Here are a few questions I suggest you ask yourself to see if your listening is helping you as it should. I say “should” because if it is not working like that, I can give you a cast iron guarantee that your speaking levels will not and cannot improve past a certain point.
And on the contrary, if it is working as it should, then there is no reason why you can’t get real close to native like proficiency. As long as you put in the time to speak the language.
The questions below are in no particular order. I have not put in “sometimes”, because “sometimes” can let you off the hook! You really need to have a “yes” as an answer so you can progress to the level you want to..
You need to ask the questions below in relation to all the parts of a language:
- Language structures and forms ( grammar etc)
- Pronunciation ( and its elements – tones / phonemes / rhythms/ etc)
When you listen to others, do you focus just on the meaning?
When you listen, do you move your focus to different parts of the language? ( Structures, pronunciation, etc )
Are you able to stay focused listening to the other parts of the language? (Structures, pronunciation, etc )
Can you hear differences between what you say and what others say? (Structures, pronunciation, etc )
Can you locate differences between what you say and what others say? …..
When you adjust what you say, can you hear the difference? ……
When you find a difference, do you work to recognize the cause? …..
Have you become aware that you can improve your speaking from your listening? ……
Have you had success in doing that? …..
Can you hear where your language is weak, or lacks confidence? …..
Can you find in which part of your speaking you have confidence? …..
If you answered “yes” to all these questions,
you are destined to keep improving.
If you got a “no” to some of the questions,
you need to put in some time and energy so you can change them to a “yes”
If your answer was “no” to most of the questions,
your progress in your speaking will be limited.
As long as the “no’s” don’t turn to a “yes”, it means you are not learning from your experiences. You of course have to have experiences (speaking) to learn from. The more the better!
If you are trying to improve your speaking by studying, translating or memorizing your way to success. I am sorry to say that you are destined for disappointment and possibly far worse!
The ones who become successful in what they do are the ones who eventually learn to improve themselves from their experiences.