How to Improve Listening and Listening Comprehension Skills

Listening and Listening Comprehension 

After studying this lesson you will be in a position to understand the process of listening, the difference between hearing and listening, effective and ineffective listening or active and passive listening, and barriers 0f listening.


Listening is an important aspect of the communication system. It is a process of receiving and interpreting spoken words. After listening other activities of group discussion or interview process or discussion starts.

Listening Process

The listening process starts from sensing the spoken words listening, their encoding i.e. they are interpreted, evaluated, and their response is given.

Hearing and Listening

Hearing and listening are different from the point of view of their result-oriented action. Hearing is involuntary, happens automatically, is passive while listening is a voluntary, active, two-way process, and provides us tangible response.

Types of listening

Listening are of six types namely superficial listening, appreciative listening, Focused listening, evaluated listening, attentive listening, and emphatic listening. It is always done with a purpose.

Purpose of listening

  • To get an introductory idea
  • To understand the main points
  • To get speakers ideas
  • To get different viewpoints
  • To get a broad understanding of subject matter
  • Understand new changes
  • Seek views from their own point of view. 

Effective and Ineffective Listening

An effective listening listener is clear of the purpose of listening, understands language, pays attention to the speech, concentrates on main points, asks questions on points not understood, has background knowledge of the subject, interprets, analyzes, and able to use different strategies.

Barriers to listening

  •  Barriers can be Physical, Psychological, linguistic, cultural, unimproved listening comprehension.
  • Listening comprehension involves subject matter, spoken decoding, comprehending, and oral discourse analysis.
  • Speech decoding involves sound perception and recognition, words recognition, and accent recognition
  • Comprehending involves the ability to identify central themes, main theme, main ideas, supporting details.concentrate on long talks, deduce incomplete information, and decode unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Oral discourse analysis involves understanding critical skills, attitude analysis, and inferential skill s

Rules for Good Listening

There are 10 thumb rules. Stop talking, stop thinking, remove distractions, do not your mind wander, but speakers at ease, do not prejudge, be patient, do not be angry, empathize with the speaker, and take notes.

Active Listening Practice

Pay attention, show interest, take notes, avoid distraction, respond non verbally, attentive listening, use non-verbal skills, improve speakers contribution, ask relevant questions, clarify doubts, and analyzing after talk helps in better understanding

Listening in Conversational Interaction

Many times you will face two-way conversation. Here you should listen to conversational signals, evaluate, be careful while labeling, use attention signals, adjust your pace of listening, work hard at listening.

Listening and Taking Notes

Note-taking is defined as the process of writing down quickly, briefly, and important points. It involves summering and paraphrasing the message. Techniques of note-taking include four important steps-Listen(follow the ten rules of good listening, deduce the meaning of words, recognize key terms, recognize non-verbal cues, interpret), filter(do not write everything), filter info received, concentrate on main points identify ), paraphrase and tack notes.

Listening Comprehension

For example, a cobbler. It is a great thing to take a pride in our work. Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. Even in the humblest task, we should be ambitious to do it as well as we can, if possible better than anyone else. For example, a cobbler should not think that because his job is a humble one, it can be scamper and done anyhow: he should be determined to make better shoes than any other cobbler: and a tinker should take pride in mending even an old kettle better than any other tinker can.

What do you think?

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