The Four Abilities Involved in Learning Languages
Learning a language is a task that is basically predicated on the learning of the four basic skills. Whenever possible, try and develop each of them simultaneously. (In fact, whatever ‘exercise’ you are doing will involve multiple abilities, whether you realize it or not!)
Speaking: Develop proper pronunciation skills and the ability to produce spontaneous speech.
Writing: Think in terms of phrases and expressions, not just words. Write them out as such: useful expressions, complete sentences, etc.
Listening: You have to develop the ability to decipher natural speech: idiomatic expressions, narrations, etc. Listen to audio accompaniments, movies, music, and native speakers as much as possible.
Reading: Pick up a newspaper or magazine, re-read the dialogues in your textbook out loud or silently. Find “readers” for your target language: books written for learners. Readers are especially useful because they give you the satisfaction of finishing a book and expose you to idiomatic language, varied vocabulary, and assorted verb tenses.