Yeah, that's one of the reasons I prefer to study by myself I read books on subjects I'm interested in (history, travel, gaming, ect) in the language I'm learning. It's good because I won't get bored, and I'll learn words and expressions I want to use in the future.
The thing is I really want to have something to say before saying it...and being at the right level to be able to say it. I don't want to spend all my time going through "do you like spicy food?" or "how is your girlfriend doing?" conversations. :\
Another thing is what is the student's motivation. Is it to really learn the language, or to pass a test? I have nothing against studying just to pass the test (it's a necessity), but the two have to be clearly separated. The "I have no interest in English, I just want to pass the test" people doesn't really NEED to practice speaking, and might just frustrate themselves and others forcing it too much.
This post might make me sound kinda snobbish