Early Childhood Education: Improving Listening Skills

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Table of Contents

  • What Is Listening
  • Theory of Basic Skills
  • The Importance of Listening Skills
  • Stage One: Sound Detection
  • Stage Two: Sound Difference
  • Stage Three: Sound Identification
  • Stage Four: Sound Perception
  • First Activities
  • Second Activities
  • Reference

What Is Listening

Listening is an activity. It is an important activity, dominated by its widespread use in life. Accordingly, it is estimated that about 60% of the time will be spent simply listening. With so much time spent listening, listeners need to have effective listening skills to receive the best message possible in order to understand all the things an individual wants to say. Listening to messages to be delivered in the various languages ​​and languages ​​they need to interpret in their understanding. If someone has difficulty understanding the message they hear it is probably due to the weakness of the listener receiving and analyzing the message.

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Listening skills also have two differences between 'listening' and 'hearing'. 'What is hearing and listening'? let's talk about what 'hearing' really is, it's physical hearing, it means that the sound is heard by our ears, but it is not refined by our thoughts, so anything we hear in the past is ineffective. But 'Listening' also involves the active effort of our mind and the full attention of what we hear through our ears. So listening effectively is like listening in English which is a serious process that cannot be done simply by relying on habits, reflexes or feelings. Effective listening is an effort to connect the dots that sometimes reveal the hidden advice we need to know. Unfortunately, we pay less attention to the importance of listening effectively, often resulting in miscommunication, misunderstandings or reactions from unwanted listeners. One study shows that an average person spends one third of their time in an organization listening. So if we have good listening skills, the time we spend listening to it will be more meaningful.

<p></p><p>One of the important factors to increase language learning is to improve listening skills. Listening is one of the earliest processes to help someone master their language skills. Because language acquisition cannot be mastered early in children's development of language development, listening skills can only produce responses through gestures or sounds that only their parents can understand. Children are less exposed to these listening activities because they do not yet understand the specific meaning of their parents' speech. Therefore, these skills need to be taught step by step so that the child can hear everything they want to say. The mastery of listening skills can enhance children's understanding of a language. This is because children can use language for the purpose of establishing communication and for interacting with parents and the surrounding community.

Listening involves three basic things: listening, understanding and evaluating. Listening means that someone is paying attention to what is being said. Further understanding also means taking what we have heard and understanding it in our own way. Assuming that, once we understand what someone is saying, we start to wonder if the statement has any meaning and whether we can just accept it without thinking.

Listening is a language or non-language input through the human hearing aid, which is one of the body organs known as the ear. The input of language input in the form of absorption of sentence meaning and subsequent speech is done by the brain for processing. Some think that listening is an art activity that refers to the art of listening and understanding what a speaker is saying. The concept of listening also refers to the activity of focusing on something achieved by the ear, for example responding to sound.

Theory of Basic Skills

The basic theory of listening skills, listening skills is a process of receiving or understanding the meaning and response of a conversation or non-conversation to hear something that involves the process of the mind or the mind. According to him, there are two effective ways of communicating, namely, depending on the conversation and the hearing. According to John Othman in the book 'Language Pedagogy', hears that listening is an important language skill and needs to be intensively studied, especially when studying in primary and secondary schools as it is in the syllabus. Listening activity is important to master because its use is so widespread in everyday life. At higher levels, students listen for a long time before trying to speak. Listening skills also provide opportunities for students to understand the meaning of the message they hear in that language. It can also help students improve their ability to use language better. Since students do not master these listening skills well, they cannot concentrate and do not understand what the teacher is saying during the classroom. Also, According to a communication expert Paul Rankin (1929), 70% of our daytime sleep is used to communicate and 45% is used to hear something. While 30% is used for conversation or conversation, 16% of your communication time is spent reading and only 9% of your time is spent writing. Studies conducted by most experts show that about 85% of our knowledge is acquired through hearing. Furthermore, According to Markgraf (1957) quoted by Koh Boh Boon in his book 'Perspectives on the Teaching of Bahasa Malaysia', the study of high school students shows that these students have spent 46% of their time in school listen only and 60% of the listening activity is to listen to the teacher talk. Further, there are several surveys conducted on the importance of listening skills taught outside and in the classroom. In conclusion, this listening skill is part of the process of communication between humans. Listening is an active activity mentally because it involves understanding and processing the information heard.

