This paper surveys some of the changes in teaching the four language skills in the past 15 years. It focuses on two main changes for each skill: understanding spoken language and willingness to communicate for speaking; product, process, and genre approaches and a focus on feedback for writing; extensive reading and literature for reading; and decoding and metacognitive awareness for listening. This overview, however, suggests that changes in theoretical understandings and in teacher training often do not filter down to the classroom and that change is context dependent to a very high degree. Overall, some of the changes that have been at work in language teaching since the 1970s may not have reached classrooms in compulsory education around the world.

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