What Is The Most Important Skill Of Language Learning?
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It’s essential to do things you love in your daily life to learn the most important language learning skill. You have to incorporate activities that interest you in your language learning. This is the key recipe for not losing interest in language learning and keeping up with it. It’s also an essential part of building the most important skills of language skills.
In this article, we’ll have a look at the most important skill of language learning and which resources you can use to build your language skills.
The Most Important Skill Of Language Learning
Generally speaking, the most important skill of language learning is speaking. But, it mainly depends on where you need to use the foreign language (business, leisure, travel, for fun). Still, in most cases, speaking skills are the winner for any language learner. That’s why speaking is the most important skill of language learning.
However, you need to remember that if you really want to learn a foreign language, you have to work on the main 4 language skills: speaking, listening, vocabulary, and reading. This article will walk you through the entire process of learning a language and how to incorporate these 4 language skills into the process.
Best Platform To Practice Speaking
If your question has been answered and you’re ready to start practicing your speaking, check out iTalki.
iTalki is my personal favorite platform to practice speaking skills. I’ve been using it for over 2 years, which has helped me improve my French and Spanish significantly.
Register for free, get a 10$ credit after signing up through the link below, find your tutor, and start chatting with him. Each tutor has a different price per lesson, so it’s still affordable even if you’re on a budget. And the speaking skills you’ll gain are priceless.
Let me go a bit deeper to give you a full picture and understanding of all language skills. Altogether, there are actually 7 types of language skills. Keep reading to find out more about them.
I’ll also explain why it’s important to work on certain language skills as a whole. After, you’ll find out what you need to do to improve the 4 essential language skills, which will lead you to master the most important skill of language learning: speaking.
The 7 Types Of Language Skills
We all are aware of the fact that there are 4 general types of language skills. These are reading, listening, writing, and speaking. However, let me go more into detail with the types of language skills. If we look at the language as a whole, there are actually more than just these 4 types of language skills. Have a look at a language as a suitcase. This suitcase will contain 7 types of language skills. Yes, there are 7 of them, and each one is very important for you to have the full pack of language skills.
The 4 Language Skills We’ll Focus On
We need some of these language skills more than others. For example, grammar won’t be our focus for us here as we’ll naturally learn it on the way. We won’t memorize any grammatical structures, or any tenses, so don’t worry.
Then pronunciation will also come naturally as we learn the language. So we won’t use any specific resources or dedicate extra time to our pronunciation.
Writing will also not be as important for us. We are here to learn a language for travel. We want to communicate with locals, order our favorite food in a restaurant, understand everything at the airport, be present, and enjoy the travel experience more with our language skills.
Of course, writing can be more important in some languages than others (like writing and understanding Azbuka in Russian). Still, it won’t be the core of our language learning process.
On the language learning journey for traveling, we’ll maily focus on the following language skills:
Passive & Active Language Skills
Some language skills are passive, and some of them are active. To the passive language skills belong listening, reading, vocabulary and grammar. The active language skills are speaking and writing. For example, pronunciation has a little bit of both. First, you absorb it (passive), then try it and speak it (active).
Passive Language Skills
Passive language skills develop when building your language skills, learning the language, and absorbing it.
Active Language Skills
Active language skills are those that help you to actually produce the language on your own.
Combine All Important Language Skills
Now, it isn’t true that you have to first work on your passive language skills, then start practicing your active language skills. You have to select a mixture of all to achieve your goals. It’s essential to combine them all. Practice these language skills altogether, and it’ll lead you to master the most important skill of language learning: speaking.
I want you to understand and learn more in-depth about each language skill. So, the next section of this article will explain when it’s the best time to practice particular language skills.
The 3 Pillars of Language Skills
Let’s dive into this even more. As I mentioned above, some of these language skills are passive, and some are active. Therefore, we can divide all these 7 skills into 3 pillars based on their passivity/activity.
The 1st Language Pillar
The first pillar is composed of listening and reading. These are two passive language skills that will first help you to put something into your learning process. They’ll help you to start your learning journey. Thanks to these two language skills, you’ll be able to understand the language.
The 2nd Language Pillar
The second pillar includes vocabulary and grammar. These two language skills are your rocks, the actual foundation for your language ability. Without vocabulary and grammar, it’s difficult to understand and to produce your own language.
The 3rd Language Pillar
The third pillar contains three output language skills. These are speaking, writing, and pronunciation. They are the outcome you get once you listen, read, and have a good vocabulary package in your head. These three language skills are the pride and satisfaction you achieve if you work on your language skills.
These are the three essential pillars of language skills we are here for. We’ll be working together, learning the language using all these language skills combined. We’ll cross these three pillars and learn a language for travel.
How To Work With Language Skills
Think about them as some life activity you do. For instance, building a house. First, you need to have some input material to build the basement for the house. Then you’ll work on the construction of the house. Eventually, you will build a beautiful house where your family can live. You will be taking advantage of it your whole life.
