I'm pretty sure the literal answer to my question is "re-immersion," or some other form of constant study and use of the dormant language. (Indeed, when I have done that with other languages—even for a short time—it's worked like a charm.) However, if one is not prepared to do that now, what are the fastest and best methods for re-acquiring a language one has not spoken in years, particularly re-acquiring facility with the active/production elements: speaking and writing?

(With my language—Russian—I find that I can understand about 75% as well as before, but speak only about 15% as well as before. In my case, it has been about 6 years, with another language in between.)

  • I doubt there is a catch-all fastest way to reacquire a language. Simply force yourself to speak and write is what I'd say, but I can't imagine that's extremely helpful... :)
    – Hatchet
    Nov 2, 2016 at 4:36
  • I agree with @Hatchet. I don't think a "fastest" method can even exist. The fastest way is, no doubt, a combination of many methods. And which way is fastest is undoubtedly different for each learner, and in each situation. Perhaps you can find a way to focus this question on something more tangible? If Russian is your target, and you can't move to Russia, state that. What is your situation, and what resources do you have at your disposal?
    – Flimzy
    Nov 2, 2016 at 11:11
  • 2
    Do any skills have a higher priority for you (reading, writing, listening, speaking)? Is fluency more important than accuracy, or the other way round?
    – Tsundoku
    Nov 22, 2016 at 16:55
  • The fastest way is to practice all you can. I am sure you can find a Russian friend who would exchange English for Russian with you.
    – Lambie
    Oct 25, 2022 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Personally, I suggest you watch stuff in that language on a daily basis (for example, you can use Netflix and Youtube) so you can get used again to the language in question while increasing your motivation and enthusiasm about re-acquiring it. Now, concerning the improvement of your active skills (speaking and writing), while the aforementioned suggestion can help you, it is not enough. Therefore, here are some other methods that I suggest you try:

  • Speaking skills. Whereas speaking with native speakers is the best way to improve your speaking skills, you can also try to talk to yourself so you can get comfortable with the language and can experiment with a wide range of words and topics (from describing your daily routine to your future plans, passions, and past anecdotes).

  • Writing skills. You can use a personal diary to write about your day and emotions, take part to forum discussions about topics that you find interesting or even write reviews about some movie/book/tv series/game you love or hate.

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