Refold is an online community with hundreds of members that aims to promote input/immersion-based language learning and guide language learners through the process. Much of the advice on there seems sound enough to me.
However, the Refold guide suggests waiting until stage 5 (where you can “understand close to everything”) before outputting - regardless of the language being studied. It provides examples of learners who allegedly were able to “wake up one morning able to speak their target language” having never outputted before.
I am not in a position to judge whether this could work for Japanese. For Mandarin that advice is frankly terrible. I don’t know of a single success story of anybody who followed it and went on to become fluent.
On the other hand the internet seems to be full of Mandarin Refolders who regret not outputting earlier in the ridiculous hope they would one day magically wake up and be able to speak fluent Mandarin. Learners such as this guy: output phobia and input-output discrepancy (June & July 2021) - YouTube
I can’t comment for other languages, but every single successful Mandarin speaker that I have ever encountered or interviewed on my podcast outputted from early on. Speaking with good tones requires simultaneously training yourself to hear tones correctly and while reinforcing this with accurate mimicry.
In my experience if these are not done simultaneously, major problems occur and the tones are internalised incorrectly (this can of course be corrected later on but many people give up when the realisation hits them that their tones are terrible despite working so hard to learn Chinese.)
Can anybody point me to success stories/ cases that contradict my point of view?