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How to Develop Effective Listening Skills

A student who develops effective listening will become a stronger and autonomous individual during the college years.

1. Effective listening begins in the classroom as an instructor explains the requirements for the course. When a Faculty member states that attendance will be taken in all classes and the final examination is worth 30% of the grade, the good listener pays strict attention to these and all details that are related by the teacher.

2. The process of listening develops as an individual reads the syllabus and asks questions about details that are unclear to the reader. Active listening skills relies on the understanding and perception of the details given in the lecture. Course details usually emanate from reading assignments. History or Psychology books discuss theories, dates, names and places that increase understanding of the subject matter. During a lecture, the student who has completed the reading assignment ahead of time possesses a more acute awareness of classroom explanations of textbook details. When students come prepared to class, there is a greater probability they will participate in the class as they are familiar with the concepts.

3. When a student develops the ability to listen to the lecture and fellow classmates, there is often a willingness to participate in the discussion and take a chance of expressing a personal opinion about a subject matter. The sense of autonomy as a strong student can develop during the first semester. The individual learns that the skills necessary for the course are usually emphasized by the instructor in the lectures, course outline, and textbook objectives.

4.. Many instructors will cue students about the types of questions that one should expect on examinations. If a concept is unclear during a lecture or reading , the concerned student should ask specific questions about the material, and pay strict attention to the explanation. Several people may ask questions about homework, and a good listener heeds these questions to increase understanding.

5. Effective listening is often accomplished in the classroom when distractions are kept to a minimum. Therefore, you should choose a seat that allows you to hear the lecture and view the blackboard with few limitations. Prompt arrival in the classroom allows the student to select a seat that encourages learning and minimizes noisy elements.

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