How to Make Students Listen to You

Making the students listen and pay attention to the teacher is one of the most important soft skills that a teacher should have. It makes the learning more engaging. The purpose of teaching can only be fulfilled when the students are good listeners. It also motivates the teacher towards their profession. There will be no point in delivering quality content if the student does not listen to the teacher. This skill apparently becomes much more important in online teaching. Making sure the students are being good listeners is important for delivering the content effectively and assessing whatever is being taught is being received correctly or not.

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Tips to make students listen:

Make the learning more interactive and engaging: Teachers should develop unique methods of teaching to attract the student’s attention. Give real-life examples to make the subject more realistic and interesting. This strategy is imperative in the lower grades. Acquiring the attention of students in lower grades is a tough task. Teachers should use presentations or animations to make the learning more interactive and engaging for them. Students in higher grades usually need a little push to indulge in the learning process.

Avoid Repetitions: Too many repetitions produce lazy listening in the students. Say it once loud and clear. When students develop the habit of listening twice or thrice, they don’t put their focus when the concept is being explained for the first time. But if the concept is complex, do ask around if anyone is having a problem understanding that.

Develop relationships with students: Teachers should develop a relationship of mutual respect with students. Mutual respect is developed when you know each other very well. Talk with students and ask them about their day, share some mood lighting moments. Help them solve their life problems. All these activities help the teacher to know their students better. Students who respect their teacher do a better job of listening in the class.

Ask questions during teaching: Ask questions in between delivering the lesson. Ask them to explain what they just heard. Create questions to check whether they were listening or not. This method develops concentration while studying and students listen carefully. Answering questions while being taught makes the concept clear and crystal.

Motivate students and tell them the importance of listening: Good listeners are both rare and valued. Motivate them by using quotes like, “ If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” Tell them the good results of listening. For eg. One can become a good speaker only if he/she is a good listener. Teach the students valuable listening skills lessons.

Keep the content precise and to the point: The content to be delivered should be kept precise and to the point to attract the attention of the students. Students do not concentrate for large time and hence the effort of teachers go in vain. If the content is large find suitable ways to make it interesting like adding animations etc.

Organize Debates: Teachers should organize debates in class as it improves both speaking as well as listening skills. In debates, students will have to focus to speak against the other team, and hence listening skill improves. Award the winning team to make it more interesting and competitive.

Using signals and cues: Using signals is a very encouraging method to promote listening and engaging in instruction at the same time. Teachers should specify some signal language to be used at the time of teaching so that the whole class does not get disturbed. For eg. Raising your hand to ask the question instead of asking vocally. Using cues is another way to promote listening. When the students know that cues will be given to start work, they are more attentive.

Dictate words and ask them to write spelling: This is one of the effective ways to improve listening skills for lower grades. Apart from the listening skill, it also improves the vocabulary. When teachers dictate words students listen carefully so that they can write the spelling correctly.

Contributed by:
Edmund Hinkel