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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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6.1 Have a go: language skills

French language learners will develop a huge range of skills. Firstly, there are the skills generally labelled as ‘language skills’:

  • listening
  • reading
  • speaking
  • writing
  • taking part in written and spoken interactions.
Described image
Figure 9 Language skills

Listening, speaking and taking part in spoken interactions (such as conversations) are skills related to the spoken language. Reading, writing and taking part in written interactions (like an exchange in an online text chat) are written skills.

Listening and reading can be grouped together as ‘receptive’ skills – meaning they require you to understand language written or spoken by somebody else – whereas speaking and writing are ‘productive’ skills, which involve producing language yourself. ‘Interactions’ are situations where a speaker needs to both receive and produce language: for example, when you take part in a conversation, you need to both listen and speak.

Activity 4 Developing language skills

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Read the list of activities below, which are all typically found in a beginners’ French course to help you learn and practice language skills. For each one, tick the skill that they help develop.

Playing an audio clip and ticking the word(s) spoken in the clip.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is b.

Looking over a short text and selecting the sentence that best summarises its content.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is c.

Looking at a list of words and recording yourself pronouncing them.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is d.

Producing a 50 word paragraph to introduce yourself, providing your name, nationality, where you live and what your occupation is.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is e.

Taking part in a role play.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is a.

Matching some sentences with images that represent their meaning.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is c.

Reading some questions in English and recording your answers aloud in French.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is d.

Taking part in a conversation class with a language assistant.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is a.

Reading forum posts written by other learners and adding your own contributions.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is a.

Using an app to record yourself practising your pronunciation.

a. 

interaction


b. 

listening


c. 

reading


d. 

speaking


e. 

writing


The correct answer is d.