If you asked yourself how many languages ââyou speak fluently, what would your answer be? If I asked you how many of these languages ââyou are fluent in writing, would your answer always be the same?
Maybe, maybe not.
Just because someone speaks a language doesn't mean their reading and writing skills match their verbal communication skills.
Language proficiency is measured in several ways. To achieve mastering listening skills of the mother tongue, you have to balance your time between all the language skills.
What are the four language skills?
The mastering listening skills types are speaking, reading, and writing, all interconnected in one way or another. Here's how these skills relate to each other:
Working on your mastering listening skills supports you in imitating sounds to speak.
Reading enables you to recognize more vocabulary and grammar structures to improve your writing. Writing and Speaking are known as active or productive skills. Listening and reading are called passive and receptive skills.
See at all these different mastering listening skills, and you might wonder if you should spend the same amount of time developing them.
Since the primary purpose of learning a new language is to communicate, many linguists argue that speaking is the most critical language skill. This is often why active skills are strongly emphasized from the start, with the development of passive skills following later in the language course.
But does that mean you should only pivot on speaking and listening? The answer is no.
Plus, language proficiency tests measure your skills in all four areas, so you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't make an effort to develop your reading and writing skills.
Isn't it challenging to work on all four skills simultaneously?
Remember that none of these skills is ever isolated: you automatically improve another when you engage in one skill.
This also allows you to diversify your mastering listening skills and learning activities to practice foreign languages ââto minimize the boredom and frustration associated with repetitive exercises. The variation also takes away the monotony of the studio.
As you progress through the intermediate and advanced levels of foreign language acquisition, you may begin to focus on specific skills rather than others, depending on your end game. This is the difference between a budding interpreter and an ambitious translator, where the former must speak and listen fluently while the latter must be advanced in reading and writing.
Whatever your motivation, we've outlined all the top tips for developing all four language skills.
How to better your speaking skills in a foreign language?
Speaking in a new language can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Keep the following point in mind to increase your speaking speed, confidence, and fluency.
One of the main reasons people feel uncomfortable speaking in a new language is that they sound drastically different from native speakers. This discomfort disappears once the pronunciation of the foreign language is perfected.
It's completely normal to look embarrassed when you're a beginner or intermediate. Even advanced students haven't mastered their accents yet. Rather than obsessing over that embarrassment, work on improving your accent. By taking the time and effort to perfect your pronunciation, communication between you and native speakers will ultimately improve, increasing your confidence in the language.
So don't overlook these seemingly minor pronunciation issues. Whether you need to learn how to roll your Rs or pronounce Chinese pinyin, recognize these issues and make a conscious effort to mimic correct mouth and tongue movements for better pronunciation.
Find a language exchange partner
Find a language exchange partner instead if you are not ready to have a casual conversation with native speakers or are too eager to attend language meetings. This language exchange partner could be a friend who appears to be a native speaker or is fluent in your target language. It can also be a classmate interested in studying a language you know well.
In addition to mastering listening skills, you can search for a language partner online through language exchange websites and apps, perhaps participate in language exchanges on Skype. You can also go to WhatsApp for language exchange to connect with like-minded language learners.
The advantage of online interactions is that they eliminate the social anxiety of being face to face, allowing you to discuss a variety of language exchange topics without the stress of small talk.
If this type of social interaction is not your thing, you can always find a language tutor to help you with speaking and the rest of the language skills.
Why work on a language skill when you can kill two birds with one stone?
Reading is an essential language skill. Although if you ask me, silently reading in your head is a missed opportunity to improve your verbal communication skills.
Whenever you find yourself reading any text in your target language, say the words out loud! See the terms in your target language vocalize them. Volume is not entirely necessary for this exercise. If you prefer to whisper because you're reading in a public space, that's fine. The important thing is to practice mouth movements to help you feel more comfortable speaking in a foreign language.
There are many different ways to improve your listening skill when learning a new language. No matter how you learn, the important thing is that you find your own way to make it work and motivate you to keep learning. Hopefully, you can refer to some of the secrets that we've collected and help you quickly master your listening skill.