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Listening to Peers


ELA: ^Other ^21st Century Skills MS/HS/College Strategy


Auditory Processing Expressive Language Listening Comprehension Social Awareness Attention Verbal Memory

Listening to Peers

If your student has difficulty listening and participating in small group conversations

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will learn effective communication, which relies on speaking skills, but also good listening skills and responding to your audience appropriately. The student guide on the next slide provides steps to get started.

*students* Guide: Effective Listening

  1. Give the speaker your full attention. This includes putting away or silencing your devices.
  2. Rather than focusing on what you want to say next, actively listen and respond to what the speaker is saying.
  3. If you are having difficulty staying focused on what another person is saying, try repeating the words in your head as you hear them.
  4. When appropriate, re-state what the person said by prefacing with words such as, "Just to clarify..." or, "To be sure I understood you, you believe that..."
  5. Acknowledge to the other person that you are listening and interested. Give a simple nod or "yes", or ask an occasional question, throughout the conversation.
  6. Be aware of nonverbal signals. If you are talking to someone whose eyes are scanning the room or feet are shifting, it might mean he is not fully engaged or needs to leave. You might then transition the conversation or politely offer a way out by saying, "Let's continue this conversation another day."
  7. Offer a point of view. Sharing your perspective shows that you were listening and care enough to have your own response. It is, of course, always fair to ask for time to consider all that you heard. What is most important is that the speaker knows you were listening and thinking.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Four of the top 10 skills in the World Economic Forum's list of most important career skills are directly related to listening to others (people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence and negotiation). Yet recent studies show that students have declining social skills as a result of social media usage. It is important that students understand the appropriate behaviors expected of them when listening so they can develop these key skills.