6 Easy Steps
Effective English listening abilities not only clarify the real concepts but also help develop a resourceful, self-reliant person who can solve his problems whether social or domestic through listening to others in a proper way.
The second important input element in the learning of quality English is listening. Effective listening abilities not only clarify the real concepts but also help develop a resourceful, self-reliant person who can solve his problems whether social or domestic through listening to others in a proper way. But, how to do so is effectively shown by the following tactics.
Here, I want to tell you that first I myself followed all of these tips and improved my English a lot and then applied them wholeheartedly to my students with the same astonishing results. So, all of you may also follow suit.
1. Be Bold to Maintain Eye Contact While Facing a Speaker
There come very irritating and frustrating feelings when someone whom you are talking to is not fully focused and attentive to your talk. At that time, you may even tempt to demand, “look at me when I am talking to you”. The same goes to the other person when you are not attentive to whatever he is saying. With respect to psychology, Eye contact is a basic ingredient of effective communication, so do the courtesy of turning your face to your conversational partners.
Now, in the process of learning the quality English, this very gesture helps a lot improve the effective English listening on your part. If you are hesitant out of shyness, uncertainty, guilt or any other emotions, be bold and courageous to overcome all these hindrances to an effective English listening. In the beginning,
I myself used to be shy and hesitant about looking into the eyes of the speaker and was not able to grasp a lot of what the speaker said to me. Then gradually I overcame this shyness and hesitation and things improved for me a lot.
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2. Be Relaxed, But Focused
Having made your eye contact, get relax. No need to stare fixedly at the other person. Do one more favour to yourself by mentally screening out all the distractions like background activity, noise, etc.
Moreover, try to focus on what the speaker is saying instead of notifying his accent or speech mannerism to the point where they become distractions. Another important thing is that you should never be distracted by your own inner thoughts, feelings or biases.
A number of my students were in such habits and I had to work pretty hard to get them rid of these fruitless habits. And then, later on, they admitted that it gave them a wealth of advantage to have recovered from these habits once for all.
3. Be an Open-minded Listener
Never indulge yourself in judgemental amusements because in this way you will compromise your effectiveness as a listener. Be a patient listener without jumping to conclusions because you never know exactly the thoughts and feelings inside the speaker’s brain but you can find all of them if you only listen to him patiently.
The worst thing which inhibits the English listening process is your being a sentence-grabber because it irritates the speaker to a point where he doesn’t like to speak anymore.
There was one of my colleagues who was severely in this habit and we often tried to avoid his company because of the discomfort he would give us by grabbing up our sentences. So, always keep your mental pace enough to listen effectively rather than to interrupt and finish the speaker’s sentences. sentence grabbing always keeps you following your own train of thoughts instead of grasping the speaker’s. So, keep your mind quite open and unbiased whenever you listen to others.
4. Try to Picture What You Listen
Making a mental model of the information being spoken to you will help you retain the things in your mind for a long period. Instead of listening to what the other person is speaking, if you keep planning what to say next in reply, you will never be able to understand the whole conversation with true letter and spirits.
So, immediately force yourself to refocus if you find your thoughts wandering about.
Years back, I used to teach a group of students who often forgot whatever I advised them to do. When inquired about deeply, it revealed that they actually did not listen to the things properly and, hence, they could not get them clear to themselves and consequently got them vanished from their minds.
I advised them to try to picture out what they listened from me. They did so and the things improved very shortly to our mutual satisfaction.
5. Ask Only Worthwhile Questions
This is my personal experience that I often got too much irritated by the irrelevant questions on the part of some of my students who never bothered to be involved in the topic. Sometimes, I even had to snub them for their foolishness.
If you ever happen not to understand something, you should ask your speaker a clarifying question, but never in the sense of interrupting him but only when he takes a pause in his speech.
Your questions should be meant to ensure understanding and not to detract the whole conversation from the actual path. Whenever you feel that your irrelevant questions have led the speaker astray, it is your responsibility to get the conversation back to the original topic.
So, you can see that if you read different sorts of text at least for 30 minutes daily while following the above-said techniques, you will improve your ability to read the quality English quite readily and appreciably.
6. Give the Speaker Your Regular Feedback
Your regular feedback about what you have just listened from the speaker is the proof that you have really been listening and following his train of thoughts. You will never be able to do so if you get indulged in your own fantasies while listening to the speaker.
I always used to admire the students who would give me their quick feedback either by their actual wording or through their body gestures like nodding, shaking, winking, etc.
Sometimes, you have to deal with task situations. Here, it will always be better to restate instructions and messages to be sure you understand correctly. It will also please the speaker that his message has fully been conveyed.
Concludingly, these are the vital steps to improve the English listening abilities and achieve the great goal of quality English.