Listening Skills | Form Five and Form Six Tanzania

A man listening music

Listening refers to the conscious attempt to hear or receive messages through our ears. Listening differ from hearing in that listening is intentional.
Listening strategies
The following are the strategies to follow in order to be an effective listener.
1. Have desire to listen
Listening will be effective if we have interest in understanding what the speaker is talking about. So you are advised to tell your mind that you want to understand and therefore you want to concentrate on what is being spoken.
2. Postpone judgement
It is advisable not to judge the speaker basing on his/her appearance. Do not concentrate on clothes, reputation, speaking style etc. You should concentrate on what the speaker is speaking about. Concentrating on the speaker’s appearance may make you miss important message
3. Be physically and mental alert
You have to listen carefully to what the speaker is saying, do not allow other thoughts in your head. Also you are advised to face the speaker.
4. Observe
As you look at the speaker, you are advised to carefully observe what the speaker is doing on stage. This will make you benefit from verbal and non verbal clues which will in turn, help you identify important points because important points tend to be emphasized.
5. Avoid things that act as barrier
In order to be able to listen and understand what is being said, it is advisable to avoid staying with things that might make you misunderstand. Those things are like sitting next to a friend who likes talking while the speaker present. Also, dress according to the weather because sometimes people fail to pay attention because it is too cold or too hot.
6. Do not disturb
When someone is speaking, you are a listener, so do not talk unnecessarily. Listening fully will make you understand what the speaker means by what he/she talk about. By paying attention without interruption, you will encourage the speaker to keep talking.
Listening and note taking
When you are in a class, you are advised to listen very carefully so that you can take notes. Failure to listen carefully may make you miss some useful points. The following are things to do for taking notes in class:
1. Be brief
You are supposed to write only things that you think are important. Do not write every word spoken. Instead, write enough to represent what will spark your memory later.
2. Use abbreviation and symbols
This can help you to save time and write many words. The following are some common symbols that many people use when taking notes:
> greater than
< less than
# number
? Question
W/o without
U you
C see
You the symbol that will rekindle your memory later.
3. use point form
The use of things such as bullets, dashes, Arabic and Roman numbers, lettering and listing are the ways that we use to separate one point from the other. Heading and subheadings are also significant in separating one point form the other. Notes may take formats like the following:
I. ………………………
II. ….……………………
III. ….……………………
a. ………………………
b. ….…………………..
c. ….……………………
4. Pay attention to signal words
There are words that show contrast while others show addition and many other relationship between different things spoken at different stages of communication. The following are signal words:
To show contrast
But, on the other hand, however, other wise, yet, despite, in spite of, although, still, notwithstanding, even though, on the contrary, by contrast, nevertheless.
To show result
So, because, consequently, as a result, for that reason, then, hence, therefore, thus
To show addition
Again, and, another, in addition, moreover, furthermore, also, too, besides
To summarise or conclude
Finally, in short, in summary, in conclusion, to sum up, to conclude, in other words, on the whole, in brief
To give examples
For example, for instance
To express conditions
If, unless, when
To show similarity
Likewise, similarly, equally
To show amount
Many, most, several, smaller, lower, few
To strengthen or intensify points
Essentially, exactly, indeed, totally, extremely, undeniably, basically, without a doubt, unquestionably, entirely
To show place
Beside, near, adjacent to, opposite to, over there, below, under, beyond, across
To show purpose
With this in mind, for this purpose, in order to, so as to, so that
Distinguishing fact and opinions as you listen
Opinion is a judgement that someone think its true. On the contrary, a fact is defined as something which can be proved through available evidence.
A statement “Nyerere was the first president of Tanzania” is a fact. You can be given available evidence. By contrast, the statement Nyerere was the best president of Africa is an opinion. Opinions are based on people’s beliefs.
How to identify fact and opinions in speech?
1. Facts are verifiable
Something is a fact, it can be proved through evidence or by referring to story available records.
2. Facts may be predictive
For example, if someone says ‘he will win this year’s election’ its an opinion because anything can happen and its difficult to predict. But when someone says in the night there will be darkness that is a fact.

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