Does anyone have any ideas of how to teach yourself Russian effectively?
Here's what I'd do:
-Start by getting a whole bunch of input. Spend at least 1 week simply listening to the language as spoken by natives, by way of radio, tv, movies, etc.
-Next, use Michel Thomas &/or Assimil's introductory courses.
-Next, get a spaced repetition software (SRS), such as Anki or Mnemosyne.
-It's time to begin learning sentences & phrases. Take native-like, grammatically correct sentences from Russian radio, tv, movies, books, internet, etc, & load them into your SRS. Try to do as many as you can daily.
-At first, your sentences will be Russian-to-English. After at least 500 sentences but no more than 1,000 you'll want to go Russian-to-Russian. The effect of using only Russian to discuss Russian is pretty phenomenal; it’s like your Russian becomes a self-sustaining reaction. You will probably have to do a lot of looking up, such that your answer area may contain definitions of definitions.
-After 10,000 sentences/phrases you should be fluent!