No one denies the importance of studying the basics of a new language at the beginning of the journey towards fluency, however, can someone reach fluency by only studying a language?
So what’s the ideal way to become fluent? Is there a single way to follow or many ways?
The aim of this article isn’t to tell you to stop studying. However, you have to realize that studying a language has a particular purpose, and if you are not aware of this, then you may end up stuck in the vicious circle of endless learning and never speaking.
Studying a language will help you increase your store of vocabulary, will give you an overall understanding of the logic of the language and it will make you form sentences that are linguistically correct.
And if you need to increase your vocabulary about a specific topic, then by all means study.
Now, let’s say you are intermediate; you understand 70% of the content, you can write, you can read, but when it’s time to speak you seem like a beginner, you make lots of mistakes, you take so much time to form a sentence. In this case, you must start practicing on a regular basis.
And trust me, if you spend 8 hours a day memorizing lists of words and studying grammar without actually speaking, It won’t make you speak fluently whatsoever.
When you practice, you detect your gaps and imperfections that you should work on, which saves you time and energy and makes you learn smartly.
Let’s suppose you’re intermediate and super ready to practice to take it to the next level; the problem most language learners face in this phase is that they don’t find with whom they can practice, this is a huge problem which often puts an end to your learning journey.
It is so frustrating when you’re close to getting something that is for some reason unreachable.
Speaking a language is not just a set of words you mix and match together to make meaning.
It’s a way that enables you to relate to others, communicate, understand, feel, evolve…
If you are not able to connect with others, there is no way you can advance in your life and career.
And always keep in mind that acquiring a new language opens doors in surprising ways.