Nationwide Delivery To Your Doorstep
Guaranteed 90 Day Test Period

Ssh! Are you listening?

No Image
posted on 

Now that you're not teaching in FRONT of the classroom during lockdown, have you pondered about certain aspects of your teaching life?

When forced to remove yourself from your normal day-to-day activities, you often start to see things in a new light.

At least it got me thinking about listening skills in the classroom.  

And it hit me. 

As teachers we often take it for granted that our learners have the ability to listen and understand.  

We seldom take time to sharpen the listening skills as they get older.  

We seldom check for understanding.  

As teachers we just carry on teaching and assume that those who want to learn will listen and those who are ill-disciplined will fiddle and fall behind.

We are SO WRONG.

Listening is as much a skill as is talking.  

In our syllabus we spend quite a bit of time on speaking and very little on listening.  

We assess speeches and conversation skills, spending many a lesson on explaining how the learners should plan a presentation.  On the other hand, we overlook the flipside of the coin.  

If our learners were taught how to listen and their listening skills developed they would be able to:

  • Follow instructions for class assignments
  • Pick up on the tone of your voice when you are serious
  • Understand written work better
  • Follow instructions for assessments better
  • Be less anxious and will ask you to repeat an instruction less

I know, I know your next question is HOW do you up-skill listening skills!

You improve the listening skills of the learners in your class by making them aware of sound and the meaning of sound.

  • This would entail stopping everything and being quiet.  Now ask each learner to listen to sounds far away (like trucks rumbling on the highway in the distance).  Then ask them to listen to sounds that are closer but not inside the classroom (like the cars driving past or the teacher next door talking).  Second lastly you ask them to find a sound within the classroom (like the desks creaking or someone moving).  Lastly you ask them to listen to their own breathing.  This exercise has the added advantage of restoring calm in a classroom and lowering anxiety.
  • During a music lesson use various musical instruments and teach the learners the names of these.  Now ask them to close their eyes and identify each instrument by the sound.  For the older learners of grade three you could introduce listening to classical music and asking them to identify musical instruments such as the harp, the violin, the piano and the flute. You will be amazed at how difficult they find this.
  • Play a game where the learners have to imitate the sound of water using their hands:
    • Rain splattering on a window pane  (clicking of fingers work well)
    • Running water (rubbing palms together as a group)
    • Big drop of rain dropping into a bowl of water (clicking of the tongues
    • Now sing a song and use some of these “nature sounds” in the song.
  • Read to your learners EVERY day.  Keep in mind that few parents still have the opportunity to read out load to the learners since the learners themselves might prefer audio-visual entertainment.  Choose stories that have a strong element of rhyming and rich vocabulary.  Stop from time to time to ask learners to describe events from the story.  Explain “difficult” words.  Use the story time to show grammar in action by pointing out compound words, active and passive voice as well as proper pronunciation.

In conclusion, there is much more to say on the subject and many more games a teacher can play to enhance listening skills in Foundation Phase.  

To find out more register up your FREE account today with TEACHERS TV here.

TEACHERS TV is Educanda's Online Professional Development Platform for Teachers with accredited courses and access to teaching tips & techniques to support teachers in the classroom. Register your FREE account today and again access to a weekly interview with an Educational Expert and a monthly Teaching Tip in your eMail inbox. 

Showing page 1 of INF pages

Blogger Profiles

  • Heleen Johnson

    Heleen Johnson is an Occupational Therapist with over 35 years of experience in the field of Education. Read more here.

  • Karen Leigh Benkenstein

    Karen Leigh Benkenstein is a fully qualified Foundation Phase Teacher, specializing in Special Needs children. She has taught children with a variety of educational and emotional barriers. Read more here.

  • Rachel Carey

    Rachel Carey has been working as a children's Occupational Therapist for the past 10 years. she has worked in both special needs and mainstream settings with children with a range of challenges and difficulties. Read more here.

  • Carla Kuhlmey

    Carla Kuhlmey taught in the Foundation Phase for 12 years before discovering a passion for helping learners with specific difficulties. She is currently working at a well known KZN Prep school as the Academic Support Teacher. She has been supporting parents and children at the school for the past 5 years.  

  • Charmaine Kendal

    With over 40 years of teaching and management experience, Charmaine Kendal has a wealth of wisdom to offer teachers.  The valuable lessons she has learned in the classroom and as deputy principal have equipped her with the skills to mentor and guide newly qualified teachers as well as to support more experienced staff. She is a published author, publishing youth literature and contributing to a number of textbooks. Charmaine has lectured education at tertiary level and has designed learning modules for education students. 

  • Lee Louw

    Lee Louw is a qualified pre-primary teacher with more than 20 years of experience. She has taught children from age 3 up to 8 as well as lecturing adults. She combines her work with Educanda with teaching ECD at a college. She has written 4 textbooks and 2 lecturers’ guides in the Educare field.