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Numer: 50977
Dział: Języki obce

The concept of integrated foreign language skills

Apart from acquiring some knowledge, learning a foreign language involves developing
four different skills. According to a commonly accepted perspective on language teaching
and learning, these skills are frequently used in tandem. As Gower et al. (1995: 85) claim:
“In real life the language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are generally
integrated rather than occurring in isolation”. In meaningful communication people use
their skills in association with one another. Thus, by integrating foreign language skills in a
lesson, we approximate what happens in authentic discourse and integration should be
perceived as an essential aspect of the overall language ability.
In real life people always employ more than one skill at a time. Gower et al. (1995:
85) explain that “When taking part in a conversation, for example, we both listen and
speak; when we fill in a form we read and write, and taking notes from a lecture involves
listening and writing.” It seems to be natural that one skill develops from another. We talk
about things that we have seen or read about and in this case listening or reading leads on
to speaking. When we are on the telephone, we definitely listen and speak. In addition to
that, we often take notes or read something to another person. Another good example is
when we are to write a follow-up report about some event we have taken part in. On the
whole, in authentic discourse people use their skills in connection with one another so
teachers should equip their learners with the ability to do the same while using a foreign
The same scholars offer us their advice about how to integrate a number of skills in
a lesson. The key to success may be the choice of appropriate reading and listening texts.
(Gower et al. 1995: 86) Materials used for the practice of receptive skills have to be
generative since they ought to provide the basis for speaking and writing skills
development. This reflects the idea of integration from receptive to productive skills – the
one which is perhaps the most common and widespread among foreign language teachers.
An obvious and logical conclusion is that in order to integrate foreign language skills and
make the learning more realistic for a learner, generative texts should be incorporated into
the lesson.

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