In the last decades the study of foreign language(FL) abilities was oriented towards explicit manifestations and development of these abilities more than towards their theoretical
basis. Consequently, it sometimes happened that more attention was paid to some secondary FL abilities than to some primary FL abilities. The article gives the overview of conceptions of FL abilities and presents the analysis of FL abilities from the point ofview of pedagogy. The classification of primary and secondary FL abilities, cognitive (particularly intellectual) abilities, affective, social and communicative FL abilities is followed by the pedagogical requirement of the presence of multiple FL abilities and their varied development as the individual presumption of successful FL acquisition.