Professional Life: French Teacher at The Meadows School since February 1995 AP Reader since 2000 ("Cassettiste" when it was on cassette; "Essayiste" since 2006) Coordinator for the National French Contest, State of Nevada since 2006 Planning a trip to France for Spring 2012 (Que le bon Dieu m'aide!)
Life: Music, Cooking, Poetry, and puzzles. I miss Mother Nature... And let's not forget my family....
Learning a language is like learning any physical activity. It takes repetition and practice.
If you play music, PRACTICE creates the muscle memory for scales, patterns, fingerings, etc. You also learn how to read. When you do a sport, you learn and practice specific movements that facilitate the execution of the sport, be it nailing a lay-up, fielding a ground ball, grabbing that last bit of water to propel you into the wall, or practicing "kata". With a team, you execute certain "plays" which are based on fundamentals.
BTW, I was not the French whiz-kid in college and HS. I needed to re-learn all my grammar and syntax so that I would not sound like a blithering idiot. How did I do it? Practice. Je remercie, de tout mon coeur, Mme Carre, qui m'a vraiment provoquée d'apprendre que mon honneur restait dans l'apprentissage. Merci, Madame, et je tiens à ma promesse.
As you practice your vocabulary and the sundry of grammar exercises offered/required by this course, you will build those patterns for learning French. Is it easy? Not always. I remember fighting my body's natural instincts when learning how to do a new flip-turn in swimming. I stood in the shallow end after regular team practice trying to break old habits. It took concentration and 15-20 minutes a day over several days, but I did it.
Change your vocabulary: This is not STUDY but rather, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Teachers teach, but students PRACTICE, and this is how the "good ones" LEARN.