I've learnt Arabic to degree level and have family background in Bengali (though my spoken negligible; understand my parents; no reading/ writing) and GCSE French (none remembered except a few phrases). I will starting MA History in September focusing on the Islamicate world hence the Persian.
I used post-it notes on my walls for the Arabic - plus I was learning as part of formal studies so quite easily absorbed.
I have paid a Persian teacher in my home city London for ten hours in advance when I will need her.
My aim with the Persian is to finish an overview of the Farzad book by the 15th ("zero hour") - ten days before start of term - and do a very little daily with another text course during my masters. My short term goal after Farzad is to make a YouTube video of myself giving the "Hey, my name is.... I like blah blah" spiel.
I know vocab is best learnt in sentences and in clusters. I was thinking organising in meaningful groups and sub groups e.g. Home>Kitchen>nouns: Spoon, fork, knife, plate
Home>Kitchen>verbs: to eat, to drink, to cook
Home>Kitchen>adjectives: hot, cold, sweet, salty
I sense there is already a lot of content out there on this issue of vocab learning - though no specific thread found via forum search e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... ulary.html
Though I was sceptical about this:
It might seem logical to study opposites together: hot/cold, expensive/cheap. It isn't. A learning hiccup called 'cross association' can occur, when you learn two words so closely together you end up mixing them up. If a Spanish student learns 'always' (siempre) and 'never' (nunca) together, they might later draw on one word when they mean to use the other. Instead, study the more common word first (eg: deep) and, once it’s retained, learn its opposite (shallow).
I hear about Anki. It's expensive for the iPhone. Question for you: what is the best derivative version in your experience? Would like one I can type up on laptop and sync with phone and Kindle tablet.
Duolingo doesn't do Persian but have found Memrise project.
Finally, there are a few books out there on "how to get fluent quickly". Alex Rawling and Gabriel Wyner come to mind. From your own personal positive experiences tell me which one worked for you.
Thanks for reading and responding.