How to engage speaking with FF method in early stages

Hi! I bought the book and have just finished reading it through and grasping the method. I've also checked out the new italki method/approach which Gabriel recommends and also the new flashcard approach with using only New word and root form approach. So far so good, I think I have a grasp of how to fill my deck etc (just one deck for everything, sentences, just words, right?). But while reading the book and reading on the blog I've either missed him writing about how to use the language in the beginning stages. From what I comprehend the progression goes something like this (after finishing pronounciation which I already have a good grasp of): 1. Either filling up your deck with new words for the 625 words or get ahold of a tutor and start making sentences where you make new cards with ___ for the words you don't know. 2. Practice them everyday with anki. 3. Make new cards. 4. Practice more. 5. Reach a new intermediate/advanced stage in which you'll be able to make your own sentences or delve into more complex grammar. What I'm missing from this is the general attitude I should have toward speaking. If I have a tutor, should I try to speak to her/him in a separate lessons about the things I've learned the last week to practice it, or should I only do that by myself and just keep practicing until it comes naturally somehow? How have you experienced the first beginner stage using either just the 625 words or the italki approach with sentence creating/mining while learning the 625 words? I don't really know what to expect in terms of speaking or listening ability. Thanks for any response.

* Originally posted by Leaf.

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  • Hi Leaf!

    I gradually shift my tutoring sessions towards the target language more and more. So first session will be ~100% in English, and some of the sentences I may ask for would be utility things like "Can you repeat that?" or "What's the word for '__' in Spanish"? or 'What's the opposite of __"?

    I'll learn those sentences that week, and then the following week, I'll start using them. That'll put my next tutoring session at ~90-95% in English, 5-10% in simple Spanish. During that lesson, I'll get some sentences for words in my 625 list, but I'll also ask for more utility sentences, as soon as I think of anything I want to be able to say. ("Can you say that again, slowly?")

    After a month or so, my lessons will be 60% in English, as I gradually pick up the ability to say some basic stuff. Goal is to shift towards 0% English as quickly as I can, but continue discussing words on my list. Those words function as an ongoing source of conversation topics that's inherently varied, and if you make sure to create personalized sentences, then you're going to bounce across all sorts of old memories/hopes/dreams/etc about yourself, that will lead you to new topics to discuss and new vocab/grammar items to investigate with your tutor.

    Does that make more sense in terms of building speaking skills?

    * Originally posted by Gabriel Wyner.
  • Thank you so much for the response Gabe. Yes it definitely makes more sense. I'll try to follow this from now on. The general tip seems to challenge oneself in every aspect of the learning be it speaking or creating and mining new sentences.

    Thanks again!

    * Originally posted by Leaf.

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