Source : Marie Jones , ehow.com
Listening is a skill that most students use daily without much thought, but unlike reading or writing, many students have not spent time developing and improving their listening skills. According to ERIC Digest, listening is one of the first language tools that children acquire, yet teachers often struggle to cultivate a student's listening skills. With careful preparation, you can teach listening skills in your classroom, regardless of your classroom size or subject.
- Explain the importance of good listening skills to your class. Listening is the foundation of learning and students who comprehend the things they hear--regardless of the subject matter--will perform better in the class. It is easy for some students to drift off or daydream during an uninteresting lecture, but encourage students to try to find something of interest in what the speaker is saying in order to pay attention and listen as closely as possible.
- Demonstrate that body language, such as eye contact, plays a part in listening. Encourage students to practice maintaining good eye contact during a discussion. Praise students who demonstrate good eye contact skills during class time, but also encourage students who struggle with maintaining eye contact. Eye contact helps prevent a student's mind from wandering far from the subject matter. Also remind students that good posture and sitting up straight in their chairs lets the speaker know that the students are, in fact, paying attention.
- Discuss listening etiquette with students. Explain to students that one of the most important aspects of listening is patience and that interrupting a speaker, even to clarify a point, is impolite. Tell your student to write down any words or concepts he has difficulty understanding so he can ask the speaker later what he meant.
- Play listening games in class. Activities add variety and excitement to a task that might otherwise become dull. For a language class, say a word or phrase in a foreign language and reward the first student to correctly translate what you said. If you are teaching a math class, state a simple problem out loud and encourage students to solve it as quickly as possible. For younger learners, share a short story and ask students to explain the primary concept or main idea of what you shared. Each of these activities will force students to listen as closely as possible to you during the activity.