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Developing the speaking skills

There are two activities that are so important to successful language learning that they deserve your full attention. If you do nothing else, you can still be a successful intermediate learner simply by doing two things: conversation practice and extensive reading.

Conversation practice

The purpose of language is communication and to communicate you need to speak. 

Conversation is a great exercise because it gets your brain actively utilizing the knowledge you already have, greatly improving your understanding and fluency with the language. 

It also exercises the skills of speaking and listening in tandem, it exposes you to native speaker content, exposes you to new forms and vocabulary, and lets you get help and feedback in real time. 

Many learners report a burst of insight that can come from beginning to speak as their target language turns from memorized rules and phrases into a living language that they can interact with.

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When to start speaking

Some people emphasize speaking as early as possible, even on the first day. 

The first time speaking a language can be a powerful experience, however the beginner vocabulary is so limited as to make it impossible without a tutor or highly accommodating language partner.

In addition, it does not necessarily help the learner learn new words or understand how to use them correctly. 

For that reason, it is a completely valid and common choice to avoid speaking almost entirely until you are at a lower-intermediate level. 

Many people start earlier or only try out speaking early because they find it fun or motivating. 

When to begin speaking is your choice — there is no proven best time, it’s all up to you.

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