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Teaching the Four English Language Skills – A Comprehensive Guide

Teaching The Four English Language Skills - A Comprehensive Guide

Although the development of the four English language skills (listening, speaking, reading & writing) must be made the focus of all learning activities in EFL classes, many English language teachers are in doubt about how to teach these skills and what to do exactly to develop them in their students.

That’s why I’ve created this comprehensive guide: Teaching the Four English Language Skills

What The Book Includes

It is a collection of several articles and publications I’ve written on how to teach the four English language skills. It includes the following:

  • Insightful information about the nature of each of the four language skills.
  • Practical procedures and activities can be implemented in the classroom to develop these skills in EFL students.  
  • Tasks, activities, and teaching techniques suitable for students’ interests, needs, and learning levels.

The main purpose of this book is to provide some guidelines for teaching the four English language skills in primary and preparatory schools.

These ideas were based on the combination of my long experience of teaching English to various students in Egypt and Kuwait for +20 years and insights from some publications and discussions concerning teaching English as a foreign language to EFL students.

Integrative Skills

Although the book introduces the teaching of the four English language skills in four different chapters, it does not mean that the four skills are an isolated process. In reality, each skill enhances students’ ability to use the others.

Developing listening skills enhances students’ ability to speak. Reading helps students develop skills for communicating through writing. Through reading students can be exposed to some key vocabulary and grammatical rules. Writing can enhance reading fluency because students always associate written language with the oral language they have learned.

Thus, the separation of the four English language skills in four chapters is only for the sake of easiness for the book reader.

Teaching Listening

Listening plays a critical role both in communication and in language acquisition; however, it is one of the least understood processes in language learning.

To teach and develop listening skills in students, a teacher should:

  • Know more about listening as a process and describe it.
  • Be aware of and discuss the factors affecting listening.
  • Consider some guidelines when teaching listening.
  • Apply some examples of activities for practising and developing listening in students.

The book deals in detail with each of the previous four points.

Teaching Speaking

Despite the importance of the speaking skill which is considered the basic skill of communication using English, most EFL teachers don’t exert enough effort to promote it in their students.

This created what is called “Mute English learners” who may be able to read and write English well, but they cannot communicate in English orally with ease and comfort.

Reading and writing can be developed individually unlike speaking and listening which should occur and set in a social setting.

Drawing on these considerations the book will tell you how to teach and develop students’ speaking skills in EFL classes.

Teaching Reading

Reading is one of the main sources through which students can discover and interact with the world around them so, developing reading skills is very important to all students.

Students who fail at reading are unlikely to do well at school. That’s why teachers and administrators place much emphasis on developing the reading skills of their learners.

Most teachers usually ask:

  • How to get students to read English?
  • How to engage students in reading tasks and get them to read in English with ease and in a fairly short time?
  • What techniques should be followed and what guidelines should be taken into consideration while teaching beginning reading and reading comprehension in English?
  • What useful reading activities should be done with students in the classroom?

All these questions and more are answered inside the book to help ESL/EFL teachers get their students to read in English easily and effectively.

Teaching Writing

Writing is a skill that takes some time to develop, so students need guidance in the early stages. Teaching early writing must start with teaching the basics of handwriting (Teaching writing from the mechanical side).

Then, teaching writing should go ahead to teaching writing to create meaning and compose ideas. At that time, students need frequent practice in writing for communicating effective meaning.

The book deals with how to teach writing, from the beginning of teaching handwriting until teaching students how to write freely using the process writing approach, showing you step-by-step instructions and model lesson plans to teach students paragraph, letter and email writing.

Additionally, it gives you some useful prewiring activities telling you how to do them with your students in the classroom. 


Again, the content of this book focuses mainly on teaching English to enable the learners to use it as a means of communication, so when teaching the four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing, teachers should select the materials, activities, and teaching techniques that suit students’ interests, needs, and learning levels.

The four language skills should be taught in an integrative way because each language skill enhances students’ ability to use the others.

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