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I've learn to speak portuguese just chatting. of course it helps!
That's by far THE best way, and possibly only way to become fluent.
I´m not pretty sure, I mean this is new for me but what I know is that if you really want something you must fight for it, and if you get help to achieve your goal, of course it´s helpful.
It will definitely benefit your language skills, especially if you do it on a regular basis.
It can help your language proficiency more or less to speak with native speakers , however, it also depends upon your partners' contribution to your learning . If your interlocutors spend too much time in his speaking without correction or guiding your speaking , you cannot learn more , it will waste some of your time .
In fact, I don't have too much experience in chatting with native speakers, but on my opinion it can be very usefull for any learner. The beginner can learn a lot about correct pronouncuation while someone with advanced language skills will get loads of useful phrases and some grammar. And I'm even not mentioning here the huge contribution to your fluency that you get from real time conversations.
Yes, if course it help. I speak to many native partners and that help me a lot. But, you will go so far and you will see your self stuck in some level. I think this is because of accents. Now my accent become a collection of many accents. I plan to find a native teacher to solve this problem.
Thanks for all comments, you've all enlightened me :)