The Importance of Listening Skills

Listening skills are a combination of everything that is heard, understood and remembered. To ensure that a person understands this, it must be through special exercises that take place in stages. Furthermore, if an individual listens well they will have a lot of experience to improve their brain intelligence. In addition, the hearing process can be influenced by physical, psychological and neurological aspects. Additionally, efficient listening requires a logical and effective integration of ideas that are easy to understand. In addition, hearing will occur through the mind and not the feelings. Finally, hearing is for the purpose of appreciation and requires critical analysis of form and content.

Listening is also very important for interactions between children and teachers. So there are several reasons that adults should be active listeners to children include to better understand how the child feels, and what is going on in a situation. Next to build a better, stronger relationship with children. Also, to foster a relationship that is built on respect. When adults listen to children, they are teaching them about respecting others and the importance of being a good listener. Next to show children that you are interested in what they have to say. Last but not least to make them feel valued and build their confidence.

There are many reasons why it is important for adults to be good listeners to everyone, including children. The most important thing is that when you listen to a child, it makes them feel important. If they want to share an opinion and they are told to keep quiet, or they are ignored, they begin to feel as though their feelings and opinions don't matter. This will have a negative impact on their self-esteem. But when children are allowed to effectively express themselves, they feel more worthy, and that they matter. This is going to have a positive impact on their self-esteem. And the last one is, parents usually want their child to be good listeners, as well. The best way to raise good listeners is by being a good role model for them. When the adults in their lives are good listeners and place an importance on hearing children, the children will in turn learn to be good listeners.

There are several levels of Hearing Skills so let's talk about that. Listening is one of the early learning methods (Zigmond & Cicci, 1968). Normal and hearing-impaired children will undergo the same level of listening skills.

However, hearing-impaired children need to go through the process of optimizing their hearing aids and using them consistently before they start learning listening skills. Auditory input and good listening skills are very important for children during the language acquisition process.

Therefore, understanding the developmental stages of hearing skills is crucial to enabling parents and teachers to determine their level of mastery over their children. It is also important to help plan the next steps to master the next level of listening skills.

Stage One: Sound Detection

The first skill level is detection detection skills. It is a level of skill in which infants or children are able to determine the presence or absence of sounds in their environment. Through this skill, children learn to pay attention or respond to the sound they hear.

Sound detection skills occur when the presence of a sound is detected spontaneously. Usually infants or children will respond by showing shock or surprise, blinking or blinking their eyes, stopping activity, sudden silence, and some will begin vocalizing.Sound detection skills occur when the presence of a sound is detected spontaneously. Usually infants or children will respond by showing shock or surprise, blinking or blinking their eyes, stopping activity, sudden silence, and some will begin vocalizing.

Stage Two: Sound Difference

The second level of skill is the distinction between sound and discrimination. Differentiation skills are the ability of a baby or toddler to detect differences between 2 or more, different sounds. They learn to evaluate the differences between sounds and respond differently to different sounds.

Initially, infants and children will demonstrate the ability to distinguish pre-suprasegmental sounds by distinguishing the volume, tempo, distortion and intonation of spoken sounds (Hull, 2001). For example, a child will display a different reaction to his or her mother's voice than that of others. These skills are also demonstrated when they are able to react differently to different speech tones such as happy or angry. At different stages infants and children also begin to learn that different objects, individuals, and situations can be represented by different sounds.

Stage Three: Sound Identification

The third level is sound identification skills. These skills require children to repeat, point, draw, write or draw objects they hear. It requires memory but does not require children's understanding of the sound. For example, children can easily distinguish “moo-o-o” and “meow” cat sounds because one of them is a long one while the other one is shorter. For children who exhibit better identification skills they will be able to show the correct picture of the animal, matching the sound they hear.

