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Listening is More Than Merely Hearing Words

Listening is More Than Merely Hearing Words



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Published by Rekha Muru

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Published by: Rekha Muru on Sep 24, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Listening is more than merely hearing words. Listening is an active process by whichstudents receive, construct meaning from, and respond to spoken and or nonverbalmessages (Emmert, 1994). As such, it forms an integral part of the communication process and should not be separated from the other language arts. Listeningcomprehension complements reading comprehension. Verbally clarifying the spokenmessage before, during, and after a presentation enhances listening comprehension.Writing, in turn, clarifies and documents the spoken message.
An analysis of the skills involved in listening comprehension and techniques for developingthem in students looks first at elements of the general process of interpretation, showing theessential importance of the interpretative functions as contrasted with simple comprehensionof sounds and decoding of meaning. The first section looks at research on the factors in thelistening process and the language learner's tasks in interpretation. The second sectionanalyzes the problems second language students experience and teachers must attempt toresolve in the instruction of listening comprehension, especially in English as a secondlanguage. The factors affecting student processes of interpretation are categorized anddiscussed in three groups: linguistic, sociopsychological, and communicative. The final sectionoutlines theoretical and practical suggestions on how to overcome the problems withappropriate activities. The techniques are divided into three groups for use before, during, andafter listening, and emphasis is placed on exploitation of inexpensive materials for classroomuse. A bibliography is appended. (MSE)
Listening is an important part of the communication process. Thischapter developed the following points about effective listening:
A great deal of our communication time is devoted to listening.
Hearing is a biological process that involves the reception of a messagethrough sensory channels; it may be affected by all of our senses.
Listening is the active processing of the information we receive.
Listening involves reception, perception, attention, the assignment of meaning, and response by the listener to the message that has beenpresented.
Auditory acuity enhances an individual's ability to listen efficiently.
Listeners use the visual system as well as the hearing mechanism.
Attention represents the focus on a specific stimulus selected from allthe stimuli we receive at any given moment.
Making a summary of the ideas presented, or paraphrasing, can be ahelpful technique for sharpening concentration.
Both the interest level and the difficulty of the message affect ourlistening concentration.
Studies of compressed speech indicate that we can comprehend at amuch faster rate than people normally speak.
Putting a stimulus into some predetermined category enables a listenerto assign meaning to a message.
Schema are scripts for processing information.
The two hemispheres of the human brain process informationdifferently.
Once we have assigned meaning to a message, we continue the listeningprocess with an internal or an external response (feedback) to thatmessage.
Memory capacity can be increased by choosing to remember,visualizing what is to be remembered, associating the information withsomething familiar, and practicing with the material.
Listening influencers include the speaker, the message, the channel,noise, internal variables, attitude, memory, and time.
The effective listener receives, perceives, attends to, assigns meaning to,and responds to messages while being influenced by a wide range of factors that enhance or detract from the process at any given time.
There are five levels at which we listen: the discrimination level, thecomprehension level, the therapeutic level, the critical level, and theappreciation level.
Inciting words can interrupt good listening.
Listening to speeches requires an understanding of your own responseto the public communication and your adaptation of that response tothe communication purpose
What is listening and what can it do for you?
Listening is:
 taking information from the speakers, other people or ourselves, while remainingnonjudgmental and empathic. acknowledging the speakers in a way that invites the communication to continue.  provided thelimited, but encouraging imput to the talker's response carrying the person's idea one step forward. 
Effective listeners can reap numerous rewards:
 Increased sales Improved social ties Increased customer satisfaction Improved family relations Increased employee satisfaction Heightened self esteem Increased productivity Increased enjoyment Expanded informative base Enriched lives 
Ten Factors Influencing the Listening Process
Factor #1 Culture
 Communication scholars have come to recognize that culture is the primary determinantof all communication behaviors, including listening, because one's culture essentially serves todefine who one is and how one will communicate through one's perceptual filter. People mustrecognize tht what is considered "effective listening" in one culture may be totally inappropriate in another culture. 

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