Language Skills Development

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Abstract

English as a foreign language (EFL) is taught and learned worldwide for multifarious purposes in various spheres. However, EFL learners’ level of proficiency in English cannot be gained at a functional level until they master the language skills following a set of practices and principles. Therefore, to find out the causes of the poor level of language skills of Bangladeshi EFL learners, it was necessary to explore the relevant teaching–learning practices and principles. This study focused on teaching–learning practices, especially listening and speaking in English classes, and how these are emphasized in the English curriculum at the Higher Secondary Certificate level in Bangladesh. This study surveyed 530 students and 28 teachers in rural, town, and city areas using structured questionnaires and interviewed ten teachers. The data was processed using SPSS 25.0 and MS Office 2010. The researchers found that the students and teachers had very positive perceptions of the importance of the language skills, but they were not satisfied with their (students’) command of the language skills and the teaching–learning practices. It was also revealed that the primary skills—listening and speaking—were neglected in the syllabus, classrooms, and assessment and testing systems, resulting in poor communication skills of the students in English. To overcome the shortcomings related to language skills development, objective-oriented and need-based initiatives are required.