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The 5 Macro Skills of the English Language

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches educ. and comm. courses and holds an MA in Education. She currently pursues a PhD in Eng. Lit.


Contrary to popular belief, communication is not just limited to what is said or heard. There are four ways to express language: reading, speaking, writing, and listening. In recent years, viewing was added as a fifth skill. These are also referred to as the communication's macro skills. Almost all languages make use of these macro abilities. Reading and writing come later than speaking and listening as language skills are developed in infants. As they are all interconnected, the best way to learn a new language is to balance your activities in each of these categories. Like with any skill, your body gets stronger as you exercise or practice more. The same is true when trying to communicate more effectively.

The Macro Skills

There are 5 main skills in the English language, and each skill has additional sub-skills and skill activities. The essential abilities are all fundamental and crucial. They go by the name of macro skills.

A specific context's largest, most important, primary, and other skill sets are referred to as macro skills. It is frequently mentioned in English.
Speaking, writing, listening, and reading are the four macroskills. For proper use of the English language, you must perfect them. Reading and writing are brain output skills, whereas speaking and listening are brain input.
Of course, there are other abilities that are necessary for communicating effectively in English, including pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling.


This fundamental ability involves listening to and understanding other people's viewpoints, as well as taking in information and emotional intelligence from spoken words. But not everyone has to hear in order to listen. For instance, deaf people can "listen" by using sign language or lip reading, and they can be excellent listeners in their own unique way. Gaining an understanding of new subjects and forming meaningful relationships can be challenging without strong listening abilities. In fact, effective listening is one of the key elements of a strong relationship; both partners must remain dedicated to listening to one another.



Speech is an essential form of self-expression and a necessary survival skill. Speech can be used, for instance, to warn of danger or counter threats. One only needs to attend a political rally and observe the crowd's unisonous cheering or chanting to understand the extreme power of the spoken word. Yet again, those who are unable to speak, like the brilliant scientist Steven Hawking, find other ways to express themselves. Speech is primarily used to convey ideas to other people.

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Social advancement depends on literacy; without the reading abilities required for an education, citizens will fall behind. Despite the fact that many people still struggle with learning disabilities like dyslexia or illiteracy, there are excellent new approaches for dealing with these problems. The fundamental skill of knowledge is reading. When a child reads a picture book with simple words or a blind person reads braille, both are using a powerful educational tool.



Writing is an additional important tool that is essential for expressing thoughts, facts, and figures. Typing is gradually taking its place in society as the focus shifts to electronic devices, computer keyboards, and texting devices. This is despite the fact that cursive writing and printing are still very important in today's world.


The fifth and final macro-skill for today is viewing. The ability to perceive, analyze, interpret, and construct meaning from visual images is essential to improving one's comprehension of written and nonwritten materials [3]. It refers to perceiving, examining, interpreting, and constructing meaning from visual images. As the learners are exposed to various forms of media, this is the skill that needs to be taught to them.

Watch this video for more information.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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