How could listening be a skill?
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Listening is a skill precisely because we need to practise and develop it. We are not all born to be natural listeners, as any visit to a school will show you. We all have to learn to listen, and this is a key skill that we need to develop in order to be successful in so many areas of life. This is why many English programmes explicitly identify listening as a skill that has to be evidenced. For example, in the courses that I teach, we are currently doing a unit on speaking and listening which involves learners having to carry out a debate. Obviously, to successfully debate, learners have to listen very carefully to the points that others make, before responding to them by arguing against them or supporting them.
It is amazing to see the way that some learners really struggle with this activity, as they are unable to focus on what the learner said before them. They need to develop their listening skills. The fact that listening is a "skill" therefore helps us to identify the way that it is something that we have to work on and that we are not all born with the gift of being good listeners. I have included a link below that will tell you more about this important skill and give you some strategies as to how you can develop your own listening skills.
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