Each of these techniques will apply better to some topics than others.
Make the learning process interesting. A few years ago, when my wife and I were preparing to visit Ecuador, we learned a little bit of Spanish. Every day I would listen to the next 30-minute Pimsleur Spanish lesson. And that evening we would walk the dog together, trying to tell each other jokes using the eight or ten or twenty Spanish words we had learned. It was a lot of fun, and helped us learn.
Make the learning experiential. Not merely learning by rote, but by interacting with the material in some way. I have attended scores of experiential workshops, and designed and delivered dozens.
The idea with experiential learning is to arrange for much of the learning as possible to come from the learner, rather than the “teacher.” Learning activities are designed to introduce a certain small amount of frustration, and the “teacher” helps the learners to make sense of what happened. The learning comes (mostly) from from the learners. Then the next activity applies what has already been learned, and introduces a new twist that leads to the next learning.
What’s fascinating to me is how “sticky” the learning is from experiential workshops. You not only learn something new, but you also remember the story of how you learned each thing. The stories are rich and interesting, and make the learning unforgettable.
Experiential learning is tricky for topics such as languages, where the body of knowledge is well-defined in great detail. But there are ways to make even that more experiential. Take a look at these videos, using techniques designed by Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen for their work to preserve dying languages: http://www.whereareyourkeys.org
Precociousness. The learner becomes a little cocky, and tries to do something beyond their skill. Perhaps way beyond their skill. Hilarity (or disaster) ensues. They have more to learn.
I once used precociousness to my advantage. I had learned to count only to 12 in Spanish. We travelled to Ecuador, and visited a market in the Andes. As I was haggling with the vendors, any time they said a number higher than twelve, I didn’t know what the number was. So I shook my head and frowned. When they finally said a number I recognized, then I’d start haggling further, offering prices of my own. (It is possible that nothing I bought for $12 was worth more than $3. But I also have this fun story, and that’s worth $9.)
Embed or interweave the learning in some other interesting activity. Maybe the characters argue about something while they learn. Or they're flirting as they, uh, drill each other.
Sample the learner's progress. Show the learner learning something basic. Then something intermediate. Then something advanced.
Conflict (or contest). Make the learning a central feature of some conflict. The hero wants the girl. She needs tutoring. She asks the hero’s handsome arch-rival to tutor her. Or the hero confronts the teacher, or bests the teacher in some (explicit or subtle) contest. Or the students compete for the teacher’s respect.
Examples. Karate Kid makes the learning process interesting, and creates conflict. (Why the heck am I learning wax on wax off?)
Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind includes numerous battles between Kvoth and his teachers. And also a disastrous example of precociousness.
Dead Poet's Society embeds the learning in a larger story.