What is listening?
We were given two ears but only one mouth. This is because God knew that listening was twice as hard as talking. A student solved the problem of getting dad to listen from behind his protective paper wall. Her solution was to say, "Move your face, dad, when I'm talking to you.'' This simple solution will force even the poorest listener to adopt effective listening skills because it captures the essence of good listening. Which activity involves the most amount of listening? Students spend 20 percent of all school related hours just listening. If television watching and one-half of conversations are included, students spend approximately 50 percent of their waking hours just listening. For those hours spent in the classroom, the amount of listening time can be almost 100 percent. Listening is following and understanding the sound---it is hearing with a purpose. Good listening is built on three basic skills: attitude, attention, and adjustment. These skills are known collectively as triple-A listening. Listening is the absorption of the meanings of words and sentences by the brain. Listening leads to the understanding of facts and ideas. But listening takes attention, or sticking to the task at hand in spite of distractions. It requires concentration, which is the focusing of your thoughts upon one particular problem. A person who incorporates listening with concentration is actively listening. Active listening is a method of responding to another that encourages communication. Listening is a very important skill, especially for students . Many students tend to talk too much during a tutorial session. This defeats the purpose of tutoring, which is to allow students to learn by discussion. Rather than turning the session into a mini-lecture, tutors must actively listen and encourage their students to become active learners. Giving a student your full attention is sometimes difficult because you start to run out of time, or
you find yourself thinking about your next question; however, the time you spend actively listening to your student will result in a quality tutoring session.
Poor Listening Habits and Good Listening Habits
Poor Listening Habits
criticize the speaker's voice, Criticizing a speaker
realize that a lecture is not a
clothes, or looks. Therefore, they popularity contest. Good listeners decide that the speaker won`t say look for the ideas being presented, not anything important. become so involved in for things to criticize. listen with the mind, not the emotions. Good listeners jot down something they disagree with to ask the speaker later, then go on listening.
Finding fault with the speaker
disagreeing with something the speaker states that they stop listening to the remainder of the lecture use little distractions -- someone
Allowing yourself coughing, a pencil dropping, the filter out distractions and concentrate to be distracted door opening and closing -- as an on what the speaker is saying. excuse to stop listening. understand that speakers talk about look at the speaker but don't Faking attention listen. They expect to get the what they think is most important. Good listeners know that a good
material from the textbook later. lecture may not contain the same Forcing every information as the textbook. outline the lecture in detail. The adjust their style of note-taking to the
lecture into one format
listener is so concerned with organization that he misses the content. only want the facts. They consider everything else to be only the speaker's opinion.
speaker's topic and method of organization. want to see how the facts and
Listening only for facts
examples support the speaker's ideas and arguments. Good listeners know that facts are important, because they
support ideas. think it is too difficult to follow want to learn something new and try Listening to only the speaker's complicated ideas the easy material and logic.A poor listener wants entertainment, not education. Calling a subject decide a lecture is going to be boring dull and "turn out" the speaker. get upset at words which trigger Overreacting to "push button" certain emotions -- words such as communist, income tax, Hitler or listening ends. move along lazily with the Wasting thought speed speaker even though thinking is faster than speaking. A poor listener daydreams and falls behind. to understand the speaker's point. A good listener is not afraid of difficult, technical, or complicated ideas. listen closely for information that can be important and useful, even when a lecture is dull. hear these same words. When they do, they listen very carefully. A good listener tries to understand the speaker's point of view. use any extra time or pauses in the lecture to reflect on the speaker's message. They think about what the speaker is saying, summarize the main points, and think about the next points.
