Do you think the recorded audio lessons are important?
Do you think it's a big deal if I skip the recorded exercises? I don't have a mic. I know french is difficult to pronounce so I want to practice that, but my first priority is learning how to read and write. What do you guys think?
I turned the mic off the first thing here. I don't feel like speaking aloud in a foreign language when I'm not alone (and I'm almost never alone).
If I cared a lot about pronunciation, I'd look for an audio course with special pronunciation exercises. If I wanted to practice conversation, I'd look for native speakers as language partners. With French I also recorded audio exercises on busuu.com, there you can get comments from native speakers.
I also focus more on reading and writing. Who knows, maybe I will never have an opportunity or a need to speak German or French in my life, but I definitely want to understand written and spoken language for reading and watching movies.
I'm learning German for the most part right now, and personally I don't have a mic (anymore) and don't like using one. Unless you're completely alone I doubt you'd feel comfortable using a mic anyways.
For Germany it doesn't feel needed, but it could just be me. I have a harder time pronouncing English than German so far. French, I can't speak for. It could be useful depending on you and how the language is.
Even if you can't speak it, speaking comes easy after reading and writing, and listening of course. It may take a little while, but if you ever wanted to speak it it'd just take a short period of time to start speaking if you can "read" it when listening to it, as well as generally read it and write/type it.
So personally, not really. But it may be because of my way of speaking/pronouncing English, or just the language.
At a certain point, when I learn a language, I always repeat the sentences out loud to help me remember. The thing is, microphone exercices, besides being utterly useless (just repeat a phrase? please.), would require me to speak distinctively, which can indeed become awkward in a crowded place (the same as Siri actually, still don't know how this became a thing)
But in any case, expressing yourself is very very important. I did something like 10 years of english learning, yet when I first went to a foreign country, I still had a lot of hardships expressing myself - even though I consider myself fluent in english. BUT just repeating some words isn't helping a lot. The best exercice is to practice with someone else.