Actually neither method is ideal. The best way to do it is to be around the people who speak your target language and who will speak it with you consistently (obviously Latin doesn't apply here). Classrooms have their limits. I spent a few years acing my Spanish classes in Jr. High through College, but I never could speak with any real fluency (the grammar I had down pat). While some teach-yourself programs are worthless, there are some which will in fact do a better job than a classroom.
In any case, it certainly is not a "disaster" either way.
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