Attentive listeners are usually good learners. Unfortunately, many students have poor listening skills, which can be very problematic because students spend considerable time in classrooms listening to lectures during college. Many students believe they are good listeners, unfortunately they don't fully appreciate the difference between hearing and listening.
Attentive listeners not only hear, they effectively process the information presented to them. The the following tips and strategies will help you be a more attentive listener:.
Listening for meaning is a form of active listening. Active and attentive listeners not only pay attention to words, they also focus on the intent of each word—the message a word is intended to communicate. To decipher messages, first determine the central idea being communicated. Then pay close attention to anecdotes, explanations, and other details meant to clarify meaning. While you work to improve listening skills, always pay close attention to the central focus of what is being relayed.
While you're listening, and after the listen task has ended, check your comprehension. Did what you learn make sense within the context of the topic or central idea being communicated?
Monitoring and checking comprehension makes sure that you're active listening strategy is working. Ineffective listeners often attempt to jot down every detail from a lecture. They are under the impression that a detailed outline equates to good notes. Students who utilize this strategy often get discouraged when they review their notes only to find the breadth, detail and lack of focus in their note-taking is confusing and leaves them unable to identify central themes and important topics.
Effective listeners adapt their note-taking to the teaching styles of their teachers and lectures. They focus on central ideas and jot down details that expand on, or clarify, the central concepts of a lecture.
It's not uncommon for students tune out professors when they start discussing confusing or complex topics. Even when it's possible to hear every word during a lecture, it can be very difficult to process confusing or complicated concepts. Good listeners harness their mental faculties to process what is being presented.
People who struggle with listening often have a difficult time concentrating. Good listeners must work to develop the ability to concentrate and ignore distractions. This requires the ability to tune out personal worries, thoughts about family members and friends, and thoughts about upcoming activities. Those who can hone the ability to concentrate can improve listening skills. If you do not complete required reading or review notes from previous lectures prior to class, it is very difficult to process information and attentively listen to lectures.
This is why you should never neglect to complete reading or other class assignments. Attending a lecture prepare provides you the background knowledge required to be an effective listener—and an effective student.
One of the keys of effective listening is the ability to concentrate on central ideas and main focuses. It is a mistake to only be concerned about facts and extemporaneous detail during a lecture. In other words, effective listeners focus on the stories or ideas behind the facts. They then are able to pick up on the supporting fact, details and evidence for the main concepts, ideals and topics being discussed.
Many people tune out lectures because they're bored or disinterested.How can learners improve their listening comprehension? Teacher Raphael Ahmed shares some useful strategies in one of our top five articles of all time, illustrated by artist Jamie Johnson.
The speaker, the situation and the listener can all be the cause of these difficulties. Imagine you've just turned on your TV. What do you imagine he is about to tell you? You can expect to hear words like 'sunny', 'windy' and 'overcast'. You'll probably hear the use of the future tense: 'It'll be a cold start to the day'; 'there'll be showers in the afternoon', etc.
Depending on the context — a news report, a university lecture, an exchange in a supermarket — you can often predict the kind of words and style of language the speaker will use.
Our knowledge of the world helps us anticipate the kind of information we are likely to hear. Watch or listen to a recorded TV programme or clip from YouTube. Pause after every few sentences. Try to predict what is going to happen or what the speaker might say next. If you are taking a listening test, skim through the questions first and try to predict what kind of information you need to listen out for.
Imagine you are a superhero flying in the sky.
Strategies to Improve English Listening Skills
How much did you understand the first time? Return to the video a week later and try again. These words, which link ideas, help us to understand what the speaker is talking about and where they are taking us. Most course books for learners of English come with a CD and audio script. Then check your notes with the audio script.
You can ignore anything that does not sound relevant. In this way, you are able to narrow down your search and get the detail you need. Imagine you are a tourist in a country whose language you do not speak. Similarly, we can infer the relationship between people from the words they use, without having to find out directly. Take the following conversation:. By using contextual clues and our knowledge of the world, we can work out what's being said, who is speaking and what's taking place.
Now, rather than watch it, just listen to the dialogue.Listening is a soft skill that allows people to understand the information others convey to them. It is part of the communication skill set that includes speaking skills, also known as verbal communicationand interpersonal skills. While hearing is a physical ability—one of our five senses—listening is a skill that an individual can acquire and improve upon over the course of their lifetime. Good listening skills will help you excel in most occupations, but excellent listening skills are essential in some.
Individuals who are hearing impaired can be great listeners, and those who have excellent hearing can be poor listeners. Listening skills require the ability to receive and interpret information regardless of how one receives it.
Good listening skills are imperative to succeeding at work. They allow you to successfully carry out your job duties, get along with your boss and coworkers, and serve your customers and clients.
