Рыцарь стандартов и инструкций (vicious_virtue) wrote in linguaphiles,
Рыцарь стандартов и инструкций

Brushing up on a language

Imagine that you spent years learning a language, actually taking classes and finishing a complete course at a language school, but then stopped practicing it completely. What would you do to somehow recover your knowledge, given that there is no chance of getting any private classes or going back to school?

I'm more or less used to learning on my own, so far it's worked very well with French and Italian and a bit worse with some other languages. My problem is now Spanish. I used to speak it rather well, that course thing mentioned above finished after C1, so my language was more or less at that level. My listening and reading skills almost haven't dropped since then, I can write relatively well, but whenever it comes to speaking, my brain freezes. If I do grammar exercises from a book, I can still remember most of the rules but those grammar constructions just don't come to mind when I'm writing something. I won't even mention what basic constuctions I use while speaking... Then I've become too shy to talk to native speakers because of the stupid language barrier. We actually communicate with my Spanish roommate like this: she says something in Spanish, I answer in Italian (Italian is the language we use in the house with other roommates).

I guess I can say my Spanish has switched from active to passive. So, the question is: how do you regain active knowledge? Books? What kind of books then? The ones with just grammar exercises don't help much, they just help me remember how much I've forgotten. Typical classroom books? Writing essays? Any tips are welcome)

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