Staying on the subejct of listening or speaking your way to fluency, I want to reply to some of the comments I have received. The main task of language learning is to acquire words so that you can understand. This will get you to the goal of fluency fastest, since fluency means the ability to converse comfortably on a variey of subjects. To converse comfortably you need to understand what is said. For this you need words, and whether you are able to speak at an early stage is not important in the long run. This I do not like using methods like Pimsleur and Michel Thomas which use a lot of English to get you to say things. To me it slows me down on my path of acquiring enough words to become fluent.