Can I reach a B1+ level using only Lingq?
LINGQ is a program that makes things about learning languages easier, it is not a shortcut for hardwork or your desire to achieve a ‘B1’ in your target language.
You have audio, transcipts, translations, ability to make personal notes and can see the content from other learners. The only thing stopping you is yourself.
There are things you will need to do outside of the platform… e.g… writing and speaking practice, but you can develop a very strong base using LINGQ as your platform to learn.
You could pass the reading and listening sections of a C2 exam having only paid for LingQ and having studied free material you found on the Internet (particularly YouTube, podcasts, news websites, literature, etc.).
You won’t be able to pass the speaking and writing sections though. For that you need to hire a tutor or find natives to talk to and critique your writing.
From my experience with Italian, I passed the B2 reading and listening sections when I reached the old level of LingQ Intermediate 2.
@roosterburton and @nfera already gave you a solid answer. However, I’d like to add that if your native language is not so distant from the target language, with a bit of extra training, you could probably reach B1+ without any problem.
I would add just a good grammar book as support, learning about the sound of the target language and self training by speaking out loud (you can do that when you use LingQ), writing in the writing exchange section when you are ready.
When you are close to the “goal”, you can test yourself with some free tandem exchange or check with a tutor without spending too much money, to see where you are with your learning progress.
I don’t find a B1 exam very difficult to achieve and there is more room for errors. If your native language is very distant from your target language, that is another story.
I genuinely believe (without having concrete evidence to back it up) that this entirely depends on how much input you get. If you get a lot, and I mean a LOT, then I’m convinced that both writing and speaking will come quite naturally.
I’ve experienced a small degree of this myself when I observed an online class: The students were supposedly at a B2 level and were going through exercises with the tutor. They struggled so badly with stuff I found easy, having never taken such a class, or spoken to a tutor (other than a few hours of lessons during the first few months of my learning). I can’t say for sure that those students had had hundreds of hours of writing/speaking practice, but I know for a fact that their level of abilitly can very easily be reached without any deliberate output practice.
Obviously I’m not saying that practicing speaking/writing doesn’t improve those things, it definitely would, but, IMO, it doesn’t come close to the benefits of building an internal model, through input, of how the language works.
I’m not sure what “will come quite naturally” means, but there are many people in the world who understand a language perfectly, but never/very rarely speak it. You can look at these people to see if your hypothesis holds. I’ve heard enough stories and also met enough people to learn that there are people who understand everything I’m saying, but have trouble speaking.
For instance, people are exposed to the media/movies/news of the national language (in my experience High German and standard Italian) for decades, but they speak solely their local language/‘dialect’ with their friends, family, co-workers, etc. If the input hypothesis held that you only need input to be able to speak perfectly, why do these people have difficulty?
I’m not saying that a disproportionate input to output ratio is not ideal, but refusing to do any speaking for decades just seems like you will end up in the same position as all those people who live in the villages in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and many other countries all over the world, where you understand your national language (or whatever language you’re exposed to their media), but just can’t speak it. The difference is that they don’t care about being able to speak the language, whereas we do.