Despite living in China and spending a lot of time studying Chinese, I felt that my speaking ability lagged behind my listening and reading skills. The reason is simple. I spent far more time practicing listening and reading.
While I could have basic conversations – I didn’t have much cadence or confidence in my spoken Chinese. I was often in my head trying to figure out the tones and felt like I was always stumbling over my word choice. My decision to hold off on working on my spoken Chinese was partially a conscious decision as well. I put more emphasis on my listening skills because I felt like being able to understand what was said was more important than being able to speak well.
The other part of it was just a byproduct of my personality and habits. I’m very introverted. Even in English, I spend more time listening and reading compared to speaking. This personality trait transferred to my studying. I would listen to Chinesepod (my review) or read news articles on The Chairman’s Bao (my review) on my way to work and in my free time. Once a week, I would have an hour long conversational class with a tutor from Italki (my review).
The vast majority of my Chinese studying time wasn’t going towards learning how to speak – and it showed.
That’s when I decided to try Glossika.