When a manager gives instructions on how to complete a task, good listening skills will let you understand their expectations. Your ability to complete the task successfully increases. Excellent communication skills, including listening skills, are at the foundation of all good relationships. Workplace relationships are no exception. Being able to understand what your coworkers allows you to build rapport with them.
This is instrumental when working in a team-based environment. Clients and customers will also benefit from your good listening skills. To fulfill their needs you must be able to understand what they are.
Obstacles may interfere with your ability to understand what someone is saying. They include both external and internal factors. The speaker's foreign accent or speech impediment could make it difficult to understand them. Background noise such as the sounds of traffic or loud music can also impede your ability to listen.
Internal factors may also hamper you. Your own biases and prejudices may present a significant barrier. For instance, you may not take someone seriously because of your preconceived notions about them. Anxiety or anger can also make it harder to understand what someone is saying. Your own attention difficulties could also be a problem. If you encounter one or more of these roadblocks, try your best to deal with them.
For example, ask someone with a heavy accent to speak more slowly. Move to a quieter place if background noise is interfering with your ability to take in information.
Conquering your biases or prejudices is more difficult, but being aware of them is a good place to start. Excellent listening skills are necessary to perform the primary job duties of these and other occupations:.
Career Planning Skills and Training. Full Bio Follow Linkedin. Follow Twitter. She is a former writer for The Balance Careers. Read The Balance's editorial policies. You Can Be a Great Listener Without Good Hearing Ability Individuals who are hearing impaired can be great listeners, and those who have excellent hearing can be poor listeners.If you experience hearing loss, the following active listening strategies will enhance your communication with other people to create a more positive communicative environment than hearing aids alone can provide.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider. People with hearing loss can benefit from signaling and substitution systems, which convert sound or key strokes into another mode.
Learn more. Patient Education. Related Conditions. Hearing Loss. Look at the person who is speaking. Position yourself to get a full view of the face, not just a profile view. A lot of information can be obtained by watching as well as by listening.
Although no one can gain all of the information by sight alone, everyone has some ability to speech read; that is, to obtain information on what is being said by watching a speaker's lips, facial expressions, gestures, body language, etc.
Wear your glasses when indicated. They will help you to speech read. Sit with your better ear, if one is better than the other, toward the speaker. Reduce the distance between you and the person talking.
The ideal distance is approximately three to five feet. Avoid carrying on conversations from another room. Concentrate on the thought or ideas that the speaker is expressing rather than straining to understand every word that is said. Don't get discouraged or give up if you miss a few words. Speech is commonly redundant and predictable. Try to be aware of the topic of conversation and environmental cues that may help you to make educated guesses.
Friends can be coached to give occasional leads about the subject being discussed. They can unobtrusively say, "We are discussing the housing problem," or you might quietly ask someone in the group to tell you what they are discussing.
Become familiar with the way different people express themselves such as facial expressions, vocabulary, sentence structure, accent or dialect, etc.
Maintain an active interest in people and events. Knowledge about national and world affairs, as well as those of your community and friends, will help you to follow many discussions or conversations more readily. Don't be afraid that people will think you are staring at them while you are trying to understand what they are saying.
It is always polite to look at the person who is talking. Don't bluff and nod as if you understand when you don't. It is better to ask questions than to continue along the wrong path. Don't hesitate to ask someone to clarify information you may have missed.
In order to reduce frustration on both sides, it is helpful to be very specific about what you have missed so that the person does not have to repeat the whole message. You may also want to ask the person not just to repeat the information, but also to rephrase it so that words you have difficulty hearing can be replaced with words that are easier to hear.
Tell the speaker specifically which part of what they've just said you did not understand.Many of us take the time to ensure that students are not only hearing the words that we speak, but actually taking a moment to let it soak in and really listen to them. While this may be quite a challenge for many of us, it is possible for students to actively listen as we teach.
Effective Listening Skills
Here are 10 teaching strategies to help students listen today. Many times we are formulating what we want to say next, while trying to listen to what our students are trying to say. While we should be listening intently to every word, it can be quite obvious that our thoughts are elsewhere.
Try modeling good listening skills by restating what the student talking has said. This will show your students that were listening to ever word they said.
You can also use these teaching strategies to see if students were listening to you as well.5 TOEFL Listening Mistakes Every Student Makes
Research shows that students are more likely to listen to a teacher who has taken the time to get to know them, versus those who have not. They are also more likely to listen to someone whom they know on a more personal level, than to someone who they do not.
Take the time to really get to know your students, their hobbies, who their friends are, and so on. And let them get to know who you are. You can easily do this by playing a getting-to-know you game in the beginning of the school yearor having them fill out a student questionnaire. A wonderful way to sharpen those listening skills is to use a non-verbal hand signal. It can go something like this, "After I read the following statement, I would like to you to hold up one finger if you agree with it, or two fingers if you disagree with it.
