I was reading a forum discussion on Fluent in Three months and it got me thinking about input and output in my own language learning journey.

For Hebrew my listening skills are better than my speaking skills but when I was studying Turkish it was the opposite. I spent my whole time speaking, so even though I could speak a decent amount I couldn’t really understand much (which was a bit frustrating).

For develop listening skills you have to listen lots,
speaking skills you have to speak lots,
reading skills you have to read lots,
writing skills you have to write lots.

I do think though that I want to keep my listening skills way ahead of both my speaking and writing. I feel if I can understand things, eventually my speaking and writing skill will catch up (like they have largely for Korean). Actually it seems (at least in my experience) that the better my listening skills were the faster I could catch up my other skills when I needed to.

If you keep on listening and processing the language. . . it’ll eventually come out spontaneously when you need to communicate something.

Also if you think of us learning a native language — our passive vocabulary (and listening ability) is much greater than our active vocabulary.