Ever since I’ve found a method of learning languages that works for me, I’ve found that the academic approach I used in school for four classes’ worth of Spanish is vastly different and focuses FAR too heavily on writing. I didn’t actually SAY much in Spanish until the fourth class, which often required it. This meant that I only began speaking about the time I was in an atmosphere that was almost entirely dominated by native Spanish speakers. This can do a number on one’s confidence! I had always spoken to myself to practice, but taking three classes where others were also a bit unsure about speaking and then reaching the fourth – which only students genuinely interested in Spanish volunteered to take – meant that the difficulty of my lessons changed drastically!