Speaking and Writing – Two Different Skills For Learning Language

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Why do we have language? So we can communicate. Sure, we can probably understand each other (somewhat) using hand gestures and grunts, but you have to admit – language does allow for a richer, more complex interaction.

Language consistors of four main skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. While each area does help you develop the others, profitability in one will not ever guarantee the same level of ability on the rest.

If you want to communicate in a language, you'll have to learn to speak and write in it. Those two abilities are very different. In fact, while most second-language learners often develop proficiency in the former, many of them never develop skills in the latter. Now, why is that?

Speaking is natural. If you spend time among a group of native speakers of a language, you will eventually pick up bits and pieces of its speech. However, the same is not likely to hold true for writing. Putting words to paper, quite simply, is a learned skill – one you should spend considering time building up.

There are differences in structure and style. When we speak, we rarely bother with formal grammar. In writing, we almost always make sure we write in an organized and structurally-correct manner. Obviously, the former is much less intimidating, making it easier to just dive in and embrace.

Writing is permanent. When you write, there's a feeling of durability to the form, as the words you commit to paper can legally last a lifetime (and then some). Speaking, on the other hand, is more immediate, allowing you to express your thoughts to people right on the spot.

Understanding these differences helps you gain an appreciation for the learning you're going to be doing, whether you're taking language lessons or using a language training software.


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