One thing that I really like in Perl is getting something to work very quickly and very easily. Think how easy "Hello world!" is in Perl compared to other language that may need to load methods/modules etc first. Then how quickly you can modify that to do different things.
When I learnt Welsh at university the class I did (evenings) used wplan which is based on the techniques that Israel uses to teach new immigrants Hebrew - the main focus is to get to use the language quickly so you can practice it in real situations. I think the same is true in programming - get to actually do something with the language, have a goal, and then get all the syntax and stuff right later. Get to do something "fun" as early as possible