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critically to information and then analyses it. When learners listen for informa-tion, they are required to distinguish information that is important and useful andthat which is not. A listener listens critically and analytically in order to determinethe speaker’s intention, to distinguish between facts and opinions, or to determinewhat part of the speaker’s message can or cannot be used..Listening with empathy.When listening empathetically, the listener attempts tounderstand the speaker’s point of view, his or her values, attitudes, emotions andfeelings.These types of listening often occur when conversations are taking place and shouldthus be taught as such.Learners should be helped to listen purposefully. The nature of listening tasks oftenvaries — it is thus important that you, the teacher, determine the purpose of eachlistening task. The learners must be told what the purpose of the listening task is andthe teacher must ensure that the learners understand exactly what is expected ofthem: listening for the main idea (e.g. ask the learners to summarise the story in twosentences), listening for cause and effect, listening for detail, distinguishing betweenfacts and opinions, selecting descriptive words, et cetera. It is also important that youset realistic outcomes for your learners, because these will enable you to assess thelistening process meaningfully at the end of the activity. If you do not tell the learnerswhat they are expected to achieve by the end of an activity (outcome), they will haveno way of knowing if they have achieved it. Learners must be taught how todetermine for themselves what the speaker intends with his or her communication.You could use the following questions to help the learners with this orientation:.To whom and I listening and for what reason?.Why is something being said?.What should I pay particular attention that will help me with the listening task?.Why should I listen?.What can I do with the information I obtain?The last question shows that the listening task must be clear and realistic.You should always make a conscious effort to create the right listening atmosphereand to prepare learners for active listening. The learners should know that they areexpected to listen and that they will have to do something with that which they haveheard at the end of the listening activity.72
Journal entry 5fExplain how you would create the correct listening atmosphere in your language class.Learners should be encouraged to master the following techniques during listeningexperiences:.Predict the purpose of the piece..Predict what will happen next..Try to predict the speaker’s following thought. It is often possible to predict whatthe main thought will be based on the information provided by the speaker..Learners should also be taught to make regular mental summaries of whatspeakers are saying or have said..Evaluation of information: information should be evaluated continuously. Youcould, for example, ask the following questions:— Did I understand the speaker correctly?— How does the speaker’s comment relate to my own experience?