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Written by: Ante Demo, teacher/DOS
Although most learners believe that most important skills they should improve when it comes to English language, are speaking and writing, many would argue that other skills are just as important.
Everyone knows that English plays an important role in modern society. As an English professor, I always try to motivate my students to go the distance regarding their CEFR qualifications as this could give them an edge on the job market. Progressing and improving English from level to level is not an easy process but can certainly be achieved with the right approach. Being competent in English or any other language is not only shown in speaking as many may believe but also in other segments that need to be developed. Language competency can be achieved by working equally on specific areas or skills such as writing, reading, listening, use of English and speaking, no matter the level.
Improving various English language skills
Writing should be practiced starting from lower levels such as A2. Every day or familiar topics need to be used in order for the learner to gain confidence and slowly move towards more complex topics as the level increases. There are numerous texts such as e-mails, reports or proposals that could be practiced and beneficial for the common user. To be competent in writing is an increasingly important skill to have as most communication nowadays is done in written form due to the use of modern technology. If a person can progress in writing, then being skilled in other areas such as speaking should follow naturally as all of these areas mentioned earlier are intertwined.
The importance of reading and grammar
Learners tend to neglect certain areas thinking it is not important when they start to refresh their language competency but soon discover that it is all relevant if success is to be realized. Grammatical structures and lexical resource also improve in the process if there is a clear cohesion between the levels. When it comes to reading and comprehension, it is not only important to understand what is being read but also to be efficient regarding the time needed in doing so. This is a skill that can be acquired with the right guidance from your teachers, same goes for listening.
But first – a placement test
Achieving competency can be done at your own pace when knowing where to start from. It is crucial to take a placement test before doing any type of course as this will give any learner the correct starting point. The process that follows can only lead to fluency in line with your needs; all you need along the way is patience and motivation that will certainly and inevitably lead to improving your English language.