Known Words & Spontaneous Speech

Approximately how many words are usually known before spontaneous speech begins?

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Speech production is the process by which thoughts are translated into speech. Speech production can be spontaneous such as when a person creates the words of a conversation, reactive such as when they name a picture or read aloud a written word, or imitative, such as in speech repetition.

This has less to do with known words count and more to do with speaking and listening practice. A person who’s in a “must speak” environment will learn to speak more spontaneously with less of a vocabulary, as opposed to someone who’s doing more of an input based method, building up a large passive vocab but not getting to speak that much.

Hi Glenn. I’ve had the exact same question since I began learning using the Comprehensible Input (CI) philosophy. I will only speak as to my experience, with a few qualifiers. I’ve been learning French, which apparently has 60% shared words with English, so there is a bit of a jump start with English speakers. I would say I already had A1 and A2 fluency from elementary school teaching. And I’m pretty much an introvert, so I expect my speaking was always going to be “late” compared to others; though did have a “jump start” from the other 2 factors. I began to have an instinct to speak around the 400 cumulative hour mark of CI; it was also at the same time when I began to starting partially thinking in the new language. For me, it was probably around the 10 000 known word mark. Though, as the others on this thread point out, there are probably quite a few variables.

I should also state that I was not putting pressure on myself to speak, nor deliberately doing any speaking exercises. I was just waiting until it happened.

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I think there’s a lot to this point. Good one. I have a decent passive vocabulary given my level but I struggle to put together sentences because I get blocked trying to pull the words out in consciously.
So yeah. Long story short I agree. The way I would say it is that listening and speaking are different (though related) skills. Similarly, writing and reading are different (though related) skills.

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I think i will go with the basic ones, One Should know to communicate with basic 10-11 words that might help to conve ymy speaking was always going to be “late” compared to others; though did have a “jump-start”