Listening is one of the most underrated skills when we talk about learning English (language). People tend to focus more on speaking, fluency, and words, but listening is prime in the process of learning any language.
Think of the process of learning your mother tongue. What was the first action listening or speaking? The answer is clear, it was listening. We listen to others and understand, then we start imitating them and soon we achieve fluency.
But, is listening really easy? Are you good at listening?
Listening is more than just listening, it is about understanding, it’s about processing the information and comprehending it well.
Types of Listening
There are two types of listening. The first one is active listening and the other one is passive listening.
The latter means to passively listen to something with the purpose of enjoying it or otherwise. Whereas active listening means listening to something with focus to understand and comprehend it well. The example of passive listening is listening to songs while doing household chores, however, if you are taking a lecture in class you focus and pay attention which is active listening. Let’s understand this a little better.
Active listening means reacting or responding to what you are listening to. It involves questions and feedback. Listener concentrates, understands, responds, and then remembers what was said. Active listeners demonstrate some natural non-verbal cues like nodding, making eye contact, and acknowledging by sounds as huh etc.
Passive listening is listening without any reaction or response. There is no question or feedback involved and the listener may move to other topics while listening. Listening to music or news is an example of passive listening.