- 1. Listening comprehension is the receptive skill in the oral mode. When we speak of listening what we really mean is listening and understanding what we hear.
In our first language, we have all the skills and background knowledge we need to understand what we hear, so we probably aren’t even aware of how complex a process it is. Here we will briefly describe some of what is involved in learning to understand what we hear in a second language.
Listening, one of the means of language communication, is used most widely in people’s daily lives. In addition, teaching the learners a lot of listening activities is a good way of enlargening their vocabulary. On the other hand, it also helps the learners improve their listening comprehension. For instance, people know that the largest difference between mother language learning and foreign language learning is the environment. For a foreign language, we can meet it only in formal places and classes. Training and practicing the oral reading is not a day’s work. Practice is important. Only through the practice can the learners improve their listening comprehension.
- 2. Speaking is the productive skill in the oral mode. It, like the other skills, is more complicated than it seems at first and involves more than just pronouncing words.
Interactive speaking situations include face-to-face conversations and telephone calls, in which we are alternately listening and speaking, and in which we have a chance to ask for clarification, repetition, or slower speech from our conversation partner. Some speaking situations are partially interactive, such as when giving a speech to a live audience, where the convention is that the audience does not interrupt the speech. The speaker nevertheless can see the audience and judge from the expressions on their faces and body language whether or not he or she is being understood.
Some few speaking situations may be totally non-interactive, such as when recording a speech for a radio broadcast .
Speaking is often connected with listening. For example, the two-way communication makes up for the defect in communicative ability in the traditional learning. Two-way means the relationship of the communication between the teacher and the students at school. This relationship is connected with the communicative activities between two people. It can create a fresh environment for speaking language. The two-way communication can lengthen the dialogue limitlessly. This is its advantage. At the same time, if the speakers want to give the correct response, he has to think hard, the sentence is not easily forgotten which is created by themselves through thinking, sometimes with the teacher’s hint. They can talk freely and express themselves as well as they can.
- 3. Reading is the receptive skill in the written mode. It can develop independently of listening and speaking skills, but often develops along with them, especially in societies with a highly-developed literary tradition. Reading can help build vocabulary that helps listening comprehension at the later stages, particularly.
Reading is an important way of gaining information in language learning and it is a basic skill for a language learner. There are a lot of reading exercises in an examination today. But all these readings must be done in limited time. So learners are asked to read them correctly and with a certain speed. For instance, someone reads word by word. Someone reads with his finger pointing to the words or with his head shaking. Those are all bad habits. They should read phrase by phrase. Do not blink eyes so often and shake head. Just move the eyeball. That is enough. If they want to get more word information, there must be a proper distance between their eyes and the reading material.
- 4. Writing is the productive skill in the written mode. It, too, is more complicated than it seems at first, and often seems to be the hardest of the skills, even for native speakers of a language, since it involves not just a graphic representation of speech, but the development and presentation of thoughts in a structured way.
Writing is one way of providing variety in classroom procedures. It provides a learner with physical evidence of his achievements and he can measure his improvement. It helps to consolidate their grasp of vocabulary and structure, and complements the other language skills. Sentence is the base of an article. So he should begin his writing with sentences. For example, translation, sentence pattern exchanging, and text shortening and rewriting. It helps to understand the text and write compositions. It can foster the learner’s ability to summarize and to use the language freely.