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The receptive skills are reading and listening. People read and listen for two primary reasons. One is for ascertainment. The other is for the purpose of reaching a particular goal, such as reading to understand how to bake bread. There are sub sets of receptive skills. They include scanning a text in order to find specific information, skimming a text to gain a general understanding of the subject, deducting from the content in order to possibly change one's action. The various forms of ESA teaching are applicable to teaching receptive skills. There are some problems that may be encountered in teaching receptive skills. The problems for reading include length of sentences, structure of the text, and the tendency of the students to focus on every word. Problems in teaching listening include the speed of the speaker, the inability to go back to catch a word or phrase, and the accent of the teacher.
It is important to choose a text carefully for receptive skill lessons. It may be necessary to pre-teach some vocabulary or grammar. It is important to choose a topic that is somewhat familiar to the students and one that will interest the students.