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I can read most of things I see on the internet, and if I watch a video or documentary on youtube I can understand it pretty well (about 95%), but when I speak to people in English the words just don't come so smoothly, I may use very poor English and describe something very poorly because I can't remember the right words to use, then I start making some grammar mistakes because of the nervousness. Has anyone else here gone through those kind of difficulties? What did you do to overcome this and started to speak relatively well? How long did it take? Has listening to people speaking helped you to develop your speaking skills?

It's kinda frustrating. I think that if I could use only 50% of the vocabulary I already know I would speak as well as a native speaker.

closed as primarily opinion-based by CRABOLO, pyobum, Matthew W, Catija, Tyler James Young Mar 2 '15 at 7:06

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • certainly it's a fair description of most English learners. I would say that listening (with as much understanding as possible) will definately prove effective in generating English thoughts in your mind. You'll eventually start to think in English if you just keep at listening to English videos. So listening is very highly recommeneded. – Leo Mar 2 '15 at 4:57
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    Most native speakers USE much less than half of the vocabulary they can recognize, either in speech or in writing. Getting fluent in the grammar and syntax will get you a long way, even without a huge vocabulary. If you are speaking with native speakers, just say your sentence until you get to the word you can't remember or don't know, then say "how do you say?"-- and describe it-- they will gladly fill in the blank for you, and your vocabulary will grow "organically", not by huge lists from a book. – Brian Hitchcock Mar 2 '15 at 5:34
  • Try writing.Write about how did you spend your day, or describe things you see around, emotions you feel.Communication with native speakers of english also helps a lot. – user11312 Mar 5 '15 at 18:39