What is hearing understanding

Listening comprehension: Listening properly is important

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About the author

Hildegard Dierks has been working as an online author and editor for various target groups, e.g. parents, for many years. Her main topics include all topics related to primary school, foreign language learning, music education, computer-aided learning, but also school policy issues.

by Hildegard Dierks

© S. Hofschlaeger - Pixelio.de
Good hearing and listening properly are usually essential for successful learning. We perceive noises, voices or noise all the time. Unlike looking away, hearing away is not that easy. Continuous loud sound makes us hard of hearing and sick. Teachers are relatively likely to suffer from noise-induced tinnitus, a condition that promotes early incapacity. Schoolchildren make noise but also complain about noise in the classroom to their parents at home. The dimensions of hearing, understanding the texts heard and listening in class are very complex.

Show noise with the noise light?

In classrooms it is not only loud from screaming and gossiping students but also from moving chairs. In classrooms, the design often creates an unfavorable reverb. In addition, sitting still in class has long since fallen into disrepute. It stands for authoritarian teaching and harmful sedentary lifestyle.

But silence in class has important advantages. In order to be able to learn in a concentrated manner, to be able to listen to each other in class, we need a low noise level. Fortunately, although people's hearing loss is increasing and listening comprehension is decreasing, the majority of teachers and students have good hearing. It is important to preserve this.

A technical means of choice could be the so-called Noise light which indicates listening comprehension. The noise light is based on a traffic light. It is set appropriately, shows red, often combined with an acoustic signal, if the noise is so great that learning is difficult.

Noise lights can relieve the teacher a little. However, it does not help to reduce the noise and improve listening comprehension. At this point, technology cannot replace the pedagogical experience of the teacher. In difficult classes, the noise traffic light can even have a disadvantageous effect on the production of noise in order to test the noise traffic light.

Reduce noise

Students should be made aware early on how important it is to protect their own hearing in order to keep them healthy. There are suggestions on the topic in class, for example, on the website www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

The materials address, among other things, the determination of noise sources, the effects of noise on people as well as conscious listening and listening comprehension (writing audio diaries) and, above all, noise reduction measures.

In addition to a more cognitive development of the topic, there are a number of experience-intensive, simple exercises for silence in the classroom. As part of relaxation exercises, the psychologist Volker Friebel recommends silent exercises, for example "The open window" or "The fading sound". They can be implemented in everyday school life with little effort, especially for children of primary school age.

At the "Open window" Children sit at the open window with their eyes closed and are asked to hear all the noises and words they hear from outside. After a phase of perception, they open their eyes, report what they have heard or paint on what they have heard. In practice "The fading sound" Children sit in a circle of chairs with their eyes closed. The teacher strikes a note with the triangle, a singing bowl or a gong. Ask the children to raise their hands when the note has died away for them.

Practice listening comprehension

Listening comprehension is traditionally a topic in foreign language lessons in order to get the students used to the pronunciation and sentence melody of the foreign language.

But also our mother tongue is a trained listening comprehension. In order to be able to follow lectures at the university, radio reports or similar lectures, a trained listening comprehension is still essential. Some strategies for better listening comprehension can help and are particularly an issue for older students.

Often lectures or lectures are presented or a short text is available in written form. It's for a good reason. The introduction is a kind of short preparation for the topic and the listener can spontaneously activate existing knowledge on the topic. His prior knowledge helps to better understand the text that is then heard.

It is also helpful for a better listening comprehension to be aware of your own interest in the lecture. Which questions do you expect answers to? Are there key words that can be recognized or experienced?

If listening comprehension is part of an exam, there are usually certain task formats, for example fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice tasks that determine targeted listening to find certain information. So students need to know that in these contexts it is not global listening that is required, but targeted listening. Sometimes taking notes can improve listening skills.

To improve listening comprehension, it is also necessary to practice questions and ask to repeat something, for example on the phone, if possible.

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