Of the four macro language skills, namely: listening, speaking, reading and writing, it is listening that is most often used yet is given least attention both in the classroom and in other circumstances. A survey as to the number of waking hours devoted to the four language skills will reveal that a person spends more than half of his/her waking hours listening to the sounds around him/her.

Researchers, estimate that we spend more than 70 percent of our waking hours communicating with others. But many individuals complain that other people seem to care less in what they are communicating. What are the signs that the people you are communicating with are not interested with what you are saying?

1.    People who make you feel you are wasting their time.

2.    People who talk to their seatmates & who don’t mind to what others are saying.

3.    People who interrupt while you are still talking.

4.    People who move back & forth as if in a hurry to get away.

5.    People who contradict what you are saying.

Listening seems to be simple, but it is a serious matter. It involves observing non-verbal communication, eye contact, watching underlying motives, asking the right questions, giving appropriate responses & knowing when to be silent.

A good listener evaluates what is being said, then process the information as well as observe non verbal communication. Body posture usually support the verbal message. For instance, knitted eyebrows might tell that the person is not feeling well or not interested, clenched fist might mean anger. Style or the the terms of speed, the loudness or softness should also be considered.

Our movement, speed, style, gestures while talking, while the other person is listening, may be perceived by someone else in a totally different way than we intended.

This is the best time to evaluate ourselves in terms of communication with our family. Are they listening? Are they interested to what we are saying? If not, why not listen to ourselves first?

By: Maria Teresa Perez | Hermosa National High School | District 1

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