooky when I knew the correct answers to some Lingvist cards without being aware that I've had learned the words ;)
My advice would be to try a lot of things and see which methods, learning styles etc. work for you. Different people prefer different learning methods, different speeds, different tools etc.
Try learning a small portion of material over and over and over again, until you really have it down. Maybe that helps you to "get it out of the way", so you can then concentrate on the next small portion. Or maybe it gets you frustrated to be stuck with the same topic for so long, and you have no problem to learn a lot of topics in parallel.
Try learning at a fixed time of the day, at a fixed place, with the same music playing in the background (or specifically no music at all). Maybe it helps you to get in "the learning mood". Or maybe it annoys the hell out of you after a week, and you can learn better under varying circumstances with new stimuli every so often.
Try learning from a book (printed or online), an audio source (for example a podcast), a SRS system like Lingvist and whatever other tool you have the chance to try. I've found the "challenges", that Lingvist introduced recently, suprisingly helpful, for example. Maybe you learn best while moving. Back in university, I had a habit to walk up and down the hallway while trying to memorize stuff.
Many people find "gamification" strategies helpful, meaning to use elements from computer games in the learning process. Lingvist uses daily goals like "learn 100 cards". Other sites allow you to build a streak ("I practiced x days in a row, without missing a single day") or to compare you to others in some kind of high scores.
When you're memorizing vocabulary, try using mental images that are as vivid, silly or even outrageous as possible. For example, when you want to remember that "salut" in French is a quite casual way to say "hi", you could imagine a soldier saluting his superior officer. That's about the least casual way of greeting there is, so it won't fit at all if he shouts "salut" while saluting. Or, to remember "la poche" ("the pocket"), you could imagine a very posh pair of pants. It's so posh that it doesn't even have pockets. So where in the world can you put your keys? Maybe mental images like that help you as crutches until you remember the vocabs themeselves and don't need them anymore. Or maybe such little helpers are to silly for your liking, and you can work better with something else.
Try to find a tandem partner. That's somebody whose native language is the language you're learning, and who's learning your native language. For example, if your native language is English and you're learning French, try to find a French native speaker who's learning English. With that partner you can practice your skills. Some people look for tandem partners in their home town so they can meet them, say, once a week. Others use VoIP, chat programs or the like. Maybe you find it helps you, maybe you find that you'd prefer to stick with "inanimate programs" like Lingvist for a while longer before you expose an actual human being to your language skills ;)
When you're learning grammatical concepts and constructs, try to explain them to somebody. Many people find it very helpful to explain something they're learning themselves, because it points them to the parts they don't have "down" that well themselves. You don't necessarily have to explain it to an actual person. Many computer programmers use a rubber duck to search for errors in their code. They imagine to explain how their code works to the duck, and very often that helps them to find the error.
As I said, with all of those and other aspects, try what works for you and use that.
Additionally, I'd recommend to immerse yourself in the language you're learning. Listen to a radio station in that language while you're doing housework, for example. You probably won't understand a word in the beginning. But if you invest the time, you'll understand more and more. Similarily to the previous point, read a short article or two in the language you're learning every day. If you don't know a vocabulary, a grammatical construct etc., look it up.
@henning-kockerbeck Thanks for the great tips. Coincidentally, I found out about language exchange yesterday. I havent found any one just yet but I figured it cant hurt. I'm still tweaking to figure out what works for me. Favorite French things so far a band called the Prototypes and a cartoon called Sherlock Yak. Its still early days. Sincerely thanks for all these great suggestions.