The second most important task is speech recognition. Until relatively
recently, language teachers were often the only individuals at hand to
produce human speech in another language. That has changed radically.
In modern times, human speech is ubiquitous, at every corner of your
life and in any language you want. As a consequence, audio CDs, audio
books, Internet news, and TV, have supplanted teachers as prime speech
The impact of teachers on the third, fourth and fifth tasks – speaking,
reading, and writing – is equally limited.