I think that connecting to native speakers is very important. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it looks. Although this site has a list of users with their native language and the native language of their desired language partner, when you try to connect with them, most of them ignore the request, some of them are not a good match (for example I had some that wanted only to communicate by sending written messages. I however prefer to talk) and very few are a good match. Although it is hard to find a good language partner, you should make that effort. It took me a while but today I have few language partners that help me learn Arabic and I help them learn Hebrew. It is a big help and I also consider them as friends. You can try and find more language partners at other sites such as speaky.com.
You can also get a teacher from this site. I started first with a teacher and after a while also started to speak with a language partner. Found out that it is a good combination which help me learn Arabic faster.