Expert Answers
pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To learn more about listening comprehension, you may want to look into Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner suggests that most people have a specific learning style or channel which works best for them. For instance, some people are visual thinkers who can easily picture things in their minds and who tend to comprehend and remember what they have seen, while auditory thinkers are more sound oriented, hearing things in their mind and more easily learning and recalling things they have heard. There is a list of other thinking styles in the link, but these two are the most commonly exploited in a traditional classroom. If you are low on the auditory learner scale, then listening comprehension can be a weak point, but that doesn't make it impossible.

I am extremely visual, and I suspect from her post here that litteacher8 is also. I hate having things read to me! But over the years I have learned some coping strategies. One is to remove visual distraction while you are trying to listen. Look down at a non-interesting surface, or better yet close your eyes if you can. Try to picture the action in your mind as you are hearing about it. Immediately after you have heard a selection, take a minute to write a few notes or a flow chart on what the passage was about, or what the flow of action was, or draw your visualization of one of the characters.

It may feel very awkward at first, rather like trying to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, but listening comprehension is just another skill, and it can be improved with practice.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When dealing with listening comprehension in literature, I find it helpful to have the written text in front of me as well.  Personally, I think it's very difficult to just listen and get all the information.  Although with some text, listening while reading is helpful.  For example, I took a course on Chaucer in college.  The original text is in middle english, which can be hard to understand.  I found it much easier to follow along with the text while listening to it read aloud.  It helped me understand the words rather than stumbling over pronunciation.  With things like that, it can be easier to hear than to read, but I would still recommend looking at the text while listening.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a very big difference between hearing and listening. Think about it this way: music is playing in the background of a restaurant, store, or even your bedroom. While you can 'hear' the music, listening to it is very different. One must 'tune' in to the music to comprehend what it is saying. Conversations are very similar.

Another example, your teacher is lecturing. You are 'hearing' words come out of the teacher's mouth, but your mind is somewhere else. Therefore, you are not 'listening' to what the teacher says- you are only hearing.

To listen, one must concentrate on what is being said, mentally process the words, and come to an understanding of the message.

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Listening comprehension is how well someone understands what they hear. In education there is often a distinction between those who are visual learners (who retain things better when they see them) and auditory learners (those who retain information simply by hearing it). For a student who struggles to remember what he has read when alone, we would wonder if he is a visual learner instead. For a student who reads notes and takes a test with ease, we might assume he is a visual learner. There are tests that can be given to determine if one aspect of learning is more dominant than another in an individual student.

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Listening comprehension comprises the apprehension of information through aural data. One element of this skill is to isolate relevant data from irrelevant data. This is significant in the contemporary world because, as never before, there is so much that can be attended to that is irrelevant to the goal at hand. It is significant in literature when narratives are read aloud or when dramatic performances are watched or when political speeches (such as those by Presidents or presidential candidates) are presented.

bigdreams1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are you asking how to improve your listening comprehension? If so, any time you can reinforce what you are hearing with another sense, you will  increase the chance that you will understand what is happening. For  example, if you are listening to a book on tape, it is very good to also read along with the text, or see pictures that will reinforce what you are hearing.


mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

More emphasis needs to be given to listening skills in the classroom setting as ours is now a video society--even music is watched!  Yet, even though presentations are made with powerpoint, etc. at the workplace, so often the supervisor, boss, etc. gives directions and orders verbally and workers must have the skills necessary to absorb information.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
It is much harder ro concentrate and get all the details when listening to literature rather than reading. You can't usually go back like you can when you are reading. In order to focus better, sometimes it's helpful just to realize you have to pay extra attention when listening and be even more on the ball. No multi-tasking!
kazmig | Student

listening comprehension is among four basic skills of language. It means ability of understanding listening. Listening comprehension is the human skill of knowing from his atmosphere. When we are in class room we use to listen our teachers and fellow students now, it is listening comprehension skill which enable us to guess and know what is said, what did the sender wants to express.