I have a friend who wants to learn English and is debating between two different programs. One is more focused on conversations while the other is more focused on grammar, reading, and writing. Any advice is welcome.
I would suggest you to choose the one that your friend finds the most interesting one out of the two. Obviously, the best option would be to have a mix of them as both aspects are important when learning a language. However, considering the fact that he has to choose only one, it is better to pick the one that he thinks he would enjoy the most and from which he could benefit the most depending on his actual skills.
For example, if his speaking and listening skills are more lacking than the ones related to grammar, reading and writing I would suggest going for the program that focuses on conversation. Conversely, if he thinks that he needs to improve his grammar, reading and writing skills, the program that focuses on grammar and structure may prove to be more beneficial to him than the other one.
I always like to preface my answers by asking what’s the goal for learning a new language. If the goal is to be able to hold general conversations in your chosen language then by all means chose the program that focuses of conversation. I see no reason to focus heavily on grammar and memorizing vocabulary. I know of no one who ever learned a language by memorizing its grammar rules.