Cook books will let you down even after having studied them thoroughly unless they are very comprehensive, and then they take a lot of time to study; however, even if they treat their subject in depth there is a problem of underlying general knowledge and cook books can't make up for that. There is unfortunately no method for learning a language rapidly. Concerning this question of the "average" speaker I can say this: it depends on what you mean by average French speaker; if you mean enough French to get by in any situation, that amounts to a lot of experience, quite a few years of effort; make no effort and your skills will improve only slowly. I'd say that, if you are a foreigner with no knowledge of French and that you learn the language as you start living in France, combininig self-study or regular study in some school with the everyday drill that is imposed on you by the necessities of life, then you can become that average (foreign) speaker in more or less 5 years' time; it will not, however, give you the skill of a French person considered as an average speaker of French; you will still have a lot of problems.
The list you provide is fine but if you are not familiar with the warp and woof of the language that list will let you down when you find yourself in real interaction with a native; of course they will sometimes manage to get your meaning but I've witnessed more than one case of situation where the locutors can't get their meaning across and have to leave off their conversation, or worse, when misunderstanding results in errors.