Aug 13, 2017 - 01:37 AM
I'm jumping into French again and have made some great progress. Fluenz is great with the grammar and structure. I've also tried the podcasts couple years ago and those helped also because they ask you to form sentences from what you learned without all the text in front of you.
If you're willing to spend some money, I couple Fluenz with Pimsleur. I use the Amazon Audible to purchase the Pimsleur courses. Pimsleur is strictly audio and speaking, no text. Fluenz and Pimsleur lessons overlap in content and vocabulary. I also store some phrases in Google Translate and star them to review. I've been recommending Fluenz + Pimsleur combo to all my friends. We didn't learn English just from one teacher: we had multiple teachers and other sources for English. My speaking and thinking rate to respond got better over time with Fluenz + Pimsleur.
For the Fluenz exercises dealing with matching the sentences, I don't even look at the left side. I look at the right side, which is English, and I translate that in my head first, then I match it with the sentence on the left. This helps with the thinking process of translating instead of looking for clues in certain words. Force yourself to translate first before you match.
On the last Fluenz exercises when we Repeat The Phrases, instead of repeating, I use that as more audio practice. What I do is I don't even look at the phrases; I hit the "play" button and listen to what they say and try to translate. Then I look back. This is another way of getting more listening practice, which in turn helps with speaking.
In conclusion, yes you're heading in the right direction, but ti's going to take some time. Try out other sources that focuses only on speaking and listening and couple that with Fluenz. Just like the advice that's been given in our lessons, start slowly speaking and substituting normal English sentences into your language. So now whenever I want to say phrases dealing with "I can" "I want" "You want" "I need/you need", and so much more, plug in that Spanish vocab.(Yo) puedo hablar! (Sorry that's all the Spanish I can remember hehe, I did Fluenz Spanish two years ago in prep for South America).
Aug 17, 2017 - 02:14 PM
I've had the same experience in Spanish and Chinese. The speaking part has been the most difficult, and although i would consider myself as high intermediate in spanish, I still struggle to have a fluid conversation. However, if I look back a few years ago when I started Fluenz, I remember that I couldn't even make a sentence without painful pauses trying to find the words I need and rearrange the grammar at the same time. A trick I discovered when I started Chinese was to "shadow" the sentences from the last exercise, that is say the sentence as the speaker says it, at the same speed. Not easy, but when you finally say a long sentence without hesitation you feel a sense of reward and you actually have helped yourself achieve better fluidity. Try to say the sentence with the same intonation as the speaker, this will make you sound more native! Don't cheat and don't skip words., the benefit is real !
Ultimately you will have to have conversation with people. I've used Italki to have 1 hour convos with people and i think that helped tremendously as well. I've done that in Spanish and Chinese with the same good results.