English Language Skills



According to a leading linguistic H.G. Widdoson, we use listening and speaking in Oral communication and reading and writing communication. The sender of the message uses the spoken or written form in order to communicate his ideas. The recovery of the message utilizes the listening or reading skills in order to interpret the message. We can therefore group these four skills in two large groups.

1)      Speaking ]        are Active Productive skills

2)      Writing ]

3)      Listening ]         are Passive Receptive Skills

4)      Reading  ]

The four language skills are: listening, speaking, reading and writing, these skills are developed to achieve communicative competence in the mother tongue or a second language. To learn a language correctly, we have to develop the ability to speak, listen, write and read in that language, that is, we have to master the four linguistic skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading. Sometimes, depending on the context in which we are learning the language, we develop one or two of the skills a lot and we leave the others a little forgotten. For example, if we study a language in a self-taught way, it is very likely that we will develop written expression and reading comprehension much better than the other two skills. If we are going to live in a country and we have never studied the language before, when we are interacting with natives, it is most likely that we will develop oral expression and listening comprehension much more than the other two skills.

English Language Skills

How can we carry a balanced learning that helps us master the four language skills?

We simply must always keep in mind that we have to practice all four, not one or two, but all four language skills to master a language. And if we leave out any of them, because it is more difficult or more boring, sooner or later we will have to dedicate time to it, so it is better to practice all four from the moment we start learning a language. In addition, this creates a more varied and enjoyable learning.

The most important thing to successfully master the four language skills is to enjoy learning.

Reading comprehension: Just think, what do I like to read? And look for information in the language you are studying on this topic.

Written expression:Do you find writing boring? You don’t have to write a book. If you use social media often, you can practice writing things that you would put on Facebook or Twitter, for example.

Listening comprehension: If you don’t have the opportunity to listen to the language you are studying on a daily basis, use the internet to practice. You can watch videos, listen to songs in the language, whatever you like the most or feel like at the time.

Oral expression: To learn a language well you have to speak. Where do you live, no one speak the language you are looking for? Then find someone to practice with via video conference. You can find native teachers in the language, who will give you online conversation classes. There are also many language exchanges by videoconference that are completely free.

If you find different activities in which you have a good time practicing the four language skills, you are guaranteed success. You just have to organize a little. You can make a weekly plan: you take a piece of paper, divide it into four parts and write the activities you plan to do to practice each language skill.


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