Hands up, those who feel this way too (:
It’s a common problem plaguing foreign language learners, although the opposite problem exists too. It all depends on how and in what circumstances we are exposed to / learning the language. I have friends who are conversant and more confident about speaking Korean, but makes basic spelling mistakes and grimace when presented with a more formal text.
I belong to the other camp where my reading and writing skills are way better than my speaking skills. It took me approximately 2.5 years before I can hold a basic conversation in Korean, whereas by that time I could blog in Korean, read pretty long articles and also attained a TOPIK Level 4. Weird right.
I started to wonder how speaking skills come about for people like us. Under what circumstances and how long we will take before we are able to and confident enough to use that grammar point, to say it out loud and to hold a conversation?
Is it easier to first start out conversant, and then improve your reading or writing skills?
Or is it better to build a strong ‘foundation’, and speaking will ‘naturally’ come after that?
I don’t really know the answers. But from personal experiences, throwing me into Korea helps ALOT. Is that considered survival instinct? Where you have no choice but to use that language if you want to survive there? hahaha, okay that sounds a little extreme, but I guess it is natural for people to want to blend in and it feels easier to speak Korean when everyone around you is doing that.
Still, I do not really think speaking comes ‘naturally’ after you learnt the grammar etc. Engaging in a conversation requires different skills from passive understanding and I think that there are still people who will feel really awkward about speaking in a foreign language.
So, does that boil down to personality and character?
I don’t know. It’s an interesting issue though, any thoughts about it? (:
hehe please leave me a comment, just to assure me that I’m not being abandoned by you all. xD