ERIC Number: ED347578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-3
Reference Count: N/A
Critical Listening--A Neglected Skill.
Hunsaker, Richard A.
Despite the current enthusiasm for teaching critical thinking and the need acknowledged by many educators to improve students' speaking and listening skills, very few schools have actually put critical listening skills into their curricula. One reason listening skills have been so slow in becoming a part of the formal instruction program at most schools is that many people confuse "listening" with "hearing." Listening is actually more than hearing as it involves sensing, interpretation, evaluation, and response as well. Furthermore, it is through speaking and listening that students acquire knowledge, develop language, and increase their understanding of themselves. As students learn language, they learn to think, and the pervasiveness of language itself in the teaching of any subject suggests that the teaching of listening skills can be a primary strategy in the development of critical thinking skills. Some of the skills needed for effective critical listening are: (1) evaluating the strength of the speaker's main ideas and the quality of supporting evidence; (2) recognizing the difference between fact and opinion; and (3) recognizing the use of loaded language, stereotypes, and/or emotional appeals. These skills can and should be taught in schools. Authors such as Joan Sayre and Harvey Weiss offer guidelines for developing better listening, and outline critical listening skills. By using these resources and by combining and applying the ideas of philosophers and neurolinguists, listening instructors can develop principles, practices and exercises that establish the ways and means of listening critically. (Twenty-four references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Critical Listening
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).