It’s the same with language learning. First, you have to get some input (with listening and reading) to get familiar with the language and to be able to build some foundation and understanding of the language. Then you have to work on your vocabulary and grammar to build your language, understand it better, and create a proper foundation to produce the language.
Out of all these activities, you will get a great output in speaking, writing, and pronouncing the language correctly. This will lead you to master the most important skill of language learning, which is speaking in the first place.
Combining Language Skills Is Essential
That’s what our language learning journey will be all about. You have to get as much input (listening and reading) as you give out with speaking. You’ll have to combine all these types of language skills. When you are reading something (something interesting to you), you’ll also learn new vocabulary.
Once you learn separate vocabulary, you’ll also practice your pronunciation. Finally, you’ll practice your writing once creating your flashcards. As you can see, the language skills are all connected to each other. You have to combine them and will learn them together.
Now, you might ask a question, all right, but how should I build these language skills? Where should I start and what to do?
Don’t worry. I have you covered here as well.
Resources to Build The Most Important Skills of Language Learning
As I mentioned above, we’ll mainly focus on 4 language skills to master the most important skill of language learning:
The remaining language skills (pronunciation, writing, and grammar) will come along naturally as we practice these 4 language skills.
I have great resources for you to practice each language skill, so let’s check them out:
Listening is a language skill you can start practicing right from the beginning of your language learning journey. It’ll help you to understand the language once you travel, identify new vocabulary, and you’ll adapt to various accents of the language.
I’ve selected the best language learning podcasts in various languages for you. Some of them focus solely on travel, some talk generally about everyday life. More podcasts for other languages are to come on my website.
Listening also encompasses audiovisuals. This is even better because the visual side will boost your understanding. This is because you are listening to the content and, at the same time, watching engaging videos, movies, or whatever it might be. I also have some fantastic videos to learn Spanish online for free, so check them out.
To boost your listening skills, get some of the best audiobooks from my lists:
- 13 best German audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best French audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best Italian audiobooks for beginners
- 8 best Spanish audiobooks for beginners
- 6 best Russian audiobooks for beginners
Reading is a powerful language skill, and it has never been easier to work on it with the resources I have for you. When reading, you see how words are written, how the sentences are constructed, and in which context the vocabulary is used.
When you read, I highly recommend you highlight new vocabulary and write it down into your language travel notebook. This will boost your language learning process.
Get some of the best foreign language books. Read some thrilling and exciting stories that show you the everyday life of people living in the country where your language is spoken. And they are easy to read for beginners.
Then I have another powerful reading source for you – magazines. As I mentioned in one of my articles, magazines are the perfect way to learn a language and, at the same time, read about a country or traditions. Basically, read about your passion – travel and learn a language alongside it. Here you have the best foreign language magazines to learn languages in a fun way.
To learn vocabulary, I have some suggestions for you on how to learn it. Then I am constantly creating materials to learn vocabulary in various languages, which you can check in my language materials.
Check out the best language learning apps for speaking and the best language learning app that offers you various resources. You can practice various language skills with this app and learn vocabulary along the way.
If you’re interested in a way to learn new vocabulary, check out my article about how to learn vocabulary fast. If you want to learn vocabulary easily and have fun, learn vocabulary in topics with me.
Get my list of gifts for language learners that will help you learn vocabulary in a fun and effective way.
Practicing all of the above language skills will lead us to master the most important skill of language learning. And that is speaking. So now I have something to boost your speaking.
I’ve chosen the best language learning platforms, where you can practice speaking foreign language. Once you travel, you’ll already be able to speak in particular situations.
I know you might be afraid to speak. Or you just don’t know where to start. So read my article and overcome fear of speaking foreign languages.
Practice Speaking On iTalki
iTalki is my personal favorite platform to practice speaking in foreign languages. You can choose a tutor and the price for a lesson, and start speaking. It’s as simple as that.
Speaking is the most important language skill you should start practicing as soon as possible. And iTalki will allow you to do so.
Register now for free and get 10$ credit for your first lesson. It will help you eliminate your fear of speaking and boost your other language skills, too.
Recap For The Most Important Skills Of Language Learning
So to recap, we have now talked about:
- The most important skill of language learning
- 7 types of language skills
- 4 language skills to focus on
- Passive and active language skills and why is it important to combine them all when learning a language
- The 3 pillars of language skills
- Resources to build the 4 main language skills
If you are interested in how to learn a language for travel, check out my articles in the language blog. They will all motivate you on your language learning journey. You will also get 8 language learning tips from me to master any foreign language. Follow my advice and learn a language for travel with my own effective method.
Don’t forget to get your language travel notebook for free, which will make the learning process much easier for you. Get my language travel notebook for free. Then find out how to use your language travel notebook.
Let’s get round to learning together.