How to Enhance Listening Abilities for Students

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How to Enhance Listening Abilities for Students

listeningLearning requires listening.

Learning effectively requires effective listening.

Even though listening is one of the most important skills for effective learning most students are not good listeners. Since most of what you are required to learn is going to be communicated to by a teacher or professor it is imperative that you learn to list. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that hearing and listening are the same thing – they are very different! When you listen to what someone saying you are not only hearing what they are saying you are also processing what they are saying. The following are tips for improving your ability to listen:

Listen for meaning
Pay attention not only to the words being spoken by your teacher but to the thoughts and messages they convey. Identify the main idea, concept or subject being addressed and the relating issues. Listen for explanations, descriptions and clarifications. Again, don't just hear the words. Listen to the meanings being communicated.

Adjust your note taking style to the lecture
Poor listeners try write down everything, believing a detailed outline and effective notes are the same thing. They get frustrated when they cannot see the meaning behind what they are writing down or they go to review their notes and don't understand the concepts that were taught in class. Effective listeners adjust their note-taking to the lecture style. They listen to what is important, they try to understand concepts and they take notes that clarify, organize and reiterate important details of the lecture.

Tackle difficult -to -understand material
Frequently, when a teacher starts to lecture on a topic or concept that is difficult to understand students stop listening. They are hearing what the teacher is saying but they are not processing the information they are hearing. Effective listeners tackle difficult material and expand the brain power required to process what they are hearing even when it is difficult.

Concentrate and pay attention
Poor listeners frequently are poor at concentration. Effective listening requires that you concentrate and pay attention. Remove all thoughts of home, friends, fun and ancillary activities from you head while the teacher is speaking. Learning to focus and concentrate will help you become an effective listener and a much more effective student.

Be prepared
It is difficult to listen and mentally process what you're hearing when you come to your class unprepared. If your teacher gives you a reading assignment or homework designed to prepare you to understand a topic it is important that you are familiar with the topic before it is discussed in class. Being ready to listen means being prepared for each class ahead of time.

Focus on what is important
Poor listeners focus on facts alone. They may retain a few of those facts, but the information is usually garbled. Effective listeners focus on the main ideas, fundamental concepts and vital issues.

Choose to be interested

One of the most tell tale signs of a poor listeners is that they just can't find what the teacher is talking about to be interesting. As a consequence they don't listen with real intent and often miss important topics and details being addressed. Good listeners are able to decide to be interested in the subject matter being addressed by the teacher. As a result they listen more intently and effectively. ―

- Dr. Sulata Shenoy