How Teachers can Utilize Zoom for Online Learning With the shift to distance learning, having the right instruction tools is How to Celebrate World Health Day With the ongoing global health pandemic, teaching students about health is as What is Maker Education? Engage your students and get them excited about learning with Maker Education Most of the time teachers spend the majority of their day talking and lecturing to students.
But listening to you talk does not ensure that students are actually learning. What you want to do is talk less and have students talk more. Try several mini-lessons through the day where students listen for shorter periods of time, and talk amongst their group about what they are learning. Listening to others speak is just as informative as listening to you speak. With all of the educational technology that is out there today, why not give that a try?
Carefully select a movie, documentary, or app that will teach students about what they are learning. Any of these ideas will be good alternatives. Another great way to inspire active listening is to give students a task. Have students partner up and discuss what they heard you, the teacher talk about. Each day give students a few moments to compare notes or talk with their neighbors about anything that they may have missed.
If you really want your students to listen to you when you talk then you must hold them accountable for listening. Instead of giving them all of the notes or key concepts that they need to know, only give them half of them. The other half they will have to listen to you to get. By providing only an outline for them to follow, you are ensuring that they will listen to you as you speak.Students must use strategies that make them active, not passive, listeners.
Students who use before- during- and after-listening strategies develop skills that enable them to monitor their own metacognitive processes.
To demonstrate good listening strategies, teachers should preselect short audio articles or lecture excerpts that are normally used in their classes and describe for students what kind of thinking they can do before, during and after listening. Connect Help yourself better understand a listening assignment by thinking of things you already know about a topic. This helps your mind build connections between what you know and new information you will hear.
He runs to get a sock and brings it to me. Predict Make guesses about what you may learn as you listen. Guessing helps your brain focus on the assignment. Talk About New Words If there is a list of preselected vocabulary words from the assignment, go through the list and think about what you know about them.
Have a brief conversation in your head to clarify key words. Sometimes, a rough sketch, such as a dollar sign in front of affluentcan give you quick help as you listen. During-Listening Strategies. Listen for Answers As you listen, be listening for answers to questions you have. To identify questions to ask, preview activities you need to complete after you listen or turn the title of an assignment into a question.
Take Notes Write notes that help you remember ideas. Outlining and layering information is always a good idea, but try other imaginative ways of taking notes: Use connected circles and shapes, create a chart, or draw a map. Speakers also convey ideas in nonverbal ways. The best way to fix things is to re-listen. Sometimes a quick backtracking and re-listening to a line or two can quickly clear up confusion. This is especially important at the beginning of an audio assignment.
Do you need to look up the meaning of some words, can you write down your questions, or should you try to summarize what you have understood so far? After-Listening Strategies. Respond What do you agree and disagree with? What parts do you like best? What parts are confusing? Use symbols, such an exclamation mark!
Summarize Read your lecture notes several times before and after class all week. In your head, summarize what the assignment was about and test yourself on your notes.Are you a good listener? After all, people with this ability are more likely to understand tasks and projects, build strong relationships with co-workers, and also be able to solve problems and resolve conflicts.
Employers will look for you to demonstrate listening skills during job interviews. Discover why good listening skills are vital in the workplace. Also, learn how to build good listening habits while avoiding bad ones. Listening within the work context is the process by which you gain an understanding of the needs, demands, and preferences of your stakeholders through direct interaction. A stakeholder could be anyone from your boss, a client, customer, co-worker, subordinate, upper management, board member, interviewer, or job candidate.
Good listeners always strive to fully understand what others want to communicate, particularly when the statement lacks clarity. Active listeners also show their curiosity by asking questions. Do this, and you will make a great impression. Through body language and other cues, good listeners subtly communicate to the speaker that they're listening.
Additionally, they encourage and welcome the thoughts, opinions, and feelings of others. One way to demonstrate active listening is to allow the interviewer to complete each question and statement before responding. Do not interrupt and be sure that your responses genuinely answers the question.
Remember that it's perfectly fine to take a few moments to frame the right response. Doing so shows that you've fully absorbed the speaker's words and are considerate enough to formulate the best answer. Interrupting indicates that your listening skills are underdeveloped. Likewise, responding in a way that fails to answer the question will reflect poorly on your listening skills, especially in a job interview. Talking too much is also problematic, as proper conversations should be well balanced, with parties getting equal time to speak.
Monopolizing a conversation prevents you from listening and the other party from fully expressing what they want to say.
In the end, this will lead to you making a poor impression. Looking distracted is also a quality of a poor listener. This could involve anything from avoiding eye contact to checking your phone or watch while someone else is talking. However, there may be some soft and hard skills that offer more value than others, depending on the career field.
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