An immigrant's ability to understand the spoken word is a preeminent English ability for labor-market success on average. Reading, writing, and speaking ability are not significantly predictors of immigrant wages after considering ability to understand the spoken word. The magnitude of the wage impact of understanding only is similar to that found in the literature on speaking only, suggesting their kinship in an underlying construct of English proficiency, and reinforcing the finding that language matters. These findings indicate that hearing and comprehending are perhaps most fundamental in the immigrant labor market. The findings also suggest that, after having achieved a given level of understanding of the spoken word, then improved skills in speaking, reading, and writing do matter to employers. Understanding is the key starting place to getting into the labor market and that subsequent incremental increases in productivity may require a greater array of English skills.