No matter how intelligent a student is, he will reap the benefits of his education only if he has developed adequate listening skills in the classroom. Teachers typically give direct instruction and then provide clarification as necessary. Students who listen keenly to directions and lectures -- rather than simply hearing them -- have distinct advantages. Efficient listening in the classroom saves time and results in improved academic and social skills.
Improved Communication Skills
Classroom dialogue is an integral part of the educational setting. Students interact with the teacher and one another when they offer thoughts, questions and ideas. Students who are in tune with class conversations are equipped to partake in the discussions. When students speak in front of a group in this type of informal setting, it prepares them for future endeavors in public speaking.
More Time on Task
Pupils who listen carefully in class can readily begin assignments. They do not waste time asking a lot of questions prior to starting their work. When a student is not effectively listening, he could make unnecessary mistakes that require him to redo parts of the assignment. The exercises often carry over as homework, causing the student to devote even more time. Students realize the effect that listening has on time management.
Increased Academic Understanding
Students who listen in class gain a better understanding of the content the teacher presents and can identify the fundamental concepts. Their concentration ultimately results in storage of information in memory. This helps the student when he needs to recall and build upon prior knowledge, especially in a subject such as math, which is based upon previous skill attainment. Good listeners are better equipped to connect to new ideas and content.
Enhanced Interpersonal Connections
Whether a student is part of a teacher's or a guest speaker's audience, he needs to earn that person's respect and confidence. When the student is attentive, the speaker feels valued and is subsequently more open to the student's suggestions and input. Teachers react favorably when their pupils make an effort to actively listen in class. Students also have a high regard for peers who listen intently to their comments and questions.
Sharpened Listening Skills
Teachers typically incorporate listening prompts and activities throughout the day. They use rhythm games with young students to teach them aggressive listening skills. They might repeat a phrase such as "All eyes on me" in order to gain students' attention. Boys and girls learn that eye contact is an integral part of the listening process. When students follow the teacher's prompts and suggestions, they develop strong listening skills that carry over to all facets of life.
Karen LoBello is coauthor of “The Great PJ Elf Chase: A Christmas Eve Tradition.” She began writing in 2009, following a career as a Nevada teacher. LoBello holds a bachelor's degree in K-8 education, a secondary degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in computer education.