Our expert says:
As you may have noticed in your psychology studies, there's a difference between recognizing a word, and remembering its meaning, when reading it, and rapidly coming up with just the right word when speaking. When speaking, there's less time available to think if the word doesnt immediately come to you. It gets much easier with practice, and that's where conversation is so very useful. Lots of chatting when it isn't terribly important and you don't feel anxious about it, and where it really doesn't matter much if you get a word wrong here and there. Chatting with people who speak the language really well, and who don't mind correcting you pleasantly also helps. Using any good language is like being a painter / artist with a large palette containing a huge number of different colours. Some words will do ( like using "green" to paint the leaves of a tree ; but among your collection of words there are different greens, which have different shades of meaning, letting you match the more subtle variations in the colour of those leaves.
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