“The FOUR Skills”

When we learn a language, there are four skills that we need for complete communication. When we learn our native language, we usually learn to listen first, then to speak, then to read, and finally to write. These are called the four “language skills”:

 The four language skills are related to each other in two ways:

  • the direction of communication (in or out)
  • the method of communication (spoken or written)

Input is sometimes called “reception” and output is sometimes called “production”. Spoken is also known as “oral”.

Note that these four language skills are sometimes called the “macro-skills”. This is in contrast to the “micro-skills”, which are things like grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling.

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