Learning a language is based on studies of structure (grammar) and meaning (semantics). The former includes the composition of words, their syntax, and sounds. The latter includes denotations and connotations. All the material that follows is based on second language acquisition, defined as a language consciously acquired or used by its speaker after neurological puberty (this is closely linked to Critical Period Hypothesis).
Learning a second language can only be realistically achieved with stages . Whereas the acquisition of a first language is a natural process, learning a second language is a conscious one .
Unless one is only intending to learn the written form, first is sound recognition and expression. This is one section, along with basic numbers, that should be rote-learned.
See also the presentation The Worst of English.
 Rod Ellis, The Study of Second Language Acquisition, Oxform University Press, 1994
 Stephen D Krashen, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, Prentice-Hall, 1981