Generally, there are four key competencies in language-learning: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Even in your native language, you're more comfortable with some areas than others.
To help you get a second language under your belt, it helps to know where your strengths lie. Which of these core competencies is your strong suit? Run down this list of questions, keeping track of your "Yes" and "No" responses, and let's find out.
- I like to practice my pronunciation.
- I like to choose my words carefully in hopes of better expressing myself.
- I’m not afraid to make mistakes when speaking.
- I love listening to others speak in the language I’m learning.
- I’m not afraid to use gestures and body language to convey my meaning.
- I often hold conversations with myself as a way to practice.
- I seek out opportunities to speak a new language as often as possible.
- I’m eager to participate in classroom discussions in the target language.
- I find that I can easily imitate others.
- I’m not afraid to ask for help or clarification when talking with others.
- I love listening to all types of foreign language resources (movies, music, etc.) and deciphering what is said.
- I don’t get frustrated if I don’t understand everything, but instead I focus on what I do know.
- I practice active listening in other parts of my life and use it when listening in my new language.
- I use context to help me figure out the conversation.
- I enjoy listening to the same things over and over again in hopes of understanding them.
- I listen for cognates to help me understand.
- I seek opportunities to listen to native speakers.
- I learn to focus on the whole of the conversation and not the details.
- I take notes when listening to help me learn.
- I know that speaking and listening go hand-in-hand and use them together.
- I don’t mind starting with simple texts.
- I love reading in my native language.
- I want to be able to read books written in their original language, not a translation.
- I love learning new vocabulary.
- I aim to understand the gist of the passage the first time I read it.
- I don’t get frustrated by the fact that I don’t know every word.
- I enjoy looking up things (grammar, vocabulary, etc.) that I may not understand.
- I know that reading aloud can help me improve my comprehension and other language learning skills.
- I can use the context of what I’m reading to help me understand.
- I love that with reading, I can slow the pace of my foreign language learning.
- I know that writing is a process, and I enjoy it.
- I love learning about grammar.
- I’m not afraid to start writing short and simple pieces to express meaning.
- I want my writing to be correct.
- I’m not opposed to having someone correct my writing.
- I seek out different ways to write in my new language (i.e., a journal, pen pals).
- I have a love of writing in my native language.
- I focus on the message.
- I enjoy studying others’ writings.
- I like using a dictionary or other tools to advance my writing skills.
Is there one competency where your reply was “Yes,” for the majority of the questions? That is most likely your strongest key competency. Try to focus on this area as you learn, grow, and encounter new words and grammar.
At the same time, don't dismiss the other comptencies. Speaking, listening, reading, and writing truly all work together to make you a well-rounded learner.
Here at Fluent City, our instructors work hard to implement a balanced curriculum. We’ll work with you and the goals you have to make language-learning fun and appropriate for your needs. Sign up today to get started!