emotional words abortion. Emotion begins and
Look at these sites for improving your listening skills:
Commandments of Good Listening - as posted by the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program • the first ten - from K. Davis, Human Behavior at Work, McGraw Hill, 1972 1. Stop talking. Obvious, but not easy. 2. Put the speaker at ease. Create a permissive, supportive climate in which the speaker will feel free to express himself or herself. 3. Show a desire to listen. Act interested and mean it. 4. Remove distractions. External preoccupation is less likely if nothing external is present to preoccupy you. 5. Empathize. Try to experience to some degree the feelings the speaker is experiencing. 6. Be patient. Give the speaker time to finish; don't interrupt. 7. Hold your temper. Don't let your emotions obstruct your thoughts. 8. Go easy on argument and criticism. Suspend judgment. 9. Ask questions. If things are still unclear when a speaker has finished, ask questions which serve to clarify the intended meanings. 10.Stop talking. In case you missed the first commandment. • additional listening techniques - from P. Bradley and J. Baird, Communication for Business and the Professions, Brown, 1980 1. Preparation. If you know what the topic is ahead of time, learn something about it so you will not be an ignorant listener. Even some careful thinking will allow you to listen more accurately when the communication actually begins. 2. Seek intent. Try to discover the intent of the source; why is he or she saying these things? 3. Seek structure. Look for an organizational scheme of the message. If the speaker is an accomplished one, you won't have to look very -nhard; it will be obvious. But if the speaker is less skilled, the responsibility falls to you. 4. Analyze. Do not accept what you hear at face value; analyze what the speaker is saying and pay attention to body language. 5. Focus. Keep the main topic of the message in mind at all times, using it to bring focus to the information which the speaker supplies. 6. Motivate yourself. This may be the most important. Listening takes work, and to do that you may have to "psych yourself up."
To be a good speaker one must be able to convey ideas clearly and briefly. One must also have a clear and pleasant tone to his or her voice. This makes the person you are talking to more attentive, thus, more interested. The speaker must also be aware of his environment and the people he is speaking to. Environment plays a lot with what you say and try to convey to people. If you hear a bird chirping, you
might incorporate it to what you where just about to say. This makes the person you're talking to even more comfortable with what you are trying to convey with your thoughts and ideas. This is how different things can effect one's communication skill, speaking.
Speaking is the productive skill in the oral mode. It, like the other skills, is more complicated than it seems at first and involves more than just pronouncing words. There are three kinds of speaking situations in which students find themselves in interactive, partially interactive, and non-interactive. Interactive speaking situations include face-to-face conversations and telephone calls, in which we are alternately listening and speaking, and in which we have a chance to ask for clarification, repetition, or slower speech from our conversation partner. Some speaking situations are partially interactive, such as when giving a speech to a live audience, where the convention is that the audience does not interrupt the speech. The speaker nevertheless can see the audience and judge from the expressions on their faces and body language whether or not he or she is being understood. Some few speaking situations may be totally non-interactive, such as when recording a speech for a radio broadcast . Here are some of the micro-skills involved in speaking. The speaker has to:
pronounce the distinctive sounds of a language clearly enough so that people can distinguish them. This includes making tonal distinctions. use stress and rhythmic patterns, and intonation patterns of the language clearly enough so that people can understand what is said. use the correct forms of words. This may mean, for example, changes in the tense, case, or gender. put words together in correct word order. use vocabulary appropriately. use the register or language variety that is appropriate to the situation and the relationship to the conversation partner. make clear to the listener the main sentence constituents, such as subject, verb, object, by whatever means the language uses. make the main ideas stand out from supporting ideas or information. make the discourse hang together so that people can follow what you are saying.
WRITING SKILL Writing skills are specific abilities which help writers put their thoughts into words in a meaningful form and to mentally interact with the message. Student Writing goals as defined by hamtom (1989) Writers are independent when they are able to write without much assistance. Writers gain comprehensibility when they can write so that it can be read and understood by themselves and others. Writers are fluent when they are able to write smoothly and easily as well as understandably. Writers gain creativity when they can write their own ideas, not copying what has already been written, so that they can be read and understood.
Types of writing
Papers Professors will require you to write papers that have different purposes, depending on the discipline and the subject of the paper. They may require expository writing, in which you provide information or explain an idea. They may also require persuasive writing or argumentation, in which you persuade readers to take your point of view on a certain topic. These types of writing could
Of their lectures and the liblary Reading skills
You are expected to do much more reading at university than at school or college; it's not called ‘reading for a degree' for nothing. Here are five tips to help you improve your reading: 1. Styles of reading 2. Active reading 3. A tip for speeding up your active reading 4. Spotting authors' navigation aids 5. Words and vocabulary
READING SKILLS 1. Styles of reading
There are three styles of reading which we use in different situations:
Scanning: for a specific focus
The technique you use when you're looking up a name in the phone book: you move your eye quickly over the page to find particular words or phrases that are relevant to the task you're doing. It's useful to scan parts of texts to see if they're going to be useful to you: • the introduction or preface of a book • the first or last paragraphs of chapters • the concluding chapter of a book.
