I’ve noticed that when some people write about language learning, particularly those who encourage you to learn languages on your own, they often make disparaging remarks about the ‘academic’ style of teaching found in language classes. Apparently this style of teaching is boring, dry, focused on grammar and learning vocabulary, and/or has too few opportunities to speak the language you’re learning. I suspect these ideas are based on personal experiences which are generalised to include all languages classes.
My own experiences of language classes are quite different, especially the ones I’ve done in Wales and Ireland for Welsh and Irish, where speaking and listening are the main focus. The classes I took in Chinese and Japanese at university were more focused on reading and writing than speaking and listening, however there were some conversation oppportunities. At secondary school my French and German classes included some speaking practise, especially when I was studying for my A Levels.
What are your own experiences? Are you involved in teaching languages, or studying them? What methods and approaches are used?