The theme of the year in the polyglot community seems to be that the method doesn't matter when it comes to learning a language. And from what I gather, the reasoning behind that statement goes something like this: Polyglot A likes to translate, while Polyglot B likes to talk to people, and Polyglot C does lots of reading but no translation exercises. Since Polyglots A, B and C have all learned multiple languages using different approaches, we can therefore conclude that there is no key method to learning a language.
Although I do think you can go about learning a language in different ways, and if you keep up with lots of hard work, yes, you will make progress. And then at some point you may decide to declare that you can speak the language. However, will you be happy with the point you have reached?
If you use your foreign tongue for traveling or talking to people only once in a while, then yes you might be quite happy with what you have achieved. It can be quite a good feeling to be able to understand a language that you previously were clueless about and to make yourself understood is a rewarding experience.
But what if you actually live in the area where that language is spoken? Not just for temporary stays, but actually living and working in the environment. This situation demands a level of language far higher than the average language learner achieves. Now how well do you want to speak the language? Naturally, as well as the natives surrounding you.
You don't want to struggle to create ways of getting your thoughts across. You want it all to be readily available. Instantaneous access to your lexicon without any effort. That's what you want!
And it would be nice to have an impressive accent too.
So what do you do to achieve that? This is where "method" comes in. The right methodology will get you the right results. The wrong method will leave you trying to cover your weaknesses.
The most critical factor in a method is time. Quicker results does not equate to a better method. Be prepared to put in and plan the required number of hours. Even if your method does not accomplish much for you, more hours will produce more results. For your best method, fewer hours will produce fewer results. It appears to be mathematical, doesn't it!
Today, I'm not going to get into the methodology of language learning. However, if you are interested in finding out more from someone who has a long background in language acquisition, please visit ALG World.