Listening skills and 4 types of listening

four types of listening
Listening is a person’s ability to receive a message, construct meaning from it and then responding to the sender.

What are Listening Skills?

Listening is one of the four language skills. Listening skills and speaking skills work together. In this article, we will learn about listening skills and types of listening. If you are looking for B.Ed. Notes relater to subject language across the curriculum please visit this page for all the articles related to Language across Curriculum notes.

To understand and speak a language students should have the ability to find the difference between sounds used in the language. To develop listening and speaking skills learner should

  • learn the characteristics of the speech of language
  • the sounds of the language
  • stress and intonation patterns used in the language

Listening is not the same as hearing It is not a passive task. Listening is an active task that involves:

  1. Receiving information
  2. Understanding and processing the meaning of the information received
  3. Remembering and retaining the information
  4. Evaluating and sorting out the information (you me still not a speaker)
  5. Responding to the information being received.

Teachers can train learners can in their listening skills through various activities. For example,
The teacher speaks pairs of words or sentences and students say whether they are the same or different For example-
Teacher: Dear/dear
Student: different.
Apart from this teachers can use the following listening skills activities. These activities can promote interaction among students and develop their listening skills.
(1) A Game of telephone
In this game, one person whispers some sentence to the person sitting next to him and information travels from one person to another until it reaches the last person available. Now the final person in the group should say the message aloud. Now the first person reads the message and the group note how much message was distorted from its original form. If the group is large it is very unlikely that the message has not been changed at least a little bit.
This shed a light on how information gets distorted as a result of inattentiveness and passivity.
(2) Read a short story and have learners paraphrase it. Different learners may interpret information differently
Teachers can also train students in listening skills through:

  • doing listening practice,
  • listening to records and
  • listening pre-recorded cassettes having conversational speed.

Four types of listening

There are four types of listening namely

  • Discriminative Listening
  • Comprehensive Listening
  • Informational Listening
  • Critical Listening

We will discuss each one of them in this article. Listening is one of the four language skills and is critical for the learner to gain language proficiency. Listening involves sender, message and receiver. It is a psychological process and it involves

  1. Receiving message
  2. Constructing meaning from it
  3. Responding to (spoken/non-verbal) messages.

Discriminative listening

  • Discriminative Listening first develop at a very early age (even before birth) 
  • This is the most basic form of listening.
  • This type of listening is not about understanding the meaning of words or phrases. Here, in this case, the different sounds that are produced are recognized by the child. 
  • Example – Even in early childhood child knows that the voice of the father sounds different from that of the mother. 
  • D.L. develops throughout a person’s childhood and keeps on developing until the person reaches adulthood. 
  • As we grow older we gain more life experience and our ability to distinguish between different sounds is improved. 
  • Being able to distinguish the subtleties of sound made by somebody who is I happy or sad, angry of stress, for example, ultimately adds to what is actually being said and it does and comprehension. 

Comprehensive Listening

  • It involves understanding the message that is being communicated.
  • In order to use comprehensive listening and gain understanding, the listener must possess appropriate vocabulary and language skills. 
  • CL may be complicated as two different people listening to the same thing may understand the message is to be different ways.
  • So in many listening situations, it is vital to see clarification and use skills such as reflection and comprehension.

Informational Listening

  • Whenever you are listening to learn something you are involved in Informational Listening 
  • IL is less active than many other types of listening.
  • In this type of listening, we are talking about new information and facts.  Here we are not criticizing or analyzing. 
  • Informational Listening in case of work setting or in education is often accompanied by note-taking.

Note-taking- Way of recording key information so that it can be received later.

Critical Listening

  • A person is said to be involved in critical listening if he is evaluating what is being said. 
  • Critical listening is much more active in behavior than informational listening.
  • It usually involves some sort of problem-solving or decision making.
  • It involves the analysis of the information being received and alignment with what we already know.
  • Listening to some messages critically does not mean that the information is flawed. It is rather engaging in what you are listening to.

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