Izafa Circumlocution of Grammar Theory
So, I will tell about my own way of learning Turkish. It started with me opening the textbook and beginning to study grammar.
Some people are scared by grammar theory explanations. For me they've also always been the most complicated and incomprehensive part of a textbook. Being honest, in Russian I also don't understand rules as such. Adjective? Adverb? Gerund?! Mentioning even the most basic terms makes my teeth gnash. Nevertheless, I write correctly, even though I rarely can explain why I use a particular punctuation mark or a letter. It's just... It's the way it should be. It's what sources say. Competent sources. Many sources.
My purpose was absorbing the language, learning to master it on a reflex level, without thinking about the rules – basically, the way one is using their own language. When reading textbooks, I skipped the theoretical grammar part straight to the explanation of how the rule actually works. Then I was reading and analyzing the examples given to assimilate the information. That's why it's so important that the teaching aid must have a good share of examples – if the rule won't be given a practical support at once, it'll be forgotten much easier.
Textbooks also featured the exercises like "fill in the blanks" or "put the words in brackets into a right form". (I couldn't stand ___ exercises since high school, so I ___ skip__ them). Or more exactly, I was glancing over them – after all, it's an additional supply of the language. In my opinion, these exercises make more sense if there's someone to check and correct them – otherwise you might not find out if everything is correct, and won't learn a lesson from it. Nonetheless, everyone's perception is different, and exercises like that can also make a good practice. Do whatever is more convenient for you.
As for the exercises where it's required to translate from your native language into the foreign, I recommend ignoring them altogether. When you'll be more fluent, the ability to translate will come automatically. But the initial attempts to precisely reproduce strangers' thoughts in unfamiliar language cause nothing but suffering. I'd rather you to formulate the phrases yourself – for example, pick a few random words and think up a sentence that would employ them.