English is important for programing because most of our programing languages are based on English. We also need to search for the solution or choose the best tools for our project. English, the world's most widely used language, could let us find more answers.

What are your opinions for those 4 Language skills include Speaking, Listening, Writing and Speaking.

What is the most importance?
Could you give me the order?

From my perspective, I believe that it should be
From most to least important:
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Listening
4. Speaking


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By: Nozomi
ContributorWindows PhoneAndroidSymbian
on 10 September 2015 - 16:52 #841849
Nozomi's picture

They are equally important but unequally to learn and also practice.In my case, most of medical scientist are familiar to reading far away from other skills.

My listening is fare, although I tried to keep listen to podcast, series or animation at least 2-3 hours per day. In several time, I couldn't recognize what they said but it will be better if I see their facial expression or shape of mouth.

My speaking is quite bad. I used to use a technical terms or words from a literature and result in frustrated of listener. They said that they dont want to educate or reading journal article always, they need a human communication but I occasionally could not.

As I mentioned, they are equally important but unequally to improve.

By: mr_tawan
on 10 September 2015 - 22:28 #841929
mr_tawan's picture

Let's see, first and foremost I'd say reading is a requirement. You cannot be a good programmer without proper Engligh reading skill. Let's face it, codes are in English (except some i18n string), most up-to-date technical book is in English, larger devleper communities are in English, etc. So without an ability to learn things written in English, you are left behind by those who can. You have to rely on those are good in English to translate things to your mother languages.

(There are some programming languages that are based on other languages. I have come across Thai Pascal once if I'm not mistaken).

Anything else would be required when you have to intereact with others. If you want to join discussion on the website, then you'd have to write in English (otherwise you're banned from the community). If you joined a meeting (probably a barcamp or something) and there're some foreigner then you'd have to talk and listen English well. etc.

Of course the situation might change if there are many developers speaking the same mother-tongue langauges. Languages like Japanese, Chinese, or Spanish are pretty common in the developer communities. Sadly Thai is not one of them. We are currently minority.

If you happened to be in a bookstore in...says...Japan, just check the Computer bookshelf. You'd be surprised how large and up-to-date the collection they have got. In fact some books are even more recent than the English counterpart. Many books are translated to Japanese and available on the same day as its English original. I'd say Japan is one of the paradises for bookworms.

One area that I'd like to cover is ... grammar. People say it's not important. That's not true. You'd have to be able to speak first and it's true. But after that you have to be very good with grammar as well. You cannot write a good code without good grammar. Program is somehow written in English.

And for some of you who are still in the high school. I'd reccommend having a degree in an internation university (not university providing an internation degree :)), if you can afford it. Most graduate I've found takes time to adapt to the internation workplace environment. They have to re-learn English, and that's not fun. Some of them ended up with mediocre skill and cause them to get stucked somehow in the organization. Having 4-5 years of extensive English uses is an advantage over the other who don't by being familiar to the internation environment. Even if you don't want to be in the internation organization, you'd still be able to communicate to people outside your company who happens to be non-Thai native (e.g. Contractor, Out-source, Provider, etc.). And it's much easier to join the training course outside the company too.

Just my 2 cents.

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By: neizod
ContributorTraineeIn Love
on 11 September 2015 - 10:17 #841993
neizod's picture

Writing & reading are for individual development, which may take a year or two to mastering them. You'll feel like learning everything from the scratch for the other 2 skills.

Listening & speaking, on the other hand, are crucial for team development. It will takes years to mastering them, but once you completed, you'll learn the other 2 skills in no time.

So, my conclusion:

  • If you have less time and want to start programming asap: focus on writing & reading.
  • If you have plenty of time, or not sure that you'll go deep into programming: focus on listening & speaking.
By: benny on 2 January 2017 - 11:44 #962155

I recommend reading 1-2 books per month, watch some hollywood TV, some startup related videos and start engaging in intellectual discussions with native english speakers. No need to adopt the US/UK based dialect. If you stick to your own thoughts/accent, the value will surface itself, and people will be engaged.

Once you've built a base, then programming in english will come quite naturally. A few programming books will also help. If you're in an isolated environment, try listening to programming podcasts - I found this to be really helpful in my case

By: arthurmicheal on 20 December 2018 - 13:46 #1088261

Listening and speaking are the two major factors while reading and writing are also important but the first twos are the essentials of communication but in your case it's in reverse type. 7dollaressay.com reviews

By: chitsanupong
iPhoneWindows PhoneAndroidBlackberry
on 5 May 2019 - 16:04 #1108668 Reply to:1088261

Couldnt agree more!

By: mshafiq11 on 7 January 2019 - 18:24 #1090734
mshafiq11's picture

I recommend first reading then Listening and Writing on last Speaking

By: mshafiq11 on 7 January 2019 - 18:27 #1090735
mshafiq11's picture

I recommend first reading then Listening and Writing on last Speaking
learning from translators English

By: chitsanupong
iPhoneWindows PhoneAndroidBlackberry
on 5 May 2019 - 16:03 #1108667

I think its speaking and listening though reading is gradually important but let see if u read well but cant communicate with others then whats a matter?

By: big50000
on 1 September 2019 - 02:23 #1126191
big50000's picture

As I heard from many foreigners, listening skill is the most important part. And as my experience told me, reading skill can't help me that well as I watch YouTube tutorial videos or listen to teachers.

In my order:
1) Listening
2) Speaking
3) Reading
4) Writing

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By: LukeWright on 19 October 2019 - 19:46 #1133973

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