1. Read a book – preferably one of your favorites, one you have read more than once – now in your target language.
If you are at a beginner level, start with something easy. Comics are great for this – also because the text is accompanied by pictures!
Among the most widely spread comics – available in dozens of languages – are “The Adventures of Asterix”, “The Adventures of Tintin,” “Lucky Luke”. Mickey Mouse / Donald Duck comic books are also wide-spread.
Slightly more advanced would be “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Don’t feel that you must understand everything. And don’t look up every word – that will make it too much work and discourage you.
For more about how to read productively, see Self Study -> Reading
2. Listen to the Audio Book – for the book you are reading!
You’ve read the text, now listen to it: while you are driving or relaxing – or whenever! This helps you get an “ear” for the language.
For example: I am learning Spanish and began with a children’s book. It was of course difficult in the beginning, but by the time I had fought through about half of it, it became easier and more enjoyable (because few new words came up). Unfortunately, there was not audio version of this book.
I decided then to reaf the Harry Potter books. I had already read them more than once in English, so I was already very familiar with the plots.
When I began the first book, I also bought the corresponding audio book. After I read the book once (concentrating on comprehension), I began to read the book WHILE listening to the audio track. In that way, I could see what I was hearing!
3. If you book has been filmed, watch the DVD!
For tips in taking best advantage of DVDs, go to Self Study – DVDs.