This paper explores the place and importance of the basic language skills for acquisition and development. These language skills are: listening, speaking, reading and writing. To accomplish this, a literature review was conducted. Subsequently, this paper will also present the importance of each skill towards language acquisition and it's development. Lastly, I shall demonstrate my personal reflection and experience on how I have used these skills in the past years of my development. However, it is first necessary to look at the meanings of these important terms and concepts: language skills, language acquisition and language development.
Understanding what “language skills” are can be made easier by finding the meanings of each word separately and then realizing a consolidated definition. Merriam-Webster(2005) states that language is “the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other”. The Columbian Encyclopedia(1993. pp 1526) defines language in the following way:
Language is systematic communication by vocal symbols. It is a universal characteristic of the human species. Nothing is known of its origin, and scientists generally hold that it has been so long in use that the length of time WRITING is known to cover (7,900 years at most) is trifling by comparison. Just as languages spoken now by peoples of the simplest cultures are as subtle and as intricate as those of the peoples of more complex civilizations, similarly the forms of the languages known (or hypothetically reconstructed) from the earliest records show no trace of being more “primitive” than their modern forms. Because language is a cultural system, individual language may classify objects and ideas in completely different fashions.
Mohan et al(2008. Pp 35) presents a very artful description of language by stating that “Language helps form the limits of our reality. It is our means of ordering, classifying and manipulating the world. It is through language that we become members of a human community, that the world becomes comprehensible and meaningful, that we bring into existence the world in which we live.”
In addition, Merriam-Webster (2005) includes as one of it's definitions that “skills” are “... the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance...”. It is important to note that language skills are crucial for intrapersonal and interpersonal communication. Indeed, language is a part of communication.
Some might say that communication is easier to do than it is to define. Therefore by combining the previous stated definitions, one could surmise that “language skills” are a human's ability to use knowledge effectively and readily in a systematic way, involving words or signs to express thoughts and feelings to another.
It is difficult to talk about language skills without at least briefly introducing the concept of...