Why Receptive and Productive Skills are Important for Language Learning
The process of learning a new language is complex and time-consuming. As the demand for learning a new language increases or rather the process of learning the primary language in a given society is taken into consideration, methods to teach become variable, as the most optimal way of learning is sought after. This does not always result most efficiently, however. For this very reason, certain factors must be taken into consideration when evaluating the way a language is learned since the easiest way is not always the best way. The concept of a language is very detailed, meaning that because of this it is commonly very confusing, but if dialed up to the top of the branches one can see that there are two main variants that are involved in the language learning process: an active and a passive form, which equally carries the utmost importance.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Hasan K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Speaking and Writing
Active forms of learning, or as they are called, speaking and writing. These two skills are the two factors that involve the process of production when using a language with the only differentiator being that the content being produced is either verbal or written. These skills are the main methods of language production. Depending on which of these active skills that are used more commonly the person will have ease with whichever skill that is used the most. So it is quite common to come across some who is a fluent speaker but lacks in writing and, in vice versa, a person who is very good at writing in a certain language but lacks in verbal communication. Thus, it should be understood from this that both skills must be used in equilibrium to use both efficiently.
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Listening and Reading
On the other hand, there is another form of learning which is called passive learning. The form, passive learning consists of the skills of listening and reading. The reason these skills are considered to be passive in that the skills involved produce nothing that can be interpreted by anyone except the person that is using the skills. These skills also share equal and great importance and language learning would be deemed inefficient if both are not used. Reading aids in improving grammar and vocabulary skills while listening aids in understanding a language better.
Furthermore these skills aid in the use of productive skills meaning that all skills form a unity when used equally, thus, resulting in more smoothly and easily of learning a language. Consider these skills as four connected chains, if one were to break, it would not be useless, but it would be less useful compared to a sturdy chain. This results in the notion that each skill must be of equal importance.
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To summarize, there are many factors and methods involved in language learning. While usually the most efficient methods are seen as the best, it may not always be the case as what is learned quickly may be forgotten just as quickly, if not supported enough. This means that every skill that is involved in the process of language learning must be taken into the equation, in other words, a language must be learned both passively and actively for it to be more permanent and effective.
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