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The Young Teacher's Guide To Empowering Students With Powerful Listening Skills

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

Listening, as the complimentary aspect of the spoken language, is often neglected as a skill by the teacher. We teach our students how to speak but we rarely spend time teaching them how to listen effectively. I believe listening effectively is a most important skill because, in class, that is what the students spend more time doing - listening.

Listening skills are just as important to the teacher as they are to the student. They, too, must have powerful listening skills to interpret what students ask so that they can give the correct answers.

One of the common complaints that teachers make about students is that they don't listen well. Perhaps, it is not that they don't listen. It is that they don't know how to listen effectively. Therefore, we must teach our students how to listen effectively and powerfully.

The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas on how to create powerful listeners. If you are able to do this, then you will create more successful learners and you will become a less frustrated teacher.

Here are a few ideas on how you might go about solving this problem.

Encourage your students to sit with good posture. It should be comfortable but keep students active and not too relaxed.Encourage your students to eat well and drink enough water to prevent tiredness of the brain due to dehydration and lack of energy.Encourage your students to get the required hours of sleep to allow them to stay on task.

These initial ideas are suggesting that your students need to be physically ready to listen before they can listen effectively. Now, if they are physically ready, then we can teach students the skills of powerful listening which include:

Keeping their eyes on the teacher. Watching what he/she is talking about. Doing this brings into play the visual aspect of learning which is the most powerful. Watching the body language, facial expressions and the gestures used. This helps the student gain a better understanding of what is being said. The physical aspect of the speaker's presentation will reinforce the important ideas to be remembered and learnt. Noting the speed, stress, pause, loudness of the words the teacher uses. This gives you further evidence of what is important. Teaching students how to make quick shorthand notes, particularly if they want to ask a question. They must ensure that they can read their 'shorthand notes' back. Encouraging them to ask questions as soon as possible after they arise in their mind. The teacher is then aware of to what the question is related. Then, the student can use the answer immediately to enhance learning and continue to be involved in the listening process and not lost through lack of understanding. Encouraging students to ask follow-up questions to gain further clarification, if necessary. Encouraging the development of listening skills by using competitive listening games such as "Chinese Whispers". 'Selling' your next lesson to give the class a sense of expectancy.

Listening is the skill least taught in our classrooms. We all hear the sounds of a voice speaking but are we actually listening? The difference between hearing and listening is that the first is passive while the second is active. The strategies above are all about teaching the students to be active listeners. If they are, then they are in an active learning mode. That is what we, as teachers, desire of our students.

For further information on this topic, go to http://www.realteachingsolutions.com and the eBook "The Speaking and Listening Book". Our author, Rick Boyce, had over 45 years' experience in the classroom. Since retirement, he has spent many years in primary classrooms as a relief teacher where he found that students often had poor listening skills. He always spent some time teaching students how to be good listeners. This article and the eBook above are a result of that experience.

Source: EzineArticles
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