I’m not sure when to start speaking in French. Here on LingQ, I reached a Beginner 2 level. Should I start when I reach Intermediate 1 or 2? What do you think?
I start speaking right away, in any language I study. This has worked very well for me. At the end of the day, it all depends on what makes you feel comfortable. If you find it too hard or not productive to start speaking before you have reached a certain level, you should not do it.
There is no clear yes and no answer to the question you posed. People like Steve prefer to wait (as far as I know), people like me or Benny, for example, prefer taking the plunge and start speaking right away.
I fully agree with lovelanguages. I also start speaking right away. It motivates me a lot when I see that people understand what I am saying in a foreign language. But don’t forget that with a Beginner level, you won’t make any long conversations.
I agree that it depends on your preference and personality to a large degree. But it also depends on your opportunity and need. When I lived in Japan I started speaking right away because I lived surrounded by the language, and there were real situations where I needed the language to communicate.
However, when learning a language where I am not surrounded by speakers, it becomes necessary to engage a tutor or language partner. The conversation is no longer real. In such situations I prefer to wait until I am able to understand and say things of genuine interest, in other words have a fairly normal conversation where the goal is to communicate, not just to utter phrases. Thus I find it more useful, and also much easier to focus on input until I reach that level.
I don’t think it matters when you start.
You need to feel comfortable. B2 is certainly a high enough level to start speaking if you want to.
If you are interested, I’ve written an article about it- “When to start speaking”. Here is the link to the English version: Login - LingQ
When I started learning German, I started speaking immediately. At the time, I thought that outside of my German classes, I was going to spend my days running around Vienna using German to order food and buy train tickets, and through this alone, I would become fluent in some magically short time. This I think is a common illusion and it evaporated after a few months. I think the speaking practice I did in this time helped me a lot. I think I would have learned slower, at least initially, if I had not tried to speak straight away. On the other hand, I don’t know if it would have really made such a difference to my long term progress if I had waited a year.
When I did the 90-day challenge for Russian, I didn’t try to speak at all. Probably I would have learned more if I spent at least some time trying to speak, but Russian is such a pain in the ass to try to produce and I simply couldn’t be bothered.