The receptive and productive lag in second language learning

One of the first things that you need to do when you learn a second language is to use it. A lot of people think that we learn second languages like we learn our first, by listening and then emulating. It doesn’t work like that, well it could, but it’s highly inefficient. Plus I think given the choice, babies probably would communicate using words.

Whenever you learn something new, some vocabulary or a phrase, maybe a grammar point, put it to use. Try and create something with it straight away.

There’s always going to be a lag between your receptive and productive second language ability. The more you learn, the bigger this lag gets because if your learning is efficient, you learn the most used language first, and this means the stuff you learn later on you have less of a chance of using, and thus less of a chance of using. To counteract this, use the language!

The most important thing about this receptive and productive lag is the part you can use, the productive part. This part you want to increase as much as possible so that your command of the language is greater. The only way to increase this productive part is by using the language. So you should be using it as soon as you can, including and most importantly at the beginning stages.



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