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TET English Pedagogy Listening and Hearing 2012 Listening is the primary channel for learning languages. It's caring and trying to get meaning from what we hear. We met some people, listening and hearing as synonyms. But there are clear differences between the two.

Listening and Hearing: Hearing is a physical process of receiving sounds. Enjoying music while doing some work comes under hearing. Listening on the other hand is a conscious mental process or an active cognitive process listening is conscious and focused where as hearing is casual and general.

Definitions of listening: 'Listening is the ability to identify and understand what others are saying. This involves understanding a speaker's accent or pronunciation, his grammar and his vocabulary and grasping his meaning.'
- Howatt and Dakin

'Listening is an act involves decoding sounds and grasping the meaning behind them.' Listening is an active process. It can be depicted as: Input (Speaker's words) > Processing > Output (Listener's response)

Fathers of Listening: James Brown, Ralph Nichols and Carl Weaver were the eminent linguists of 1940s who established listening as a skill and are considered to be 'Fathers of Listening'.

Sub - Skills of Listening: The skill of listening many be classified into:
1) Listening for sound perception
2) Listening for comprehension

1. Listening for sound perception: This involves:
1) identifying sounds
2) Segmenting (separating) sounds into meaningful groups.
3) recognising stress and intonation patterns.

2) Listening for comprehension: This involves:
1) Understanding the meanings of the words.
2) Following commands or directions given orally
3) Understanding questions, dialogues, conversations
4) Understanding narrations or descriptions.
5) Understanding the tone of the speaker.

Kinds of Listening: Different situations require different types of listening. We may listen to obtain information, improve a relationship, gain appreciation for something make discrimination or engage in critical evaluation. Wohin and Coakley (1982) describe five different kinds of listening: discriminative, comprehensive, critical, therapeutic and appreciative. Discriminative listening makes the listener sensitive to arguments and language. It also enables the listener to distinguish fact from opinion. Comprehensive listening helps the listener to understand a message. Critical listening makes the listener to evaluate and then accept or reject a message. Therapeutic listening enables the listener not only understand the speaker's feelings but also help him to solve his problems. Appreciative listening is for enjoyment or to gain a sensory impression.


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