After being an English teacher for many years I came to experience the process of language acquisition from the other side as a student. My chosen second language is Thai given that I now live here in Thailand. Thai differs from English in two major ways; it is tonal, meaning changes with the tone of voice and the written script does not use the Roman alphabet.
The ability to read and write, even in a rudamentary way is so important when learning a second language. Different skills come into play and even different parts of the brain are used for speaking, listening, reading and writing. Without claiming to be an ideal student and least of all a fluent Thai speaker (my level is not much above beginner) I would like to offer some tips and observations which hold good for any student of a second language:
Don't obsessively compare and translate from your first language into the study language. Many things about your second language will confuse and baffle you, there will be times when one language completely contradicts the other - you should expect this and don't try to rationalise one with the other.This is a good example, in English the first digit of the hand is called a thumb. In Thai it is niu huaa maae meuu and if you do an exact translation it is finger, head, mother, hand.
Learn the basics of the grammar - see lesson 1 - but bear in mind it is not necessary to beome a grammar expert.
Read and write as much as you can - everyday!
Listen to audios, TV, movies and native speakers as much as possible - don't worry if you don't understand everything (or even much!) exposure is good.
Try to acquire a good vocabulary of useful words. To be a good speaker you will need a functioning vocabulary of about 15,000 words.
Accept that whilst language learning can be fun, it is also hard work and some effort is needed.
These are some useful websites: