Language Skills Essay

1344 words - 5 pages


This paper aims to explore the most basic, though most important language skills. For any human to relate or communicate with another, language is often employed. As a result, the ability to successfully utilise significant language skills can make a speaker either successful or fail in communicating their message and achieving their predetermined aim. The four language skills to be explored are listening, reading, writing and speaking. However, firstly, we shall look at the definition of “language skills”.


According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary (2005), language is “the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other”. Also, Merriam-Webster (2005) states as one of it's definitions that “skills” are “a : the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance...” However, my definition of language skills is essentially “the types of strategies and tactics used to communicate through a given language”. That said, before addressing each language skill, the elephant in the room must be addressed. The question stands: what is the importance of language skills?


Language skills are important for the proper functioning of interpersonal relationships and general human interaction. One must be able to speak, read, write and listen adequately to articulate to others and the world at large and in turn get the results they so desire. With good language skills sales people can sell their products, writers can earn a living, orators can move the world, children can learn anything in the world, people can grow in their religious and spiritual persuasions and much more. For the purpose of this paper, the perception will be that of the importance of language skills in an academic setting. Some good examples of these importances for a student include the following from Open University (2014).
“Understand and make the most effective use of study materials, write well-structured and coherently presented assignments, without plagiarism; and work productively with other students.” Having briefly grazed the importance of these skills, next, this paper will briefly explore each of the four stated language skills.


Listening, from the four significant skills,is the first skill a human being learns. This is also why we shall delve into it first. Listening is “Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process”(Skills You Need, 2014 ). Therefore, when we hear a language spoken, we are in effect, listening. There are different types of listening: Discriminative Listening, Comprehensive Listening, Therapeutic Listening, Critical Listening and Appreciative Listening(Teaching English, 2014). According to Teaching English(2014), Discriminative listening is essentially about distinguishing sounds and not about comprehension. Comprehensive...

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