“How do you teach people to LISTEN better? Everyone seems to want very individualized instructions. They don’t listen to any of the instructions and then the minute they have a problem with the assignment they want me to explain it all over again to them, personally. It seems to be almost every teacher’s number one problem — how to teach listening skills…”
Many of us have faced, or are facing, this challenge. It can be frustrating to hear students asking, “What are we supposed to do?” within seconds of having explained instructions. There are, I think, some effective strategies to deal with this challenge.
Verbal/Written Instructions & Modeling
A major mistake many of us make is not providing verbal instructions before an activity. Extensive research emphasizes the importance of providing verbal and written instructions to English Language Learners and this classroom practice works well for all learners. This will not only reduce the number of repetitive student questions but it is also far easier for a teacher to point to the board in response to that inevitable repeated question, “What are we supposed to do?”
Lessons On Listening
Providing explicit lessons on the importance of listening is another way to help students improve their skills. After asking students to answer if and why they think being a good listener is important, and getting them to share what they believe are the qualities of a good listener, teachers could invite students to react to research results like this — first in small groups and then as a class:
Author: Larry Ferlazz, Teacher, Author
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