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Resources for developing your language skills



Learning a new language means developing skills that allow you

  • to process and understand what people say in another language, and
  • to communicate what you want to say.

The Language Learning bookshelf has many resources to help you develop these skills.

Principal Resources

The bookshelf provides a detailed guide to help you develop your listening and speaking skills.


A companion guide Developing reading and writing skills is planned for future release.


Use this table to find information to help you develop skills related to specific aspects of communicative competence:


If you want to develop skill in ...

Then use ...

Pronouncing the language properly

Speaking and writing grammatically

Building your vocabulary

Understanding and producing longer stretches of speech, such as stories, descriptions, directions, or instructions

Using the language to accomplish your purposes and get things done

Using words and ways of speaking appropriate for different situations

Interacting with other people appropriately when talking with them

Understanding more about what the people you talk to are like and why they behave the way they do

Other resources

Here are some other resources relevant to this topic:

  • Kick-starting your language learning

    This paper gives specific suggestions for how to work with a speaker of a language to develop understanding of about 1000 words and basic grammatical structures.

  • Language learning in the real world for non-beginners

    This paper gives specific suggestions for how intermediate and advanced language learners can start conversing in a second language, build understanding of narratives, procedures, and other discourse types, and expand cultural knowledge.

  • Language learning strategies

    Strategies language learners can use to make the process work for them

  • Language learning stories

    A collection of true-life anecdotes told by language learners , including how they built their language skills.

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 21 March 1999

© 1999 SIL International