I am nearly a fluent reader and translator of French and can somewhat understand it spoken (I have a reasonably good passive understanding of French.), but are there drilling tools to improve my written and spoken French (active understanding)?

Online tools like Duolingo seem to only help with passive understanding (although it does have exercises to put French words in proper order).

Latinist Fr. William G. Most writes (Latin By The Natural Method: Teacher's Manual): "Active and passive mastery of language: […] A student has passive mastery of a form or structure if he can understand and translate it when he sees it or hears it. He has, in addition, active mastery, if he can make such a form or structure for himself. It is natural that passive mastery should develop much more rapidly than active mastery."

  • StackExchange is generally not the place to ask for recommendations because they are subjective, and this website was made for exchanging solutions to concrete problems. Though I do not think drilling is going to help with anything but learning vocabulary, and I would instead read novels and watch movies.
    – Domino
    Aug 12 '20 at 18:14
  • Watch movies and series. Turn on closed captions.
    – Lambie
    Jun 9 '21 at 20:04
  • @Lambie That'd develop passive mastery. I'm looking to develop active mastery.
    – Geremia
    Jun 9 '21 at 21:05
  • Believe me, if you want to speak a language, nothing can beat watching series and movies in the language and repeating the stuff out loud. That is not passive.
    – Lambie
    Jun 9 '21 at 21:25
  • I would suggest to try already... come here and ask questions in French, about French. Or simply read the questions and answers, or even make an attempt at answzring some. I would expect that a fluent reader and translator should be able to at least articulate simple questions and or answers. For example I know I'm not that fluent in reading or translating Dutch, but I can still communicate basic ideas or ask basic questions in that language...
    – Laurent S.
    Jun 9 '21 at 23:52

I think that there is some online forum were you can improve yourself. The best would be to find someone who wants to learn your mother language and to do discussions with him or her. (One hour in french, one hour in your mother language). If your are in a university, it should be easy to find it. Else, say your mother language(s) here and maybe will someone know someone else interrested in that. Else some online forum should offer it. You can also try to force you to think constantly in french. For the writing, it is quite more difficult. A good idea would be to force you to write something for yourelf. Some nice stories or a private diary. But, to be honest, if you're good at reading and that you try to pay attention to the reason why it is written so, and that you improve your speaking skills, it should be enough.

  • 2
    Yes, I'm aware of Lang-8 and Conversation Exchange for pairing up with live native speakers, but I'm looking for a more automated method for drilling.
    – Geremia
    Aug 11 '20 at 22:17

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