Proper Listening Skills

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There are a number of factors that often hinder learners’ acquisition of proper listening and speaking skills. According to Bass and Davis (n.d), environmental, emotional, physical and personal factors often hinder successful listening.
Environmental factors such as extensive noise from the surroundings can often affect a learner’s acquisition of proper listening skills. Sounds from people e.g. a noisy laughter from other classrooms or cheerful screams can often disrupt the process of teaching and learning. If the school is situated in a noisy area then this adds to the problem as the noise from the nearby neighborhood can be a detriment to students.
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory (1978) and Bronfenbrenners ecological theory (1986) further
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Students that have acquired a brain injury may completely lose the ability to speak or grasp language.
Learning disabilities such as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can affect listening and speaking skills. Many definitions are complex but basically APD is a problem understanding the meaning of incoming sounds (Flexer, 1994). Students may be able to hear the sound they lack the ability to decipher what the sound actually means. This in turn could affect their progress at school as communication and interpreting is of vital importance in the process of teaching and learning.
Language can serve as a major barrier to literacy as well as listening and speaking skills. When a student is taught in a language other than that of their home language, it affects both their listening and speaking skills. They are unable to understand what is being taught from an elementary stage in their schooling years and this hinders them from actually acquiring good listening skills because some learners choose not to listen to what is being taught. Due to the fact that they cannot really understand what is being taught, students would not be able to speak the language
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The activity involves ‘listening between the lines for an implied message’. If students are experiencing personal problems at home then teachers can use the above strategy to listen to students and give the adequate advice.
According to Haynes, Moran & Pindzola (2005), classroom educators are not required to be experts on the habilitation of hearing impaired students however they can employ certain strategies to assist students with hearing impairment. The first is to provide a favorable seating arrangement for students. The hearing- impaired student should be seated close to the educator and away from noisy and disruptive students. In this way they would receive important information and remain interested in the lesson.
Garwood (1976), suggested S-P- E-E-C-H as a mnemonic device to help remember important factors when teachers are trying to communicate with hearing impaired students. S- State the topic, P- Pause conversation at a relatively moderate pace in an attempt to allow occasional pauses to help with communication, E-enunciate clearly without unnecessary lip movements. E- Enthusiastically communicate with the aid of body language and natural gestures, CH- Check comprehension before the topic is changed. Inquire if students understand what was taught and there should be an evaluation of their understanding ( Garwood,
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