Skimming: for getting the gist of something
The technique you use when you're going through a newspaper or magazine: you read quickly to get the main points, and skip over the detail. It's useful to skim: • to preview a passage before you read it in detail • to refresh your understand of a passage after you've read it in detail.
Use skimming when you're trying to decide if a book in the library or bookshop is right for you.
Detailed reading: for extracting information accurately
Where you read every word, and work to learn from the text. In this careful reading, you may find it helpful to skim first, to get a general idea, but then go back to read in detail. Use a dictionary to make sure you understand all the words used.
2. Active reading
When you're reading for your course, you need to make sure you're actively involved with the text. It's a waste of your time to just passively read, the way you'd read a thriller on holiday. Always make notes to keep up your concentration and understanding. Here are four tips for active reading.
Underlining and highlighting
Pick out what you think are the most important parts of what you are reading. Do this with your own copy of texts or on photocopies, not with borrowed books. If you are a visual learner, you'll find it helpful to use different colours to highlight different aspects of what you're reading.
Note key words
Record the main headings as you read. Use one or two keywords for each point. When you don't want to mark the text, keep a folder of notes you make while reading.
Before you start reading something like an article, a chapter or a whole book, prepare for your reading by noting down questions you want the material to answer.
While you're reading, note down questions which the author raises.
Pause after you've read a section of text. Then: 1. put what you've read into your own words; 2. skim through the text and check how accurate your summary is and 3. fill in any gaps.
3. A tip for speeding up your active reading
You should learn a huge amount from your reading. If you read passively, without learning, you're wasting your time. So train your mind to learn. Try the SQ3R technique. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review.
Gather the information you need to focus on the work and set goals: • Read the title to help prepare for the subject • Read the introduction or summary to see what the author thinks are the key points • Notice the boldface headings to see what the structure is • Notice any maps, graphs or charts. They are there for a purpose • Notice the reading aids, italics, bold face, questions at the end of the chapter. They are all there to help you understand and remember.
Help your mind to engage and concentrate. Your mind is engaged in learning when it is actively looking for answers to questions. Try turning the boldface headings into questions you think the section should answer.
Read the first section with your questions in mind. Look for the answers, and make up new questions if necessary.
After each section, stop and think back to your questions. See if you can answer them from memory. If not, take a look back at the text. Do this as often as you need to.
Once you have finished the whole chapter, go back over all the questions from all the headings. See you if can still answer them. If not, look back and refresh your memory.See also: Taking notes, Gathering information
5. Words and vocabulary
When you're a graduate people expect you to use a vocabulary which is wider than a school-leaver's. To expand your vocabulary: Choose a large dictionary rather than one which is ‘compact' or ‘concise'. You want one which is big enough to define words clearly and helpfully (around 1,500 pages is a good size). Avoid dictionaries which send you round in circles by just giving synonyms. A pocket dictionary might suggest: ‘impetuous = rash'. A more comprehensive dictionary will tell you that impetuous means ‘rushing with force and violence', while another gives ‘liable to act without consideration', and add to your understanding by giving the derivation ‘14th century, from late Latin impetuous = violent'. It will tell you that rash means ‘acting without due consideration or thought', and is derived from Old High German rasc = hurried. So underlying these two similar words is the difference between violence and hurrying. There are over 600,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary; most of them have
different meanings, (only a small proportion are synonyms). Avoid dictionaries which send you round in circles by using very complicated language to define the term you're looking up, leaving you struggling to understand half a dozen new words. Keep your dictionary at hand when you're studying. Look up unfamiliar words and work to understand what they mean. Improve your vocabulary by reading widely. If you haven't got your dictionary with you, note down words which you don't understand and look them up later.