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Q&A Effectiveness of input-only learning

While learning a language, there are a surprising (to me at least) number of people who say that you should never output until fluent - that is, as long as you get enough input, you will eventually...

2 answers  ·  posted 11mo ago by Moshi‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by matthewsnyder‭

#1: Initial revision by user avatar Moshi‭ · 2023-05-25T05:09:03Z (11 months ago)
Effectiveness of input-only learning
While learning a language, there are a surprising (to me at least) number of people who say that you should never output until fluent - that is, as long as you get enough input, you will eventually become able to output fluently. Basically, learning the way children acquire their first language. They do give some support as well, for instance that you would internalize errors by outputting while unaware.

However, this still seems entirely backwards to the idea that practice makes perfect and gaining a skill requires actively using it. Avoiding internalizing errors is what you get feedback for, and there are entire sites (e.g. HiNative) dedicated to getting this feedback.
Secondarily, given that I have heard (citation needed) that adults learn differently from children, I'm not sure how much the comparison with first language acquisition actually holds.

That's why my question is: Is this actually an effective way to learn a language?

I'm sure this is probably a well-studied topic in research, but I'm not an academic and have no idea what Krashen's Input Hypothesis or any other of the terms thrown around are. I'm more curious as a layman learning a new language.