Stage Four: Sound Perception

The fourth and final stage of the listening skill is sound comprehension. Understanding the sound signals a child receives either from the linguistic or non-linguistic sounds in their environment is the most complex skill in hearing development. It is the ability to understand the meaning of speech heard by answering questions, following directions or participating in conversations. Children 's ability to express their understanding often depends on their knowledge of a language (Erber, 1982).

Children in the comprehension phase begin to understand simple speech in daily routines such as 'Jom', 'Bye-bye', 'Greetings'. They can also understand simple commands such as 'Give to Mom', 'Please close the door' and 'Take your sister's shoes'. Whereas for older children, they are able to follow 2 instructions such as 'Date shoes and close the door'.

Children will initially demonstrate reactions through their behavior to show their understanding of the stimulus of spoken speech. For example, when the mother says 'Back home' in a high tone, the child will stop doing activities, turn to the mother and act close to or follow her mother. The child demonstrates his or her tracking skills when he or she detects the presence of the sound and stops doing it.

At different stages, the child is able to distinguish the tone of the mother from her previous conversations and her identification skills make the child look or look at her mother as a sound source. The child eventually demonstrates his comprehension skills when he understands the speech as a command to return and acts toward his mother.

The level of listening skills begins with the ability to detect the presence of sound and ends with the ability to understand speech sounds. Hearing aids can help children with hearing loss but listening skills are a must learn (Hull, 2001).

First Activities

Title: Activity Games Whisper

Age: children 5 years old

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Learning Objective: To see the hearing acuity of children

Material: none

Procedures and extension activities: Children have to circle and whisper to each other

Assessment: Children are more focused on hearing every word their partner whispers

At the beginning of this activity a child is asked to listen to every word the teacher gives. Then the word should be whispered to his friends. By doing this activity children can improve their hearing level. Because this activity is for children to give maximum attention to this activity. This is because when a child misunderstood what they were told, they would be dismissed. Therefore, with this activity they will be more focused and more careful with everything the teacher will say. Then with this activity can also add a sense of responsibility to each student because if one of them makes a mistake then the whole group will be eliminated. With this activity each student will try their best to hear and remember the words provided. Also in this activity, each group will work together to help each other make this activity a success. In conclusion, in this activity the children can learn a variety of useful knowledge for themselves that they will focus on the words given, increase their attitude of responsibility, and they will work together to succeed.

Second Activities

Age: Children 5 years old

Duration: 10-15 minutes

Learning Objective: Children can respond quickly through the instructions given

Material: none

Procedures and follow-up activities: Children form a straight line with their teacher

Evaluation: The children are paying close attention to the game

The teacher will choose a child who will play the role of, 'Simon'. Then he was required to stand up to his friends to give instructions to his friends after which Simon explained the rules: 'I am Simon. I will direct you to do various actions by saying 'Simon says, and do something', in which case something like touching your head, waving your hands together. The children will be left out of the circle (games), and the Commandments will need to be creative and fast so that the children will be aware of the instructions given. With this activity children can speed up their response to a yes message ng given. In addition, this game can foster friendship among children as they will have fun with their friends. This activity further enhances children's brain intelligence. Not only does this activity enhance children's skills. To enable children to interact in large groups. Thus, it can instill a sense of affection among the children. In addition, this activity can make the child more aware of the instructions given. Eventually, the children will be able to develop the right way of socializing. In conclusion, this activity is great for raising the level of listening ability of children just by doing this activity with them. In addition, not only do they improve their listening skills but they also gain that other value or knowledge.


  1. Erber, N.P. (1982). Auditory Training. Washington, DC: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.
  2. Hull, R.H. (2001). Aural Rehabilitation: Serving Children and Adults (4thed.). Singular Publishing Group.
  3. Zigmond, N.K. & Cicci, R. (1968). Auditory Learning: Dimensions in Early Learning Series. Dimensions Publishing Company.
  4. Gary Cohen Contributing Writer,Dec 10, 2014, 9:42am EST
  5. Mahbubeh Yazdanpanah Hazrat-e Narjes University of Rafsanjan, Iran Hajar Khanmohammad Islamic Azad University, Tehran Brach, Iran

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