How do babies learn language? Spoken nouns ("dog!"), spoken verbs, basic sentences, then reading, then writing. Why don't we teach adults second languages that way? Most of the time we act like the best way to learn a language is to present entire abstract phrases in your native language, then learn to read and write them in the new language you want to learn.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - Of course it gets harder the older you get.
PPS - Personally I want audio-visual flash cards.