Speaking and Listening - 10 Useful Tips
The Importance of Speaking and Listening
The importance of clear speaking and listening within a learning environment, by both teacher and learner, cannot be stressed enough. Imparting knowledge to learners within a learning situation requires that teachers are good communicators and learners are motivated to acquire the knowledge being taught.
Speaking and listening to learners encourages them to talk to you and this strengthens the bond between teacher and student. The ability to listen and respond with empathy and sensitivity in all situations is a learned skill and you will get better at it the more you practice.
Be mindful of listening and getting the correct message and giving a well thought out response which is appropriate to the situation. Be careful you are not listening and commenting on good news and happy situations only. Fear, anger and sadness are all feelings that need to be validated and listened to carefully because they usually require greater effort to understand and respond to.
Tips for Encouraging Speaking and Listening
- Be mindful that development of oral language and listening skill are different in each learner. Communicate in an age appropriate way. Remember children think differently to adults.
- Set aside time for talking and listening to your learners. This can be as simple as what they did at the weekend or as complex as helping solve a problem.
- Be open to talking about all kinds of feelings and guiding appropriate behaviours.
- Pace your discussions. Allow the learner to stop speaking before you respond. This will ensure they are satisfied you have heard them.
- Use language the learner will understand. Show you are listening by repeating back what the learner has said.
- Don’t always solve the problem but give cues that will allow the learner to come to their own conclusion.
- Watch the non- verbal language and pick up on cues. This means you need to give your full attention to the learner
- Hold good eye contact and give appropriate body language.
- Show you are interested by saying “Tell me more…” or “What happened then…..”.
- Be honest and avoid criticism. Ask the learner “Do you understand what I am saying?”
If you are speaking and listening to your learners from day one of the school year you will very quickly build rapport, trust and confidence in your ability to teach them and their ability to hear what you say and respond with appropriate speaking and listening skills.
Effective speaking and listening is very important when interacting with children.