I’ve been finding different ways to remember the languages I have learned. It’s difficult to remember languages on my own. When I was in school, having class everyday meant being forced to think and speak in that language for at least an hour a day. Through experience, I already know the consequences of not keeping a language. I can speak Chinese without much problem, but my reading and writing has definitely deteriorated.
I think language learners also run into a problem (perhaps around intermediate level), where classes are probably no longer necessary to improve. And what if you’ve learned a language completely on your own? How do you go about learning past the basics? Language is one of those things that need constant use and exercise.
The article “Learning a Language From an Expert, on the Web” from the NY Times describes different ways of learning languages online. The description of Livemocha sounds like it would be a good tool to practice writing and grammar.
My plan of maintaining the languages that I currently use is to pick up a book and read it. It’s a good way to learn new vocabulary words and improve reading. Having a single language dictionary also helps since it really leads to more vocabulary words. It also helps in thinking in that language and understanding style.