I don't think we differ from this aspect. I also think that conversation practice is beneficial. My point was only that for oral production you need a limited amount of active vocabulary and grammar, which in self-study can be attained through intensive work with good dialogues and (I also agree on this) grammar drills, repetition practice. (You're right, sooner or later one needs to use the things learned and put them into practice.)
100 %. I do it for French FSI and I have to developed my own exercises for Italian. A minimum active word set does marvel. I do it even for both English and Spanish then when I speak/write I reduce my voc. I just want to communicate the point and move on... why to use 10 words when I can use 5? I'm ok speaking like a teenager!
BeaP wrote:On the other hand, listening (and reading) requires a huge passive vocabulary, that you won't find in A1-A2 materials. It might be a bit easier for you, because of the similarity between your native language and the ones you're learning, but I think even you needed a lot of time to have a good understanding of French speech. Imagine Carmody, a native English speaker. When you speak with someone, and people recognise that you're not a native speaker, they usually speak slower, don't use very rare or academic vocabulary. You can ask for clarification, ask the other to rephrase a sentence, define the meaning of a word. And there's no problem with that, the main goal is effective communication. However, when you listen to videos, speeches, a theatre performance or anything, you can't say that you have a problem, and most of the time (IRL) you can't even jump back 5-10 seconds and listen to things again. That's why I think listening is the hardest skill to master.
Indeed. Reading helps up to a point, but I believe that for French the focus must be on listening... Questo non e lo stesso for Italian.... Sorry, another language coming on line... jaja ja... I mean, the fact that French drop so many ending sounds and have their liaisons makes the job a little more difficult/diverso.
BeaP wrote:Good news for you and me if I'm right: we're already done with the time-consuming part, and can achieve a high level in speaking relatively quickly if we work hard.
Ja ja... I just enjoy foreign languages. They really enrich my life.
BeaP wrote: There's a very interesting idea that I've heard from different sources: some say that reading is the key skill. This would mean that fluent and accurate speaking can be attained through reading an insane amount. I feel it's mostly true for my native language, those who have read a lot are usually good speakers, but I don't know if it's true for a foreign language. Any ideas?
I am not sure about it. I read a lot for both French and Polish...and of course, the same for Spanish and English...(I am a little old with very good education. I have read 1000's of books in my life).... and look how I write...like someone who doesn't care much but to be understood... I just love reading and listening... that is more than enough for me.
I suppose that to be a good speaker one needs to speak a lot and speak well...which requires dedication and hard work... me? at my age? I don't care much. The benefit of an extensive active vocabulary is very marginal without a professional foreign life. So... I am ok with a B1+ speaking skill for French and Italian. I can't say the same for Spanish/English after 40+ years in USA.