Language skills have traditionally been divided into reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, and further into areas like grammar and vocabulary. These divisions are also reflected in most teaching approaches and testing.
Now, however, a broader view is taken: language should also be used appropriately in terms of the specific context. The complexity of language skills is also acknowledged today: there is a significant link between skills and attitudes, beliefs, personality, learning strategies, motivation, teachers’ personalities, methodology as well as our own conceptions of our personal language skills.
The differences that students typically describe between their production skills (speaking and writing) and their comprehension skills (reading and listening) may have something to do with their own language learning background in terms of the quantity and quality of practice.
Good self-evaluation skills are needed to complement external feedback (such as exam results), so that the learners’ perceptions of their own skills are realistic and comprehensive. Talk to your English teacher, tuition tutor or lecturer and ask them to give an honest assessment of your skills. Ask them to help you by giving feedback on your language skills based on your actual ability and future potential!
LISTEN TO THE VOICES BELOW, TALKING ABOUT THEIR SKILLS (PLEASE TURN UP THE VOLUME ON YOUR SPEAKERS AND THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN LANGUAGE SKILLS):
Content developed by Felicity Kjisik, Leena Karlsson and The University of Helsinki ©